Pilgrim Baptist Church is one of six sites in Monmouth County that will offer the tests. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)hot topic

[UPDATE: The COVID-19 testing scheduled for August 7  has been cancelled due to weather.]

Red Bank-area residents will be able to get free, no-appointment COVID-19 tests starting next month under a program co-funded by Monmouth County and a philanthropic organization.

Nasal and oral-swab tests will be administered at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 172 Shrewsbury Avenue, on the following schedule:

Saturday, August 1: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friday, August 7: 3 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, August 13: 3 to 7 p.m.

Those wishing to be tested need not present COVID-19 symptoms.

According to Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone, the county government has committed up to $250,000 of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to testing of county residents. Additionally,  the Grunin Foundation has committed to match the that funding up to $250,000, Arnone said at a press conference in Asbury Park to launch the program Tuesday.

“It is so important for everyone to have access to free COVID-19 testing, regardless of whether or not they have insurance,” Arnone said. “While there have been testing locations throughout the county, they are not easily accessible to all of our communities, especially those communities where people travel mainly on foot.”

The program centers on six densely populated municipalities throughout the county. Other testing sites will be located in Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Keansburg, Neptune and Long Branch over the next four weeks.

Up to 100 tests will be available per day at each location, and variable message boards will be placed near the sites to notify residents if the sites run out of tests before the posted hours end.

The Grunin Foundation works with businesses and nonprofits to help provide inclusive access to arts, culture, education, healthcare and economic opportunities. It’s a big backer of the Count Basie Center for the Arts.