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Fearful Of COVID-19 Resurgence, New Jerseyans Braving Cold, Long Lines For Testing

CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- There are growing fears of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey. It has lead to long lines at testing sites throughout the state.

As CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported Monday, the line wrapped around an urgent care facility in Clifton. By lunch time the building was at capacity. Similar scenes have been playing out just about everywhere.

The lines are long.

"This is not an ideal situation. We have elderly people on this line. It's cold," said Stephanie Eby of Moonachie.


In Clifton, some people waited for over an hour, but said they were willing to wait.

"The more accessible it can be the less that we have to do these crazy kinds of things. Hopefully, we'll get to that point where we can buy a hundred tests for ourselves at home and we can do it whenever we go out," said Raymond Burns of Moonachie.

MORENew Jersey's Daily COVID-19 Case Number Rises Above 2,000 For First Time Since May

In Union, things looked the same -- a line wrapped around a building.

At an urgent care facility in Newark, Dianna Diaz of Elizabeth showed up to get tested for work. She said her options were limited.

"The first appointment was Nov. 5, so think about how many days you're waiting to get in for a test, and that was going to be for free testing," Diaz said.

Instead, she paid hundreds for a rapid test.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Throughout Newark, free testing has been ramped up as we head into the colder months, and people have been using it.

"When we were averaging on a good week between 4,500 and 5,000 tests, we're now well over 7,000 tests," said Raul Malave, Newark's assistant public safety director.

He said while testing is important, it's only part of the strategy.

"We could test 10,000 people, but it we're not following up with the contact tracing and finding out how many people were infected by that particular individual, we're kind of wasting that testing money," Malave said.

MOREPort Authority Of New York And New Jersey Will Fine Travelers Without Masks, Face Coverings Starting Nov. 2

At the height of the pandemic the state had opened drive-thru testing sites, but for now, Gov. Phil Murphy says the state will continue distributing tests to local governments.

The governor said the state has now started to get shipments of rapid tests from the federal government. He called that the X-factor heading into the winter.


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