Senate Passes Gopal BIll Allowing COVID-19 Testing at Pharmacies

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - The Senate on Thursday approved legislation introduced by Senator Vin Gopal that would codify a recent administrative order by Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Paul Rodriguez that allows licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests that have been authorized and approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Under the bill (S2436), in order to administer the test, the pharmacy must ensure that personal protection equipment is distributed to all pharmacy staff and that proper social distancing protocols are observed for the safety of both customers and staff.

“If we want to make it out of this pandemic, we need to build the infrastructure for a comprehensive contact tracing program from the ground up,” said Senator Gopal (D-Long Branch). “That means empowering every business, organization, and institution that has the resources, expertise, and ability to test our residents on a regular basis.

“Community pharmacies are already providing thousands of New Jerseyans with the medications and health information they need to get by, and are already experienced with the provision of vaccines and other public health products. They are a natural fit for this critical mission, and will be essential if we want to get a statewide testing apparatus off the ground.”

The bill now proceeds to the Assembly Health Committee for consideration.


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