By Neil Schulman
Long Branch — In two weeks, 1,000 people have received Covid-19 vaccinations through a joint program between the City of Long Branch and Visiting Nurse Association.
“So far the city has vaccinated over 1,000 residents of Long Branch, which I think is pretty impressive in just two weeks,”Mayor John Pallone said at the March 10 Long Branch Council Meeting.
Pallone thanked the city’s Health Department and Office of Emergency Management for their work in putting the project together. According to an announcement on the city’s Facebook page, the vaccines were given by appointment only at the Bucky James Community Center. The last day for this round of sign-ups was Wednesday, March 10.
Long Branch has been keeping busy handling Covid-19 in other ways as well. Councilwoman Anita Voogt said that for two weeks in February, the Health Department ranked number one in the state in contact tracing, both in number of people interviewed and amount of traces made within 24 hours.
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“Along with people going the extra mile (see related story), extraordinary kudos to the people in our health department… the most extraordinary team in the state for those two weeks.,” she said.
While there are hopeful signs, city officials warned that we are not out of the woods yet. They urged residents to continue taking precautions.
“Don’t get relaxed and stop wearing your masks,” Councilman Bill Dangler warned..
Earlier in the day, before the council meeting took place, Monmouth County announced that Long Branch would be receiving doses of the recently approved Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccination to assist their efforts.
According to county statistics, as of March 10, Long Branch had 3,638 reported cases of the virus since the pandemic began.