N.J. health officials encourage COVID testing before the party on Sunday

The COVID-19 testing center at the Blue Barn in Evesham Township, N.J., which offers rapid tests, will be open on Sunday for those who wish to test before attending Super Bowl gatherings

The COVID-19 testing center at the Blue Barn in Evesham Township, N.J., which offers rapid tests, will be open on Sunday for those who wish to test before attending Super Bowl gatherings. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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Burlington County health officials are reminding residents that testing is an important tool during the pandemic. Especially for those planning to attend a Super Bowl party.

They are encouraging revelers who plan to watch Super Bowl LVI in a congregate setting to get tested prior to attending gatherings.

“We here in the department and health-related agencies naturally have a concern about the traditions around watching the Super Bowl,” said Dr. Herb Conaway, director of the Burlington County Health Department. “There’s certainly more than likely that people of varying vaccination statuses will be together in close quarters for an extended period of time … and in some instances – depending on whether your team is playing or not – high risk activity in terms of whooping and hollering.”

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Conaway said there are three county-supported COVID-19 testing sites; Willingboro Town Center, Evans Hall at Rowan College at Burlington County and Blue Barn Recreation, which is open on Sunday and offers rapid tests.

The COVID-19 testing center at the Blue Barn in Evesham Township, N.J., which offers rapid tests, will be open on Sunday for those who wish to test before attending Super Bowl gatherings.
The COVID-19 testing center at the Blue Barn in Evesham Township, N.J., which offers rapid tests, will be open on Sunday for those who wish to test before attending Super Bowl gatherings. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

“We’re hopeful that people will take the added precaution, particularly since testing is very widely available now,” Conaway said.

This will be the second big game in a row under a pandemic.

Last year, when the vaccine had just begun to roll out, experts were afraid that Super Bowl parties would become super spreaders of the coronavirus. They pleaded with the public to skip the parties. This year, the focus is on how to hold the parties safely.

Outside of the county-test sites, Conaway says home tests are “generally good” at detecting the virus.

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“It’s just good to have on hand to use for that guest who might want to come, who didn’t get tested and particularly if they’re unvaccinated, that makes things safer for everybody,” he added.

The COVID-19 testing center at the Blue Barn in Evesham Township, N.J., which offers rapid tests, will be open on Sunday for those who wish to test before attending Super Bowl gatherings
The COVID-19 testing center at the Blue Barn in Evesham Township, N.J., which offers rapid tests, will be open on Sunday for those who wish to test before attending Super Bowl gatherings. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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