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The original item was published from 5/28/2021 3:50:10 PM to 6/24/2021 2:13:16 PM.

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Health

Posted on: May 28, 2021

[ARCHIVED] COVID-19 Update: May 28, 2021

Recently, Governor Murphy released Executive Order 242, relaxing some restrictions enacted to combat the spread of COVID-10. See more info below for up to date information on current requirements, vaccination efforts and COVID-19.

Nationally, the number of new infections is decreasing rapidly. In New Jersey, the numbers of new COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to trend downward, sharply. 

The rate of transmission in NJ is fluctuating in recent weeks between 0.30 and 0.70. Anything above 1.00 is considered concerning. The higher the number, the greater the risk of viral spread throughout the community. As of May 28, 2021, five of the six regions of the State are classified as  MODERATE (yellow) COVID Activity, for more than three consecutive weeks, and trends continue to improve. The Southeast Region of the State has now fallen into LOW (green) COVID Activity Classification. The rate of new COVID infections in all of the municipalities within the Pequannock Health Department’s jurisdictions are rapidly declining.    

The spread of COVID  is largely driven by the following factors: 

  • Household contacts
  • Workplaces where precautions are not properly observed
  • Large gatherings without precautions being practiced
  • Travel
  • COVID outbreaks involving more contagious variants of COVID (the vaccine appears to be highly effective against most variants, especially for protecting against hospitalizations and deaths) 

Please note, the daily cumulative numbers of infected individuals displayed by municipality in the Morris County link below are subject to fluctuate. At times, a percentage of cases are assigned to the wrong municipalities. Also, labs sometimes mistakenly enter the healthcare provider’s address rather than the patients’ addresses, which may skew the numbers to some extent. Corrections are made over time, as inaccuracies are discovered. However, it should be emphasized that the trends illustrated by the data are generally accurate. 

Please see the links below for the NJDOH COVID Activity Dashboard, the NJ Regional COVID Activity Reports and the links to the Morris County Health Department COVID Websites. Morris County links include daily updates of cumulative numbers of cases by municipality and the COVID Activity and Risk Level in each of the State’s six regions. 

NJDOH Dashboard:

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

Statewide and Regional COVID Activity Report and Risk Level by Region:

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/statistics/covid/

Morris County-Based COVID Information including Data for Total Positive Cases by Municipality and COVID Testing Availability:

https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/

Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Information 

THE VACCINE IS SAFE AND HIGHLY EFFECTIVE- Get Vaccinated to Protect your Family, Friends and Community. With an Abundance of Appointments Available, It’s Quick and Easy! (Please See the Attached Flyers)

The impact of the pandemic on every sector of our society has been devastating. While the COVID pandemic remains with us, and should rising numbers of infection emerge through the unvaccinated population, the return to a normal, fully open, and healthy society could be delayed. The impact of this would continue to prolong the dire threats to public health that have been observed over the last year. These impacts have included increased rates of suicide, drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, emotional and psychological distress, among other negative impacts. The quicker this pandemic is eradicated, the quicker our nation will heal and grow.  The greatest way to do this, is through vaccination. 

Though millions of Americans have been vaccinated and the COVID rate of transmission has rapidly declined, the demand for the vaccine has begun to wane. This is concerning, as we are still not quite where we should be to insulate ourselves from the potential of higher infection rates and the COVID variants that are emerging. The importance of getting more than 70% of the population vaccinated as quickly as possible, cannot be overstated.  

For more information on the progress of New Jersey’s vaccination program, please follow these links: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine and for the NJDOH COVID Dashboard: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

  • Eligibility- Vaccines are now available to everyone 18 and older. Those who are 12 to 17 years of age  are also eligible, but only with Pfizer vaccine, at this time. 

Trials are underway with other vaccines for those who are under 18 years of age.  

  • There are Multiple Ways to Get Vaccinated. Appointment Based or Walk-up clinics are Now Easily Accessible 
  1. Pre-register and make an appointment through the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System. Register here.
  • You will first be notified when you become eligible for the vaccine and you will be notified again when an appointment is available to you through the scheduling system.
  • This online portal enables eligible individuals to schedule an appointment when one is available.
  • If you experience an error, need support with the scheduling system, or need to correct an error, you can complete an online form at covid19.nj.gov/vaccinehelp or call 855-568-0545 for phone support from 8 am to 8 pm. Due to high call volumes, callers are experiencing long wait times.
  1. Make an appointment directly with a vaccination location. View locations here.
  2. If you work or volunteer at a select healthcare facility, make an appointment through your place of work.
  3. Veterans who receive care from VA health facilities or live in VA long-term care facilities may be eligible for vaccines through the VA. Learn more here.

Note: If you make your first dose appointment by booking directly with a vaccine clinic, you should schedule a second dose appointment at the time you have your first appointment. If you did not receive a second dose appointment at the time of receiving your first dose, you need to contact the site where you received your first vaccine for assistance scheduling the second dose.

Six mega sites throughout New Jersey are serving as vaccination hubs for phased priority groups, part of a critical network of over 250 sites tasked with carrying out the State's COVID-19 vaccination plan fairly and equitably. The following mega-vaccination centers opened in January and are now each processing thousands of appointments per day

  • Atlantic County: Atlantic City Convention Center (opened 1/22/21)
  • Bergen County: Racetrack at Meadowlands, East Rutherford (opened 1/22/21)
  • Burlington County: Moorestown Mall (opened 1/15/21)
  • Gloucester County: Rowan College of South Jersey, Sewell (opened 1/8/21)
  • Middlesex County: New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, Edison (opened 1/15/21)
  • Morris County: Rockaway Townsquare (opened 1/11/21)

Morris County Mega Vaccine Center – Sears Building, Rockaway Townsquare Mall

Starting May 16, the vaccination center will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. It will also be closed on Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31).

Walk-ups 

The Site is now accepting walk-ups between 8 am and 3pm daily. Vaccinations are available for people 16 and over. Individuals between 16 and 18 must have a parent of legal guardian accompany them to the site.

Those with appointments will be processed FIRST, so please be patient when you arrive.

Note that the Site is distributing the Pfizer vaccine. If you come without an appointment for your second Pfizer shot, you'll be asked when and where you received your first shot.

Schedule an Appointment

Scheduling appointments is the preferred method as walk-up will take more time to register. Walk-sups are only accepted between 8 am and 3 pm. Earlier or later times require an appointment. Get an appointment at the Morris County Regional Vaccination Center.

Additional Atlantic Health System Vaccination Centers

  • Additional Atlantic Health System Vaccination Centers are open in Clark, Hackettsown, Morristown, Mountain Lakes, Newton and Pompton Plains.
  • Go to the following link to make an appointment, or sign up for alerts: atlantichealth.org/covidvaccine . Additional COVID-19 information and vaccine updates from Atlantic Health System are also available on this webpage. 
  • No one will be permitted to walk into a facility without authorization and no vaccine will be provided to individuals who show up unannounced.

Chain Pharmacies, Mega Vaccination Centers and Other Outlets have Enough Vaccine to Meet the Demand. Vaccine Supply is Plentiful and Appointments are Easy to Get. Please Get Vaccinated!

  • The  vaccine supply in NJ has increased substantially. The pause of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine has been lifted.  
  • The Mega-Centers and many Chain pharmacies, such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart are now allowing walk-ins.  Appointments are still recommended.
  • Important Tips that Might be Helpful: 
  • Get Vaccinated! The three approved vaccines were developed with an extraordinarily  high level of safety and efficacy. The pause on Johnson and Johnson Vaccine has been lifted. It is considered to have an extremely high level of safety. Vaccine appointments are readily  available, and appointments are easy to schedule. Continue practicing COVID safety precautions.  
  • Attempt to make appointments at the vaccination centers of your choice from the list provided on the NJDOH website, at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_vaccination.shtml. and/or walk-in at most chain pharmacy locations.   
  • NJ 65 and older Vaccination Senior Support Line 856-249-7007 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for vaccination scheduling support. Dedicated appointment slots are reserved for those aged 65 and older. Appointment availability and scheduling varies by location.

If You Have Additional Questions or Need More Information

Vaccinations for Homebound

The Johnson and Johnson single shot vaccine has been approved and secured for this program. This program has been reinitiated now that the pause on Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been lifted. 

Those who are homebound should contact the following:

The Morris County Aging & Disability Resource Connection: 973-285-6848

The Morris County Homebound COVID-19 Vaccination Program: 973-326-7828

Anti-Viral Treatments

Anti-Viral Therapies Continue to be approved and they have become more available at Healthcare Facilities Across the Country

For additional information about COVID vaccines, therapeutics and Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) please see the FDA and CDC links below:

https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/counterterrorism-and-emerging-threats/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

COVID-19 Testing

At-Home Testing

Morris County will provide At-Home COVID test via pixel by Lab Corps,  for symptomatic individuals who are unable to leave their homes. See the Morris County website at https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/.

  • Only Morris County residents are eligible
  • You will be asked to provide your health insurance information, but you will not be billed. If you are not insured, your test will still be completed with no cost to you.

Morris County is now offering no-cost, in-person saliva COVID testing (RT-PCR test) at County College of Morris.

Testing is available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Starting May 15, hours are:

  • Mondays,  9am – 4pm
  • Wednesdays 9am – 4pm,
  • Fridays, 9am – 4pm
  • Saturdays, 9am – 1pm

The testing site will be closed Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31.)

Step 1. Requirements

  • You must present proof during the appointment that you live or work in Morris County.
  • You must schedule an appointment to get your test. No walk-ins.
  • You can get a test whether or not you’re experiencing symptoms.
  • Don’t eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to your COVID test.
  • You must wear a mask during your appointment.

Step 2. Directions and Precautions

Parking at CCM for people with appointments will be reserved in Lot 6, where individuals using public transportation to and from CCM also may board or disembark from a bus. To find directions to CCM and learn more about public transportation options to and from the campus, please go to the CCM website.

Step 3. Sign Up

Sign up for an in-person testing appointment.

Quarantine Timeframes Including for those who’ve been Tested COVID Positive or those who’ve been Fully Vaccinated

1. A 14-day quarantine is preferred for all individuals and groups, where feasible. It is the safest standard. 

There are certain narrow circumstances of economic or other hardships that might allow for quarantine periods to be reduced to 7 or 10 days a set forth in the applicable CDC/NJDOH Guidance. *Now that the State is at the MODERATE (yellow) COVID Activity classification for three or more consecutive weeks and trends continue to improve, many institutions and organizations have widened the circumstances under which they will permit the abbreviated quarantine time frames, or may choose to adopt the abbreviated time frames as policy, in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the CDC and NJDOH. (See the “Definition of Close Contact” section below)*  

2. Persons not needing to quarantine: 

  A. COVID-19 positive (lab-confirmed viral test) within 3 months: Persons who tested positive for COVID-19 (lab-confirmed viral test), clinically recovered from COVID-19 and then have close contact with someone with COVID-19 within 3 months does not need to be quarantined or retested. However, persons who have close contact with someone with COVID-19 more than 3 months after the initial infection should quarantine. 

  B. Fully Vaccinated Persons: Vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask when appropriate, staying at least 6 feet away from others where required, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use and SARS-CoV-2 testing. However, fully vaccinated persons who have close contact with someone with COVID-19 do NOT need to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria: 

          1.) Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine), AND 

          2.) Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

Persons who do not meet the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, if indicated.  

Definition of Close Contact to a COVID-19 Positive Individual

The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) updated their criteria last fall, for what constitutes a “Close Contact” to someone who is a COVID-19 positive individual. This definition now reads – “a total of 15 minutes or more of close contact exposure (6 feet or closer) to an infected person during a 24-hour period”. Those who have been determined to be a close contact to a COVID -19 positive individual must quarantine for a period of not less than 14 days. (see above)

Contact Tracing and Disease Investigation

The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) has provided additional contact tracers to our local Health Department from the State work force. They support the operation while under the direction of the Pequannock Health Department’s nurse supervisors. The Department has recently received  additional contact tracers to assist in our jurisdiction. 

School and University Operations While Addressing COVID-19 Outbreaks

The Pequannock Health Department is working closely with these institutions to contact trace, investigate, isolate, and quarantine individuals to quickly contain any spread of the COVID-19 virus that may be identified within these institutions. Many institutions of higher learning are requiring students to be fully COVID Vaccinated in order to be permitted on campus. Pfizer has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA to allow vaccinations of those who are 12 years of age and up. Those under 12 may also become eligible soon. Other vaccines are undergoing clinical trials for those under 18 and may soon also receive an EUA from the FDA. State vaccination mandates for students under 18 years of age are not expected. 

Attendance at Gatherings

The public must continue to be diligent about the following, while enjoying activities:

  • Distancing six or more feet where applicable
  • Wearing masks/face coverings when appropriate
  • Practicing hand hygiene
  • Avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth
  • Disinfecting commonly touched surfaces
  • Staying home when symptomatic
  • Following all of the requirements and advisories set forth in the Executive Orders and Executive Directives and Travel Advisories. 
  • Adhering to isolation and quarantine recommendations and orders from the Health Department’s contact tracers and disease investigators 

Travel

While the NJDOH has lifted its travel advisory for domestic travel, the CDC travel guidelines are still in effect. Both the CDC and NJDOH International Travel Advisories are still in effect. 

Unvaccinated travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:

  • If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
  • If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
  • If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.

Quarantine or testing before/after domestic travel is not required if the traveler is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months, provided that:

  • It has been more than two weeks since you received your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine;
  • It has been more than two weeks since your received your first and only dose of the Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccine; or,
  • You have clinically recovered from lab-confirmed COVID-19 in the past three months

For more CDC/NJDOH Travel Advisory Information please follow the links below:

NJDOH

https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-and-transportation/are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey

CDC

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

Executive Orders

Executive Order 243- Governor Murphy Clarifies Certain Workplace Restrictions that Shall Remain in Effect. 

Businesses and non-profits that require staff to report to a physical worksite must continue to follow the provisions of Executive Order No. 192 (2020), as applicable.

Executive Order 242- Governor Murphy lifts Major COVID Restrictions

  • Effective Friday, May 28, 2021, individuals in indoor public spaces are not required to wear masks, regardless of their ability to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals or groups. In accordance with CDC recommendations, individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in indoor public spaces. Employers and entities overseeing public spaces in settings where masking is no longer required pursuant to the provisions of the Paragraph are permitted to impose stricter requirements regarding mask-wearing in indoor settings for employees, customers, guests, and other individuals, where otherwise consistent with federal and State law. Employers and entities overseeing public spaces shall not restrict individuals from wearing masks in those settings and shall not in any way penalize or retaliate against individuals who elect to wear a mask. 
  • In addition, for purposes of Paragraph 1 of this Order, “indoor 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,   which continue to be governed by Executive Orders No. 149 (2020), No. 175 (2020), and No. 237 (2021), and any applicable standards issued by the Commissioner of the DOH. Further, “indoor public spaces” do not include indoor worksites of employers, as defined in Executive Order No. 192 (2020), that do not open their indoor spaces to the public for purposes of sale of goods, attendance at an event or activity, or provision of services.

Executive Order 241- Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Ending Mask Requirement in Outdoor Public Spaces 

  • Individuals in outdoor public spaces are not required to wear masks, regardless of their ability to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals or groups, and regardless of their vaccination status.
  • The provision in Executive Order No. 239 (2021) requiring six feet of distance between attendees at an outdoor gathering, with certain limited exceptions, remains in effect.
  • For the purposes of this Executive Order, “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, which continue to be governed by Executive Orders No. 149 (2020), No. 175 (2020), and No. 237 (2021), and any applicable standards issued by the Commissioner of the DOH.

Please note, Executive Orders may be issued by the Governor at any time to establish or relax restrictions on certain businesses, social activities and gatherings. For up to date and more detailed information, please refer to the entire contents of the Executive Orders and Executive Directives listed at the links below.

Additional Links

Please seethe link for all Executive Orders to date:

Please see the link for an up to date list of Executive Directives that the Health Department is responsible to enforce

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