6 New UK strain virus cases reported in NJ & Further Instructions for getting your second dose of vaccine

Gov. Murphy Press Conference, Jan. 27

  • There are 6 new cases of the UK COVID variant in New Jersey now for a total of 8 cases. Ocean County has 4 cases, Essex 2, and Morris 2. The ages of the patients are 10 years to 65 years old. There was one death, but that individual had several underlying conditions. One of the patients had international travel. They do not know how this strain of the virus is being transmitted. Contact tracing is taking place.
  • If you made your appointment for your first dose through the state’s covid19.nj.gov/vaccine website, your second dose appointment has been automatically scheduled and you will receive a confirmation email within the next several days.

    * If you received scheduled your first dose vaccination appointment directly through the Gloucester County Mega-Site and received it there, the Gloucester County Mega-Site will be reaching out to you directly this week to schedule your second dose.

     * If you made your first dose appointment directly with a vaccine site and did not book your second dose appointment at the time of your first shot, contact the vaccine site.

     * By the end of the weekend, if you are still not certain how you will get your second dose appointment, contact the state’s Vaccination Call Center at 855-568-0545 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Beginning next week, the state’s vaccine hotline will be able to schedule vaccination appointments. Currently they can only pre-register individuals.

  • County health departments CAN give priority to county residents at their sites. Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said she has asked them to “do it with a soft hand” and to take out-of-county individual’s names and have a call back system. This prioritization can be done because the county is using their own money and personnel to man their clinics.
  • When asked why the state didn’t have a unified appointment system set up from the beginning instead of having to call either the state, county, hospital, or other private site, Murphy responded, “We’re building the airplane here while we’re flying it.” Persichilli said that the state had to build their own system and it was a big undertaking and they are still working out the bugs.
  • State Epidemiologist Eddy Bresnitz said that individuals that have had COVID still need to be vaccinated because it isn’t know how long the immunity from the infection lasts.  The CDC recommends waiting 90 days after infection to get the vaccine. Bresnitz also stressed the need to come back for the second dose of the vaccine even though you may have had a minor reaction. He also said that if you go beyond the recommended time period between doses (even 6 weeks is allowed if necessary), DO NOT to start over. Just get the second dose.
  • When virtual learning began for schools in the springs, there were 231,000 students that lacked internet service and/or computers. Currently there are 1,723 students, of which 190 are still without internet and 15 are without internet and computers. 1,450 computers are from one order for Lakewood which should be delivered this week.
  • In hospitals within the past 24 hours, 416 COVID patients have been discharged, 375 admitted and there have been 69 COVID suspected deaths.
  • Statewide positivity for tests drawn on Jan. 23 was 12.62%. Murphy said he believed it was higher because the tests were taken on a Saturday when fewer tests are given. In North Jersey 12.45%, Central Jersey 12.72%, South Jersey 12.8%.
  • LOCAL LONG TERM CARE FACILITY CHANGES: Atrium +1 staff case (31); Terraces +1 resident case (6); ManorCare West Deptford +1 staff case (18); Advanced Subacute +1 staff case (20); Southgate +2 staff cases (10); Eagleview +2 resident cases (52), +5 staff cases (41); Friends +2 resident cases (11), +2 staff cases (31); Merion Gardens +1 resident case (23), +1 staff case (12); Golden +1 staff case (43).

— by Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher

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