The Governor this week announced increased outdoor gathering limits and a new COVID-19 vaccine appointment finder. He also discussed the latest modeling from the Department of Health.
In regards to the Department of Health modeling, the Governor highlighted the moderate case scenario and high case scenario. But he noted that these are projections and not certainties. Further, he said that through behaviors such as social distancing, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated, the trajectory of the models can change. Based on the moderate case scenario, the State would hit high daily new cases and hospitalization on April 18 and would not anticipate seeing daily cases drop below 3,000 until middle of June at the earliest. Based on the high case scenario, the State would hit high daily cases of more than 8,000 daily in mid-May and again in mid-June. Hospitalizations would continue to increase through April before holding in a range of 3,500 from mid-May through mid-June.
COVID Data for April 1, 2021:
- 4,699 new positive cases for a total of 804,037 confirmed cases
- 30 new confirmed deaths for a total of 22,023 confirmed deaths
- The rate of transmission is at 1.08
- 1,002 cases linked to 221 school outbreaks since August 2020
- 4,350,920 vaccine doses have been administered, including 2,809,654 first doses and 1,630,837 second doses. 47% have been Moderna, 51% Pfizer, and 2% J&J.
The Governor announced a new COVID-19 vaccine appointment finder. This appointment finder aggregates information across multiple scheduling platforms, multiple times an hour, for vaccine appointments. The page is currently in beta and a work in progress but is available to the public. The beta version is available to the public.
As previously reported, starting April 5 New Jersey will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people ages 55 and older, as well as people 16 and older if they have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Sanitation workers, utility workers, librarians, library support staff, higher education educators and support staff, communications, IT, press, real estate, building, home service workers, retail financial institution workers, and laundry service workers are also eligible for vaccines.
CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid continue to reserve appointments for prioritizing educators and childcare workers. The State has also set aside a minimum of 10,000 doses each week for seniors aged 65 and older with Walmart. The State’s call center has been reaching out to seniors on the waiting list to help them make an appointment.
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. 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 234: Increases outdoor gathering limits and increases capacity for seated events at large venues effective 6:00 a.m. on Friday, April 2, 2021. For outdoor gatherings, general gathering limits increase from 50 to 200 people, college and youth sporting events will be permitted up to 200 spectators when the location can accommodate appropriate social distancing. Outdoor gatherings that are religious services or ceremonies, political events, weddings, funerals, or memorial services will continue to not have any limits. Venues, including sports and entertainment venues with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more will be permitted to host events at 20% capacity indoors and 30% capacity outdoors. The capacity limits will continue to exclude participants, such as athletes and performers, and staff, such as coaches and ushers. The Executive Order also clarifies that banquet halls and similar dining establishments and venues that use a licensed caterer can host indoor celebrations and other private catered events at 35 % of the room's capacity, up to 150 persons.