Officials started turning cars away by 12 p.m. Friday at the site, located at Bergen Community College in Paramus.
A flashing electronic sign on West Century Road signaled that testing was closed for the day, and noted the “testing site at capacity.” Nearby, a police officer announced over the speaker that testing was done for the day and for people to return at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s office confirmed to NJ Advance Media there were still many cars lined up to be testing and that medical professionals on site would get to everyone they could, but no one new would be accepted in line.
“The Bergen County Testing Site will continue testing as many people as it can before it closes at 4 p.m. today,” Alexandra Altman, a spokesman for Murphy’s office, said in a statement. “Due to the overwhelming response, the site will not be accepting additional individuals today and encourages residents to return at 8 a.m. tomorrow.”
Assistant state Health Commissioner Christopher Neuwirth said the site had not run out of tests.
The center opened Friday morning at 8 a.m. to long lines of cars filled with people hoping to be tested. It was scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
During an afternoon news briefing at the college Friday, which was held on campus, Murphy said the site got through 600 tests Friday.
“To say there was pent-up demand would be the understatement of the century,” the governor said.
The site will reopen Saturday, and will swab 350 people for tests before it starts turning people away, the governor said.
The location in Paramus was the first state-run testing site in New Jersey. It was established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It will be staffed by the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey National Guard.
FEMA is providing 2,500 tests, which will be replenished weekly, officials said at a news conference Thursday.
To be eligible for testing, you must be a New Jersey resident and have a fever of at least 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a cough and shortness of breath.
Officials said that the “worried well” will be turned away.
A second state-run testing site is planned for PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. It is expected to open next week.
As of Friday afternoon, 11 people with coronavirus in New Jersey have died, and at least 890 people in the state have tested positive for the virus.
NJ Advance Media staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.
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