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Legislation Allowing Pharmacists to Administer COVID-19 Tests Advances

Trenton – Recognizing the vital importance of rapid, accurate and widely available testing to the ongoing battle to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Legislature today advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Linda Greenstein authorizing pharmacists to order and administer tests for Covid-19 and Covid-19 antibodies.

“New Jersey’s pharmacists serve on the frontlines of every health care challenge facing our state, and they are well-positioned to expand Covid-19 testing capabilities at this critical time,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Pharmacists are uniquely suited to aid in this fight and to help mitigate the spread of disease. They are trusted healthcare professionals who have long-established relationships with their patients, with other health care professionals and within their communities.”

Under the bill, S-2436, if an individual tests positive for Covid-19 using a test administered by a pharmacist authorized to do the testing, the pharmacist would be required to ensure compliance with all state and federal requirements concerning a positive test for Covid-19. This would include established reporting and data collection protocols.

“Over these months of the coronavirus pandemic, rapid, reliable testing has emerged as a key component in fighting back against Covid-19,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “In New Jersey, we are proud to enlist our many skilled, capable and compassionate pharmacists in this fight.”

Pharmacists would also be required, in the event of a positive test, to advise the patient on next steps, including practicing self-isolation and potentially seeking further treatment.

The Governor’s recommendations were accepted by the Senate and the Assembly and the bill has been returned to the Governor for final approval.