ATLANTIC CITY — The first of two city testing sites for the new coronavirus opened Tuesday, and the second location is scheduled to welcome residents Wednesday morning.
The walk-up COVID-19 testing site in the Showboat Hotel Atlantic City parking lot between Maryland and Delaware avenues opened at 10 a.m. A drive-thru location outside Surf Stadium at Bader Field will open at the same time Wednesday.
Emergency Management Coordinator and fire Chief Scott Evans said the two sites were the result of careful planning and quick execution.
“Once we assembled the team ... it became a priority,” Evans said. “The key to stopping the spread (of COVID-19) is identifying who has it.”
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Mayor Marty Small Sr. had been trying to secure coronavirus testing within the city limits for several weeks. He offered Bader Field to both state and county officials before finding a private partner, Reliance Medical Group, to administer testing.
Small toured the walk-up site Tuesday morning. The two sites are scheduled to be operational for the next four weeks, but Small said data would drive the city’s response to extend the timetable if necessary.
“I promised the good people of Atlantic City that we would have coronavirus testing, and we delivered, not only one site, but two,” he said. “We want to put our residents in the best position possible to get tested.”
As of Tuesday, there have been 80 positive cases of COVID-19 in Atlantic City and five deaths attributed to the disease.
The city’s first responders were given priority Tuesday, but the site permitted more than a dozen residents to also be tested.
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Testing is available to symptomatic city residents who obtain a doctor’s prescription and schedule an appointment. An on-site physician at the walk-up site is available to issue prescriptions to those who are showing symptoms and need to be tested.
The Showboat location will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the Bader Field site will be open Wednesdays and Fridays. Both locations will test patients from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Each site has the ability to administer 50 tests per day, officials said.
Atlantic City received more than $786,000 in grant funding as part of the federal coronavirus stimulus. Small said a portion of that funding will be used to pay for the testing sites.
To make an appointment at either of the Atlantic City COVID-19 testing sites, visit cityofatlanticcity.org or call 609-318-6990.