This week’s COVID-19 news from Trenton continued to focus on vaccinations but also included an Executive Order on attendance at youth sporting events, information on upcoming elections, and the reopening of EDA’s applications for small and micro business PPE program.
For February 12, 2021:
- 3,285 new positive cases for a total of 660,067 confirmed cases
- 64 new confirmed deaths for a total of 20,147 confirmed deaths
- The rate of transmission is at 0.81
- 671 cases linked to 142 school outbreaks since August
- 1,244,224 vaccine doses have been administered, including 933,160 first doses and 310,529 second doses. 55% have been Moderna and 45% Pfizer.
Earlier this week, the Governor announced that New Jersey has exceeded more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccination dosages statewide. The State’s ultimate goal is to have 4.7 million vaccinated adults by the beginning of summer.
On Thursday, CVS and Rite Aid began to receive direct shipments of vaccines that they'll be making available by appointment at New Jersey locations. Through this federal pharmacy partnership, CVS will be receiving approximately 19,900 doses and Rite Aid will be receiving about 7,500 doses. The Governor noted that since these doses are being delivered through the federal pharmacy partnership, they will not impact the state’s allocation.
In addition, the Governor noted that Johnson & Johnson has submitted its application to the FDA, and the FDA is scheduled to review the vaccine candidate’s clinical trial data on February 26. Johnson & Johnson has said it hopes to provide the federal government with 100 million doses of its one shot vaccine by April.
The state hotline, 855-568-0545, continues to assist residents, with live agents from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in getting information on how to register, as well as how to schedule vaccine appointments as people become eligible.The agents remind residents that there is no out of pocket expense to get vaccinated and that the two vaccines are not interchangeable.
The state continues to encourage the general public to pre-register for eligibility for the vaccine online at https://covidvaccine.nj.gov/. Individuals will be permitted to input their personal, contact, health insurance, and demographic information. Those who are immediately eligible based on screening questions will be able to schedule an appointment.
In partnership with FEMA, the Department of Health (DOH), and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Governor Murphy announced the establishment of community-based vaccination sites for residents in underserved areas. They are located in Franklin Township (Somerset County), Trenton, Elizabeth, Vineland, and Paterson. Specific location information will be released as they near opening.
At Friday’s briefing, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 220, regarding parental attendance at indoor and outdoor high school and other youth sporting events. School districts and other operators may choose to allow up to two parents or guardians per participating athlete under the age of 21 to attend practices and competitions, as long as attendance does not cause indoor events to exceed 35% of the room’s capacity or 150 people total. Public health guidance must be adhered to including mask-wearing and social distancing. No other spectators may attend.
The Department of Labor announced for the week ending February 6 the initial weekly unemployment claims total 16,192. The Department noted sectors hardest hit by the pandemic are leisure and hospitality; transportation, trade and utilities, and education and health services.
The Governor announced that the April 20 school board and special elections as well as the May non-partisan elections will be conducted in person. As always, voters will have the ability to request a vote by mail ballot. All in-person polling places will adhere to proper health and safety protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and frequent sanitation. No decision has been made for the June primary elections, but the Governor noted he is optimistic that will be in-person voting.
EDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program
New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced it is reopening applications for the Small and Micro business PPE Access program. Effective Tuesday, February 16 at 9:00 am. New Jersey based businesses with 100 or fewer employees can apply to receive a discount with participating vendors for personal protective equipment for their employees and customers. Businesses that were approved prior to December 17, 2020 do not need to reapply. Please note that once a business is approved, the discount will automatically apply to their online order, so there's no need to keep receipts or to submit paperwork.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, ext. 112.