NEW JERSEY — Be sure to remember scout’s honor when seeking a COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey.

Roughly 300 locations, including as many as six mega-sites, will rely on the honesty and goodwill of residents in its mission to vaccinate the 1A priority group: frontline healthcare workers, law enforcement and firefighters.

“We are trusting the integrity of all of you to do the right thing in this regard and not `jump the line,’” said Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli at Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 press conference out of Trenton on Monday. “We know everyone is anxious, and we’re asking for your patience as we await a larger supply of vaccine.”

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“We also don't want to go into a no-appointments mind-set, which we're seeing the price that is paid in Florida,” Murphy said toward the end of the briefing. [There,] people are literally camping out all night, in the cold. Waiting, waiting, waiting, and then getting there and supplies running out.”

As of Monday, over 1 million people have registered to get vaccinated and more than 200,000 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. A new feature on the New Jersey Department of Health dashboard now accounts for the vaccine figures.

There were 52 more coronavirus deaths confirmed this afternoon in New Jersey, as well as 5,042 positive PCR tests and another 540 positive antigen tests.

The latest totals stand as follows:

  • 17,873 confirmed deaths
  • 2,059 probable but unconfirmed deaths
  • 532,959 positive PCR cases
  • 52,206 positive antigen cases
  • 11.32 positivity rate
  • 1.09 rate of transmission

The hospital figures are as follows: 

  • 3,652 coronavirus hospitalizations
  • 649 patients in critical care
  • 347 people discharged Sunday
  • 377 people admitted Sunday
  • 42 deaths on Sunday that have yet to be confirmed

“We had anticipated…an increase in positive tests coming out of the holidays and it is safe to say that we are now experiencing that increase,” Murphy noted. “This is likely from indoor gatherings where neither social distancing nor wearing a face mask were adhered to. And this is what we're afraid of people letting their guard down over Christmas and New Year's and spreading the virus among their families and friends.”

For the next few days, the governor said, the state will likely see the impact of a post-holiday spike.

Persichilli said the current demand for vaccines exceeded the supply - sharing that she has received many emails from people asking about their chance to get a shot.

“People are really begging to get the vaccine,” said Persichilli, who stated that NJ is receiving more doses regularly. “I don’t blame them, but we have to try to do it in an orderly fashion, so we can avoid what’s happening in other states, people waiting in line overnight in the cold to get vaccinated.”

When asked by a member of the media about the common practice of verifying identification and employment background she said:

“We would rather it be a positive experience. People show integrity, show up get vaccinated, and this is not a situation where if you don't show up now you will never get vaccinated. Everyone will get vaccinated that wants to get vaccinated and so far. We don't see any reason that further mandates identification are necessary. It may be in the future but…we just want a culture of positive vaccinations.”