From Mayor Asdal:
Feb. 4, 2021 update on vaccine information from Mayor Asdal:
Information from 2/4 call with Morris County officials:
• Testing center at County College continues to operate 9:00-4:00 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
• They are doing about 400 tests/day with a 24-hour turnaround for results. This will continue for the foreseeable future.
• The vaccination center at Sears/Rockaway Mall is operating every day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
• They have given about 1400-1800 doses/day with an average wait time of one hour; this includes a 15-30 minute observation period.
• Except for one day, there has been no waiting in lines outdoors.
• They’ve administered about 15,000 vaccines so far.
• The state is allocating about 50% of the doses it receives from the state to the mega-centers.
• Demand continues to outpace supply.
• Mid-to-late February the doses may increase to 2400 doses/day with the doses split between the first and second doses.
• It is recommended that eligible residents register on the Atlantic Health site rather than the NJ site. The advantage for this approach is that you will be registered and notified when appointments become available. The registration on the state’s site only notifies residents when they are eligible for the vaccination; they must then still register for an appointment at the site of their choosing.
• When a resident receives the first dose at the county’s mega-site, the appointment time/date is set up for the second dose.
• The mega-site will not be implementing a plan to vaccinate homebound residents; local health departments may be setting up procedures to address this population.
• Our Washington Twp. Health Dept. is actively investigating all options to connect our residents with vaccination opportunities, including the possibility of a joint effort with neighboring municipalities. The limiting factor in all scenarios is the lack of vaccine.
From the Health Department:
Many residents have questions regarding the COVID-19 immunization. When will it be available? Is it safe? Where can I obtain information? Where can I be vaccinated? The distribution of vaccine is based on a federal plan which prioritizes specific groups such as healthcare workers and critical infrastructure employees. The second group include people with chronic medical conditions and seniors, followed by the general public.
Currently, the supply of vaccinations is outweighed by demand. As supply increases in the coming months, more appointments AND more vaccination sites will open up. Ultimately, most people will be able to get a vaccination at a local pharmacy or at a doctor’s office. Until the supply is at its peak, please follow health guidelines to keep you and your family safe, and be sure to register for a vaccine at one of the websites below so that you will be notified when appointments are available.
At the State Level
NJ residents can now pre-register for the COVID vaccine. Note that when you register for a vaccine, this does not mean that you are making an appointment. You will be notified when appointments are available.
On Monday, January 25, the state will activate a call center where residents can call for vaccine information and appointments. That number is 855-568-0545.
For the latest information on vaccine safety, when vaccinations will become available, and other updates, residents are urged to routinely check the NJ Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination website.
At the County Level
Morris County residents can also register with Atlantic Health to receive their notifications about COVID-19 vaccine appointment availability.
Morris County has established a COVID Hotline where further information can be obtained. This Hotline can be reached at 973-829-8250. The hotline is staffed 7 days each week, during business hours. This number is not for making appointments.
At the Local Level
Testing positive for COVID-19: When an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is identified, the Washington Township Health Department follows all appropriate NJ Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control protocols in conducting an efficient and comprehensive follow up. The Washington Township Health Department identifies close contacts of all confirmed cases to determine the need for self-monitoring. Individuals who have been in close contact with that person will be notified and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Please note that HIPAA requirements protect each individual’s right to privacy, so no identifying information will be publicized.
IMPORTANT – This virus is in our community, and it is still spreading. We cannot emphasize enough how critical it is for you to STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE to thwart its spread, and to WEAR A MASK to protect each other from virus transmission when going out. The longer we can hold out and impede its spread by not giving it the chance to move from person to person, the greater the chance that preventative therapies and treatments will be available that will save lives, yours included.