This week Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 240, which extends the public health emergency for additional 30 days as well as Executive Order 241, which eliminates the outdoor mask requirement. In signing the public health emergency executive order, the Governor noted he is working with Senate President Sweeny and Assembly Speaker Coughlin on legislation that will allow the public health emergency to expire. In addition, the Governor announced various incentive programs to encourage residents to get vaccinated.
COVID Data for May 21, 2021:
- 698 new positive cases for a total of 885,291 confirmed cases
- 17 new confirmed deaths for a total of 23,410 confirmed deaths
- The rate of transmission is at 0.47
- 1,263 cases linked to 281 school outbreaks since August 2020
- 8,268,420 vaccine doses have been administered, including 4,721,918 who have received at least one dose and 3,850,808 who are fully vaccinated. 54% are Pfizer, 42% Moderna, and 4% J&J.
This week the Governor announced several new vaccination incentives as part of Operation Jersey Summer. The new programs, detailed below, include Vax and Visit with the State Park Pass, Uncork the Vaccination, and Dinner with the Governor and First Lady. In addition, the State has launched “Grateful for the Shot” vaccination events to reduce vaccine hesitancy.
As a reminder, all six of New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine mega sites continue to offer walk-in vaccinations. A person does not need an appointment to get vaccinated nor do they need to be a resident of a specific county to get vaccinated at the mega sites. The FEMA Vaccination Center in Newark will offer walk-in vaccinations every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., while the remaining five mega sites have set aside certain hours for walk-in vaccinations.
In addition, homebound residents who have not yet connected with their local health department, or a home health agency, and who need an in-home vaccination should visit www.covid19.nj.gov/homeboundvax or contact the call center. The Department of Health will follow up with them to assist in connecting them with a vaccine provider.
As a reminder, anyone 16 and older living, working, or studying in New Jersey is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. The State hotline 855-568-0545 continues to assist residents, with live agents from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 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 240: Extending the public health emergency for additional 30 days. The Governor has noted that his “…Administration is working closely with Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin on legislation that will allow the public health emergency to expire, but ensures that we have the necessary tools and flexibility to continue the fight against the pandemic, including the vaccination efforts that are our highest priority. By working together, we are confident that we can move to the next phase of our recovery effort."
Executive Order 241: Eliminating the mask requirements in outdoor public spaces, which was established under Executive Order 163 (2020). The order notes that outdoor public spaces do not include child care centers, other child care facilities, youth summer camps, and public, private, and parochial preschool program premises, and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools. Current recommendations and requirements regarding masking in those settings will remain in effect. In addition, any masking requirements for outdoor spaces in healthcare settings and at congregate facilities, such as long-term care facilities and State correctional facilities, will remain in place.
Dinner with the Governor and First Lady
Beginning May 19, individuals age 18 or older who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination in New Jersey since the roll-out of the state’s program in December, can enter to win dinner along with a guest with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy. The winner will have the choice between dinner at Drumthwacket, the official Governor’s residence located in Princeton, or the Governor’s residence in Island Beach State Park. Entries must be submitted by May 31.
Grateful for the Shot Vaccination Sites
The State has partnered with New Jersey faith leaders to bring vaccinations to congregations in targeted communities and municipalities over the next several weeks. It was announced starting today through May 23, 14 houses of worship across the state will host community vaccination sites to encourage COVID-19 vaccines.
Vax and Visit with the State Parks Vax Pass
Beginning Thursday, May 27, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass under the new “Vax and Visit NJ ” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021. The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to all of New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 27 through December 31, 2021. New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.
Uncork the Vaccination
In partnership with the Garden State Wine Growers Association, New Jersey residents ages 21 and over who receive their first COVID-19 vaccination in the month of May can visit one of New Jersey’s participating wineries and receive a free glass of wine. Uncork the Vaccination participating wineries include Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyards, Bellview Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Salem Oak Vineyards, Terhune Orchards, Tomasello Winery, Villa Milagro Vineyards in Pohatcong, and White Horse Winery.
Shot and a Beer Vaccine Incentive Program
In partnership with the Brewer's Guild of New Jersey, the State has launched the "Shot and a Beer" program to encourage eligible residents 21 and older to get vaccinated. Any resident who gets their first vaccine dose in the month of May and takes their vaccination card to a participating brewery as proof of vaccination will receive a free beer, courtesy of the participating brewery. This program will end on May 31, 2021.
Earlier this week the Department of Labor announced the launch of “SkillUp New Jersey” a free virtual training program to assist jobseekers in upgrading their skills and train for certifications. Department of Labor will be sending information on the program directly to all current unemployment claimants. However, any New Jersey resident can register for the tool, which is free for 180 days.