U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and the entire New Jersey congressional delegation, today called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a third federally-backed COVID-19 testing site that would expand access to tests to over one million New Jersey residents who currently live too far from the current Monmouth and Bergen County sites.
“It is our understanding that only individuals residing within 50 miles of each site are eligible to be tested. This leaves over one million New Jerseyans out of range from receiving a test at any federally resourced facility,” the delegation wrote in a letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor. “This is particularly concerning given that as of March 26, New Jersey had the second highest number of cases of any state with over 6,000 positive cases.”
“As you know, seniors are among the most vulnerable groups of people to COVID-19; approximately 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the U.S. occurred in adults aged 65 years and older. The southern region of New Jersey has numerous townships which are among the localities with the highest percentage of seniors in the entire state,” continued the delegation in the letter. “Many of these townships are currently out of the 50-mile range of both testing facilities in the state. For these reasons, we ask you for swift and fair consideration of Governor Murphy’s request for a third federally backed testing site in New Jersey.”
U.S. Representatives Andy Kim (N.J.-03), Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.-02), Chris Smith (N.J.-04), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06), Tom Malinowski (N.J.-07), Albio Sires (N.J.-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.-12) also signed the letter.