Union County COVID-19 Lab Expands Testing Capabilities – County of Union, New Jersey – Community News
Covid-19

Union County COVID-19 Lab Expands Testing Capabilities – County of Union, New Jersey

Omicron variant included in test protocols

Union County, NJ — The Union County COVID-19 Partnership Lab at Kean University has expanded testing protocols to include detection of the Omicron variant. As of this week, COVID-19 testing, conducted through Union County mobile clinics and permanent testing sites, has prepared analytics to identify cases of all currently known variants.

“Several strains of COVID-19 have turned the fight against this pandemic into a battle with many moving parts,” said Alexander Mirabella, chairman of the Union County board of directors. “We are urging residents to get tested if they have been exposed and to get their vaccine or booster as soon as possible.”

“The county’s board of commissioners will continue to offer residents the opportunity to test,” said Public Safety Commissioner and Chairman Sergio Granados. “Easy access to both testing and vaccination remains our focus and is key to keeping Union County residents safe as we continue to navigate COVID-19 and its variants.”

As part of the effort to identify potential cases of the Omicron variant within Union County, and in addition to the current analysis of tests conducted this week, COVID-19-positive test samples dating back 30 days have been drawn and rearranged.

The Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, has been detected in several countries in Africa, Europe and North America. One of the identifying factors is the existence of an S gene dropout in a spike protein. A dropout of the S gene is not indicative of the Omicron variant, but all positive results of the Omicron variant have been identified as the dropout of the S gene.

There are currently five states with confirmed cases of the Omicron variant: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota and New York. The Minnesota case was confirmed to be a COVID-19 positive result from someone attending a conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan with more than 40,000 participants. Because this case was identified in the tri-state area, the New Jersey Department of Health is working with New York State in tracing contacts related to this case.

Along with permanent testing sites at Kean University in Union and the Gerry B. Green Building in Plainfield, Union County will provide pop-up COVID-19 mobile testing clinics in local communities to reach vulnerable populations, including seniors, the homeless and others who would struggle. have to travel to a centralized vaccine site. All results are analyzed through the Union County COVID-19 Partnership Lab at Kean University. For a list see https://ucnj.org/covid19/covid-19-testing-options/

Appointments at the pop-up clinics or permanent vaccination sites can be booked online by creating an account at ucnj.org/vax. Residents wishing to visit the Vaccination Clinic for a free COVID-19 vaccine can drop in Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Testing Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit to ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services, visit ucnj.org, call the public information line, 877-424-1234, email [email protected], or use the online contact form.

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