FRANKFORD — The Sussex County Fairgrounds will be giving out free COVID-19 home tests this week.
The Sussex County Division of Health began distributing the at-home tests at the fairgrounds on Tuesday and will continue to do so on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and Monday from noon until 5 p.m.
The saliva PCR tests are available while supplies last to anyone 4 years and older.
The fairgrounds testing distribution will operate as a drive-through site similar to the pop-up vaccine clinics held there earlier this month, with health officials handing out kits for residents who will remain in their cars.
Testing will not be performed on-site. Each kit will provide instructions on how to administer the test and ship it out to a lab for results.
The distribution of the tests comes as the number of daily COVID cases and hospitalizations in Sussex County and the state appears to be steadily declining.
In Sussex County, the health department reported a decrease of daily cases after a high of 610 new cases in one day on Jan. 4. The county reported 218 cases on Jan. 14, 371 cases on Jan. 13, 359 on Jan. 12, 368 on Jan. 11, 1,220 cases from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10 and 499 on Jan. 7 for a total county number of 31,307 confirmed cases since the onset of the pandemic.
The number of people hospitalized in New Jersey also dropped again overnight Monday, down to 5,251, the sixth consecutive day with declining numbers.
That's a drop of 60 from Sunday and a 14% decline since the peak number of hospitalizations on Jan. 11.
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There were 848 people in the ICU, down from 897 Sunday and a peak of 907 on Jan. 12, and there were 534 who needed a respirator, down 26 from Sunday.
Monday night's hospitalization numbers are likely a slight undercount since two of the 71 hospitals in the state did not report their numbers, according to the estate Health Department's COVID website.
Another encouraging sign is that the number of daily new COVID cases among hospital workers has declined considerably. There were 130 new cases reported Monday, up slightly from Sunday but down from a peak of 853 on Jan. 6.
For more information on the tests at the fairgrounds, contact the Sussex County Office of Public Health Nursing at 973-579-0570, Ext. 1211 for English and 1248 for Spanish.
This article originally appeared on New Jersey Herald: Sussex County NJ: Free at-home COVID tests at fairgrounds