Public Health Emergency Declared for 11th Time Since Last March
TRENTON, NJ — With Joe Biden as president, Gov. Phil Murphy expects the progress made so far in New Jersey’s coronavirus vaccine rollout to be given a much-needed push forward by the new administration.
So far, the state has had to reckon with delays in the arrival of doses from the federal government, leaving large segments of New Jerseyans qualifying for the vaccine waiting their turn in line, according to state officials.
“We know that there is pent-up demand, that getting an appointment may be proving challenging. However, with the incoming Biden administration taking office — and a new federal focus on pushing vaccines out at a greater pace — we are hopeful that we'll be able to start ramping up our in state capabilities to meet what we know is a tremendous demand,” Murphy said during his COVID-19 press briefing on January 19.
New Jersey has administered over 407,000 vaccinations at nearly 260 sites statewide, including 130 county-run and community-based sites, according to the latest statistics. More than 50,000 of the 214,000 vaccine shots committed to long-term care facilities have been administered.
At state nursing homes, 90% of patients have been scheduled for a vaccine shot, the same percentage are set to receive shots at intellectual or developmental disability centers and homes in the federal partnership program, 74% of people at residential care facilities are scheduled and 64% of residents at assisted-care facilities.
N.J. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said residents who received their first dose but have not received word about a second shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination should contact the site where they were first vaccinated.
"Individuals must receive the same type of vaccine for both doses. We have been notified that individuals are traveling sometimes quite a distance for their first dose. Returning to that same site is imperative, since your second dose will be delivered to that site," Persichilli said.
Preregistration continues on the New Jersey vaccine scheduling system, where individuals will be notified when appointments are available. "We are asking the public to be patient because supply of vaccine is limited," she said. It may be some time before you receive an invitation to make an appointment, even if you are currently eligible."
In addition, some vaccination sites, including those affiliated with hospitals, only take appointments when individuals use their system.
Monmouth County also has its own online scheduling system (click here), but there are no available dates in January and February for qualifying individuals and only a handful of appointments left for first-responders on February 3 in Neptune.
Click here for scheduling information at Hackensack Meridian Health facilities.
Click here for scheduling information at RWJBarnabas Health facilities.
A state hotline has been set up at 855-568-0545 in both English and Spanish for those individuals or anyone in need of automated phone support.
A call center with live operators is scheduled for launch next week to sign up people without computer access.
In addition, anyone experiencing an error or need support with the vaccine scheduling system can complete an online form at covid19.nj.gov/vaccinehelp.
“When more slots open up, we are asking the public to be patient because supply of vaccine is limited. It may be some time before you receive an invitation to make an appointment, even if you are currently eligible,” Persichilli said, a week after the state expanded its high-priority list for the vaccine.
“With the expansion of eligibility into more categories, there are now many more people who are eligible to get vaccinated but our vaccine supply is still very limited and will be for some time,” she said.
In December, Persichilli said New Jersey received 18% less of the shots they expected. In the first two weeks of January, the state received 53,000 Pfizer-BioNTech shots and 53,000 Moderna shots and it should receive another 55,575 Pfizer and 56,100 Moderna vaccines next week.
Some 1.5 million people have preregistered on the state’s scheduling system, as state officials aim to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population within six months.
Public Health Emergency Extended
In other action on January 19, Murphy extended the state’s public health emergency for another 30 days — the 11th time he's done so since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March.
Originally declared on March 9, the executive order declaring a public health emergency was previously extended on April 7, May 6, June 4, July 2, August 1 and August 27, September 25, October 24, November 22 and December 21.
The new Executive Order 215 extends all executive orders issued under the governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any executive branch departments and agencies in response to the public health emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the governor's office.
Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Click here for Executive Order 215.
The Latest COVID-19 Numbers (as of January 19):
- 3,761 new positive PCR tests
- 572,306 total PCR tests
- 1,039 new positive antigen tests
- 63,395 total antigen tests
- 54 new coronavirus deaths
- 2,091 “probable” deaths
- 18,421 confirmed deaths
- Positivity rate is 10.12%
- Rate of transmission is 1.11.
In New Jersey hospitals, there are 3,506 patients being treated (219 not yet confirmed to have COVID-19), including 643 in intensive care and 429 on ventilators. In addition, 240 people were discharged after undergoing treatment, 347 people were admitted for the coronavirus and there were 45 in-hospital deaths believed to be linked to the virus.
On January 19, Monmouth County reported there were 372 new positive cases of COVID-19 — ranking it second among all 21 counties — and six new deaths related to the virus.
In addition, 452 patients are hospitalized in the county, including 67 in intensive care and 49 on ventilators due to COVID-19.
To date, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Monmouth County since March is 40,365.
Here is the breakdown of cumulative positive COVID-19 cases by municipality:
- Aberdeen: 1,120
- Allenhurst: 51
- Allentown: 71
- Asbury Park: 1006
- Atlantic Highlands: 197
- Belmar: 305 (an increase of 29 new cases since January 13)
- Bradley Beach: 228
- Brielle: 343
- Colts Neck: 611
- Deal: 202
- Eatontown: 1,035
- Englishtown: 140
- Fair Haven: 253
- Farmingdale: 84
- Freehold Borough: 1,107
- Freehold Township: 2,250
- Hazlet: 1,196
- Highlands: 213
- Holmdel: 979
- Howell: 3,174
- Interlaken: 52
- Keansburg: 708
- Keyport: 424
- Lake Como: 97 (an increase of 4 new cases since January 13, including one death as reported by Mayor Kevin Higgins on January 19)
- Little Silver: 310
- Loch Arbour: 14
- Long Branch: 2,761
- Manalapan: 2,401
- Manasquan: 322
- Marlboro: 2,130
- Matawan: 704
- Middletown: 3,664
- Millstone Township: 541
- Monmouth Beach: 180
- Neptune City: 300
- Neptune Township: 2,118
- Ocean: 1,883
- Oceanport: 344
- Red Bank: 1,215
- Roosevelt: 34
- Rumson: 340
- Sea Bright: 89
- Sea Girt:126
- Shrewsbury Borough: 350
- Shrewsbury Township: 70
- Spring Lake: 144
- Spring Lake Heights: 251
- Tinton Falls: 1,057
- Union Beach: 294
- Upper Freehold: 358
- Wall: 1,656
- West Long Branch: 738
- Unknown: 0
Below is Gov. Murphy’s January 19 press briefing:
TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned and operated news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 — free of charge.
Have a news tip or a story idea? Email editor and publisher Cathy Goetz at email@example.com.