Irvington partners with medical co. to provide testing for residents

Photo Courtesy of Tony Vauss
Irvington Housing Authority

IRVINGTON, NJ — In the fight to combat the COVID-19 outbreak while furthering the flattening of the curve to break the back of this deadly virus, Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss and Irvington Housing Authority Director Carmelo Garcia partnered with Salerno Medical Associates to provide COVID-19 testing to IHA residents.

Vauss and Garcia said they determined that IHA residents were at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 and therefore required additional protective measures. Garcia hired an outside company to conduct thorough cleaning and sanitization of each building three times per day; the process includes the use of a technological microbial disinfectant solution that inactivates hard-to-kill bacteria and viruses, such as the coronavirus, for 90 days. According to guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency, inactivating the virus is functionally equivalent to killing it.

Vauss has dispatched a specialized unit of law enforcement officers to the buildings multiple times per day, seven days a week, to ensure social-distancing measures are being followed. Mass testing is the next natural step in ensuring the safety and protection of residents.

“Testing is the only way to simultaneously protect high-risk residents, curtail the spread of COVID-19 and to begin discussions surrounding reopening the township,” Vauss said. “This testing must be done in large groups that represent various segments of our population in order to be effective. Our goal with mass testing is to identify those who are asymptomatic carriers of the virus and to isolate them from the rest of the population until they are negative.”

Salerno Medical Associates maintains an office in Orange and has been working in partnership with Accurate Labs to provide testing via mobile sites. Testing of IHA residents took place on-site through mobile testing sites created by Salerno Medical.

“In our continued efforts to protect our most vulnerable residents, we wanted to be proactive given the mayor’s priority on contact tracing,” Garcia said. “We’re grateful to partner up with Dr. Salerno and the township as we are hopeful that this impactful work will save lives and make a difference.”

The first day of testing took place at 624 Nye Ave. on May 8; the second day at 81 Nye Ave. on May 9; the third day at 101 and 141 Union Ave. on May 10; and the fourth day at 2-14, 119-121 and 125 Crescent Lane on May 11.

According to Garcia, a total of 128 Housing Authority residents were tested.

Vauss expressed relief to have gotten through the first round of testing,

“It feels great,” Vauss said on May 12. “But it’s only the beginning. We are partnering with other companies, and the medical partners and the county of Essex to provide mobile testing as well for all of our residents.”

Additional testing days may be added, if necessary.