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4/6/2021 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-2019) Weekly Update #70 and Letter from the Health Officer

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-2019) Weekly Update #70 and Letter from the Health Officer

Dear Residents,

As of this month we have officially passed the one-year mark since Governor Murphy declared a Public Health Emergency (March 9, 2020). So much has changed for our State and our community during this time. The Bernards Township Health Department (BTHD) has been working diligently for 15 months, often 7 days a week since we were first notified about the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. We do our best every day to protect the health and safety of all residents of the six municipalities we serve. There is seldom respite in our response at the BTHD.

As the Governor begins to increase capacity for businesses and gatherings, we are at the front-line processing and enforcing all Executive Orders. As guidance for other establishments like schools’ ebbs and flows we are constantly monitoring the changes and answering questions from school officials. Local health departments do not make the decisions for our 45 schools and 10 school districts. We advise the schools by providing trends and offering best practices. Upon consultation we offer an opinion based on current NJDOH guidance, regional CALI scores and other public health expertise. Although sports offer students much needed healthy movement and socializing, we are seeing a rise of cases due to sports. The decision to close schools, quarantine classrooms or cancel sports are done by school officials, individual teams and others at the administrative level.

I want to update you all regarding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. As I write this letter over 4.3 million vaccine doses have been administered to NJ residents including about 2.7 million individuals with one dose and 1.6 million who are fully vaccinated. Although the process for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is far from perfect, these numbers are promising in our population of about 8.8 million residents. As for local vaccine administration we are working to connect eligible residents with vaccine appointments. Our Health Department was approved by the state to be a vaccine provider in early February, and we have been actively planning and preparing for a local vaccination clinic.