NJ Offers Free At-Home Covid Tests as Cases Rise and School Quarantines Increase
As Covid case counts rise again in NJ state and Passaic County, the NJ Department of Health accounced a free, at-home testing program for NJ Residents: The at-home COVID-19 saliva test kit, delivered in partnership with Vault Medical Services, is available to every NJ resident who thinks they need a test – even without symptoms.
The news comes as NJ's Covid transmission rate returned to "high" for the first time since last spring, as indicated by the orange on the state's map that tracks transmission. The transition to higher transmission triggers an automatic increase in the required school quarantine for children exposed to known positive cases. Previously, a close contact needed to quarantine for only 10 days if they received a negative test. Now, 14 day quarantines are required for all positive cases and close contacts who aren't yet fully vaccinated. For Clifton, this means any new quarantines will not return to school until after the winter recess, on January 3rd.
The now free at-home tests may help simplify the testing process for quarantined families. The kit is shipped through UPS with next-day delivery. When the test is received, residents connect over Zoom with a Vault healthcare professional that will explain the test and answer questions. When the test is complete, it can be sent back in a prepaid package via UPS next-day shipping.
Test results are available within 24 to 48 hours after the sample arrives at the lab.
No appointments are needed, test hours are Sunday-Thursday: 8am – 8pm EST, Friday: 8am – 6pm EST and Saturday: 8am – 6pm EST. To take the at-home test, residents must connect with a collection supervisor on Zoom . Residents are advised not to open the collection kit before the Zoom session, and not to eat, drink, smoke, or chew anything for 30 minutes before taking the test.
To get results, the saliva sample must be collected while being observed by a Vault collection supervisor. Wait times for a clinician are generally 15 minutes or less and are longest over the noon hour. For more information or help ordering a kit, visit to order a free test kit, visit Vault Health online here.
There are also many other Covid test sites in NJ, visit the NJ Covid Information Hub here for details.
To read more about the current Covid rates in the state and Passaic County, click here.