NJ to Reopen Vaccine Mega-Sites to Meet Threats from Delta, Omicron

By: Daniel J. Munoz, NJBIZ

 

The state plans to reactivate several vaccine mega-sites in an effort to provide more initial inoculations and booster shots around New Jersey, Gov. Murphy said Dec. 8.

 

The news came the same day drug maker Pfizer announced that a third dose booster shot can “neutralize” the omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa and has been spreading rapidly. New Jersey recorded its first case of the variant on Dec. 3, according to state health officials.

 

“That is encouraging, but in the meantime, our lived reality is that the delta variant remains – overwhelmingly and near exclusively – the variant of concern,” Murphy said during a remotely held COVID-19 briefing.

 

Omicron, Murphy warned, is almost certainly going to spread. “We’ve got at least a handful of [potential cases] that are pending, that are being sequenced or pending sequencing,” the governor said.

 

More 6.26 million people who live, work or study in the state, out of 9.2 million residents have been fully vaccinated, while more than 1.5 million have gotten a third dose or booster. 

 

Hospitalizations and positive cases have all increased in the weeks following Thanksgiving, which Persichilli said is a direct result of indoor gatherings and travel, with colder weather forcing people indoors.

 

With the Christmas and New Year holidays approaching, public health officials are concerned that case counts will continue to rise.

 

On Dec. 7, the state logged 1,490 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations across all 71 acute-care hospitals – the ninth day in a row with more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients and the highest such levels since early May.

 

Persichilli said that as many as 80% of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. As of Dec. 6, the state recorded a seven-day average of 3,751 daily cases, according to the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, the state showed a seven-day average of 943 cases on Oct. 25, a nearly 298% increase.

 

The statewide positivity rate as of Dec. 3 was 7.88%, while the statewide rate of transmission as of  was 1.31, up from 1.2. Anything above 1 means that the virus is spreading. All 21 counties have a “high” rate of transmission, the CDC said.

 

Gov. Murphy New Executive Order – New Private Workplace COVID Standards

On October 29, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 192, which mandates private and public companies to implement uniform health and safety standards protecting all workers. This order will go into effect on Thursday, November 5, 6:00 am and requires the following:

 

  • Workers maintain at least six feet of distance from one another to the maximum extent possible.
  • Employees, customers, visitors, and other individuals entering the worksite to wear cloth or disposable face masks while on the premises, with limited exceptions.
  • Employers must make available, at their expense, such face masks to their employees.
  • Companies provide workers, customers, and visitors with sanitizing materials, such as hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and sanitizing wipes, at no cost to those individuals.
  • Companies ensure that employees practice regular hand hygiene, particularly when such employees interact with the public, and provide employees break time for repeated hand washing throughout the workday and access to adequate handwashing facilities.
  • Companies routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched areas.
  • All workers undergo a health screening before every shift.
  • Employees to be immediately separated and sent home if they appear to have symptoms.
  • Prompt notification of all employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.

 

NJ Realtors and CORE are both currently adjusting their plans for employees within our offices. New Jersey Realtors has also reached out to the Governor’s office for further clarification on how it will affect our members and their everyday business practices. New Jersey Realtors will continue to update everyone once they receive further explanation, and their online resources will also be updated accordingly to reflect those changes.

NAR: Rental Agreement Assistance

NAR recently joined 12 commercial entities and nonprofit industry trade groups in urging Congress to take meaningful action during the stimulus 4/5 deliberations to protect the housing of millions of American families impacted by the COVID-19.

 

The coalition is also placing a print ad in Politico. With relief provided by the CARES Act  successful in helping Americans meet their housing needs,  the groups are strongly urging Congress to support similar policies in the next COVID-19 bill to ensure people can remain in their homes, while preventing fundamental damage to the rental housing industry. The letter to congress requests commons sense eviction moratorium procedures and reasonable rental assistance. You can view the letter here.

 

 

Local Resources

 

Lists by County of Municipal Websites

Hunterdon County

Mercer County

Somerset County

Branchburg Township  Thanks to Joseph V. Olivo, Fire Marshall from the Township of Branchburg, for providing CORE the following documents to share with our members:

Ewing Township  Ewing Township has adopted, with the support of the Mayor, a self-certification option for Property Transfer Certification (commonly referred to as CO).  To view a list of the Ewing’s Fire Prevention page, click here.

Plainsboro Township  Plainsboro currently has a waiver in place since most in-person inspections are being put on hold. Access the form below. Questions? Contact Plainsboro Inspector Brian Miller  bmiller@plainsboronj.com or 609-799-0909 Ext 2545.

 

 

Tools in zipForm® Plus to Help you Work Remotely:
  •  zipConsult®PDF (Meet online and close the deal – the web conferencing solution)
  • DocInbox – User Guide (Click on the DocInox tab in app to begin)
  • zipLogix April Release Notes – PDF (Available in app via the bulletin (megaphone) icon)

 

 

Other Resources

  • Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act from the US Department of Labor ( View PDF )
  • COVID19 Scenarios & Benefits Available from the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development ( View PDF )
  • FAQs NJ Realtors has released new guidance to its membership to address the numerous concerns raised recently. Click here to view the latest FAQs.

 

 

Legislation Passed in Response to COVID-19