Mercer County, in partnership with Vault Health Services, will offer free COVID-19 testing on three consecutive Tuesdays — January 12, 19 and 26 — from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the CURE Insurance Arena, 81 Hamilton Ave. The saliva test is available to County residents 14 years or older and anyone employed as a first responder or health care worker in Mercer County.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes first announced the partnership Mercer County developed with Vault Health back in October. At the time, he said, “Testing for COVID-19 is necessary to identify and be able to isolate people with infections.”

Before the winter season, Executive Hughes, along with a majority of the county and the CDC, predicted a spike in COVID-19 cases when the weather began to cool. “We expected fall to be a critical period with the arrival of cooler weather, and we’re already seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout much of the state,” said Hughes.

In November of last year, Vault Health and Mercer County operated the same testing sight at the CURE Insurance Arena. There, Hughes himself was one of the 302 individuals to be tested.

Those going to the arena for testing this January should use Parking Lot 2 off South Broad Street to access Gate A. Testing will be conducted in the arena concourse. Those being tested must bring identification showing Mercer County residency and a smartphone or tablet if you have one. No prescription is necessary. If being tested, you must avoid eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking 30 minutes prior to taking the test.

There is no charge for testing but residents that have health insurance should bring their insurance cards. Residents must also provide some proof of Trenton residency. No registration is needed, and tests will be administered on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you want to avoid the lines, Mercer County also offers an at-home saliva test for COVID-19, which can be requested by visiting www.mercercares.org. If you need help with the online registration process, assistance will be available Tuesday at the arena.

An updated list of COVID-19 testing locations in Mercer County can be found on the Trenton Health Team’s website: https://trentonhealthteam.org/covidtests/.