Overview

The Public Health and Environmental Laboratories (PHEL) offer laboratory testing services supporting the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and other federal, state and local agencies who protect the public’s health. PHEL testing includes

  • Monitoring the quality of drinking water and consumables such as, milk, dairy products, and medicinal marijuana
  • Investigation of foodborne outbreaks
  • Arbovirus (mosquito), rabies and respiratory virus surveillance
  • Newborn screening for inheritable disorders
  • Diagnostic testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and tuberculosis (TB)
  • Testing for biothreat and chemical threat agents in clinical specimens and white powders
  • Detection and characterization of emerging pathogens in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health laboratories.

The PHEL also regulates clinical laboratories and blood banks through inspection and licensing.

Referring Clinical Specimens to PHEL

Please refer to Shipping Specimens for detailed contact and shipping information.

Laboratory Response Network

PHEL is part of the Laboratory Response Network  a network of laboratories ready to respond to a biological or chemical emergency.

Technical Bulletins

 

  • Supplemental Bulletin SARS-CoV-2 testing at PHEL (20.1.5)

    NEW: For initial diagnostic testing for COVID-19, CDC recommends
    collecting and testing an upper respiratory specimen.
    Nasopharyngeal specimen is the preferred choice for swab-based
    SARS-CoV-2 testing. When collection of a nasopharyngeal swab is
    not possible, the following are acceptable alternatives:

    • An oropharyngeal (OP) specimen collected by a healthcare
      professional, or
    • A nasal mid-turbinate (NMT) swab collected by a healthcare
      professional or by onsite self-collection (using a flocked tapered
      swab), or
    • An anterior nares specimen collected by a healthcare
      professional or by onsite self-collection (using a round foam
      swab). For NS, a single polyester swab with a plastic shaft
      should be used to sample both nares.


  • NEW: Instructions for Delivery of COVID-19-Coronavirus Specimens
    to PHEL once on State Police Campus



Supplemental Bulletin SARS-CoV-2 testing at PHEL (20.1.4)   
Supplemental Bulletin SARS-CoV-2 testing at PHEL (20.1.3)
Supplemental Bulletin SARS-CoV-2 testing at PHEL (20.1.2)



Last Reviewed: 4/6/2020