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Posted on: January 22, 2021

Week of January 18: COVID-19 Update

This week’s COVID-19 news from Trenton continued to center on vaccinations.  U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced today that New Jersey’s Department of Health will receive $591 million in federal funding for the vaccination program. $511 million for expanding the state’s testing capacity and $80 million for vaccine distribution. Today the Governor noted that two cases of B117 (UK) strain has been detected in New Jersey. The Governor issued an Executive Order extending the public health emergency by an additional 30 days. Below is more in-depth information on the vaccine, Executive Order, unemployment, and data.

COVID Data

 For January 22, 2021:

  • 3,694 new positive cases for a total of 584,291 confirmed cases
  • 118 new confirmed deaths for a total of 18,754 confirmed deaths
  • The rate of transmission is at 1.04
  • 597 cases linked to 121 school outbreaks since August
  • 490,677 vaccine doses have been administered, including 428,711 first doses and 61,588-second doses. 55% have been Moderna and 45% Pfizer.  

Vaccine Information

Earlier in the week, the Governor noted that four of the six vaccine mega sites in Burlington, Gloucester, Middlesex, and Morris counties are open and two more mega sites, Meadowlands and Atlantic City, will be opening shortly.

The state has established a hotline, 855-568-0545, to assist residents in getting information on the COVID-19 vaccine. The interactive voice response platform provides key information on how to register, as well as how to schedule vaccine appointments as people become eligible, in both English and Spanish to New Jersey residents. Beginning Monday, January 25, the phone line will be staffed with 250 live agents from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The state continues to encourage the general public to pre-register online for vaccine eligibility. 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.

Executive Order

 Since our last update, Governor Murphy has issued the following COVID-19 related Executive Order:

Executive Order 215, extending the public health emergency due to COVID-19 for an additional 30 days. Executive Order 215 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

 
Unemployment Information

The Department of Labor announced for the week ending January 16 the initial weekly unemployment claims total 16,768, a 23% decrease from the prior week. In addition, the Department noted that they have processed two weeks of payments available under the Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act, covering the first two weeks of eligibility under the new law. Moving forward payments will be made weekly in single installments through the week ending March 13.

Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x112.

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