Chester Township
1 Parker Road
Chester, New Jersey 07930
908-879-5100

From Mayor Asdal:

Feb. 4, 2021 update on vaccine information from Mayor Asdal:

Information from 2/4 call with Morris County officials:

Testing Center

• 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.

Vaccination Center

• 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.

COMMUNITY COVID-19 UPDATES

Morris County COVID-19 cases are updated regularly at: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/#cases

View data for Chester Township and other municipalities at that site.

Any resident who would like to call to discuss their symptoms or to self-report is encouraged to call the Health Department at 908-876-3650.
  • Limit close contact with people who are sick. Stay home if you are sick.
  • Self-Quarantine for 14 days if you have travelled to countries with widespread outbreaks of COVID-19.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a face covering over your mouth AND nose when going out and social distancing is difficult.
  • Avoid handshakes. Try an elbow bump.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hand).
  • Get a flu shot to prevent the flu if you have not done so this season.Ensure that an adequate supply of necessary prescriptions are on hand in case of quarantine or shortened supply.

Additional information can also be found on NJ Department of Health’s website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml and CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Preventing CoVID-19 Spread in Communities

Click here to find out what you can do to lessen your chances of contracting Coronavirus  and other contagious respiratory diseases.

Don’t Delay Non-COVID Emergency Care

Animal Health During the Pandemic

Please inform yourself on COVID-19:

COVID-19 Rumor Control and Disinformation Updates from NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness

Visit the COVID19 information hub at https://covid19.nj.gov/

The New Jersey Department of Health website https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

NJDOH Coronavirus Dashboard – https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

Caring for your Mental Health

NJ 211 has been activated to assist with handling COVID-19 calls from NJ residents. Residents can text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and to stay informed. To receive live text assistance, residents can text their zip code to 898-211.

New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) opened a COVID-19 Information Hotline to assist in answering questions from the general public. Residents should contact the call center at 1-800-222-1222 or, if in NJ but using a non-NJ cell phone, at 1-800-962-1253.  The call center is available 24/7 and can accommodate calls in multiple languages.

For an update of cases by county, the New Jersey Dept of Health (NJDOH) has set up a dashboard with information:  https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

The Chester Township Council, OEM, First Responders, and Administration are working closely with the Board of Health, Health Department and emergency preparedness officials at the federal, state and local levels to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates accordingly.

Our first responders and health officials are participating in the ongoing conferences with the county and state officials and are monitoring CDC and state guidelines.  They are prepared to handle any potential COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) case in accordance with those guidelines.

It is the responsibility of the local Health Department to first review and confirm all test results. Residents do not need to self-report, as the Health Department follows up on each result received. It is important to remember that we need to confirm results on our end before an investigation begins.
 
Once the Health Department receives a positive COVID-19 result through their electronic system, an interview of the positive case is then conducted to obtain information on demographics, signs, symptoms and possible exposure sources (for example work, travel, exposure to another confirmed COVID 19 case). The resident is then provided guidance on social distancing and other infection control measures. The resident is also given the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and to add anything they feel is important about their particular case.
 
Once the interview is complete, the Health Department focuses on any close contacts the confirmed case had. A close contact is defined as anyone who has been less than six feet apart from the case for more than ten minutes. It is not defined as brief casual contact. Close contacts are notified and provided information for quarantine, with an emphasis placed on those contacts who are high risk. An example of a high risk contact would be someone who has a co-morbidity, is an elder adult, or someone who is a health care worker.
 
Public release of identifying information is not a recognized public health measure for control of COVID-19. Such data is used internally by public health officials in our county for epidemiological surveillance and planning purposes. Beyond said internal use, the public releases appear to be the result of various pressures (including media and residents) for misguided reasons and/or to satisfy those who are inquisitive under the guise of the need for greater transparency. Our office will continue to protect information in accordance with applicable regulations and in the same manner we would want our own individual information protected.
 
Governor Murphy issues Executive Orders regularly in an effort to manage the spread of COVID-19. You can read the contents of these orders first hand so that you can remain accurately informed.
 
It is important for all residents, young and old, to follow the Executive Orders signed by the Governor to protect all of the residents of New Jersey.
 
Follow this link to view all of the Governor’s Executive Orders in response to COVID-19.