Law enforcement and firefighters started receiving the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 8, per orders from Gov. Phil Murphy, according to Mayor James Davis. They are being vaccinated under Phase 1B.
According to New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, the phases of vaccine distribution will overlap. Those included in Phase 1A are still eligible to receive the vaccine.
Others in Phase 1B, including teachers, other frontline essential workers, those over age 65, and high risk-individuals are not yet able to get vaccinated. But that may change soon as more vaccines become available.
Sleeves up, seniors
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities and senior congregate housing are eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1A. According to Davis, the Bayonne Housing Authority has partnered with a private pharmacy to vaccinate the residents in its senior buildings.
Starting on Jan. 8, police and fire personnel got vaccinated. Following that, senior citizens and at-risk populations will be vaccinated. Davis encouraged those groups to register for the vaccine by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a voicemail at 201-858-6088.
Registrants need to provide their names, dates of birth, and phone numbers. The email and phone number are for senior citizens and at-risk residents.
Once vaccine availability expands, vaccinations will advance to Phase 1C and then Phase 2. Phase 1C will include other essential workers not yet vaccinated. The general public will be vaccinated under Phase 2, which Davis estimates may not occur until late February or early March.
Davis asked residents to be patient.
COVID-19 by the numbers
“Over the last month, we have seen a substantial uptick in residents with coronavirus,” Davis said. “I’m urging all of you to please continue to use the safety practices that have been in place for over ten months now.”
As of Jan 7, there were 409 active cases, according to OEM. OEM said that 3,872 residents have tested positive, regardless of where that test was given, as of Jan. 7.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 92 residents have died, and 3,372 have recovered.
COVID-19 hospitalizations at BMC have been fluctuating. However, most residents recover at home. There were 20 COVID-19 patients at BMC as of Jan. 7. OEM does not have data on Bayonne residents in hospitals other than BMC.
Residents are encouraged to use “COVID-sense” by wearing masks, social distancing, and practicing good hygiene.
Bayonne Medical Center has reinstated its drive-thru testing program. Now patients with a prescription and an appointment can be tested inside their vehicles at the Emergency Room Driveway entrance. This testing takes place every day from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. by appointment only.
A walk-in testing site is available at the Bayonne Community Museum at 229 Broadway. The site will be open from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 20.
The free testing is provided by Fusion Diagnostic Laboratories to all Bayonne residents, who will need an email address to register online and receive results. Pre-register at https://fusion.labsvc.net/patientportal/. Masks are required at the site.
The RiteAid at 54th Street and Broadway offers free testing for all residents over 18 via drive-thru. Visit riteaid.com to register. Residents do not need to be symptomatic, nor do they need a prescription.
CityMD at 904 Bayonne Crossing Way offers COVID-19 tests for walk-ins only; call 551-497-5675 for more information.
Residents can get tested at Broadway Care Pharmacy at 516 Broadway, and Total Care Pharmacy at 596 Broadway. For more information, call 201-437-5100 for Broadway Care Pharmacy and 201-535-5080 for Total Care Pharmacy.
Testing is available from Dr. Ahab Gabriel at 449 Ave. C, and Hudson DNA and Testing at 150 Pulaski St. Call 201-374-1103 for Dr. Gabriel and 201-994-6594 for Hudson DNA and Testing.
CityMD and BMC are conducting antibody testing. Residents should call 2-1-1 for a list of testing sites throughout the state.
The Bayonne Health Department is immediately notified of positive results and contacts individuals to begin contact tracing. It advises residents who have recently taken a COVID-19 test to be sure to answer their phones for contact tracers and BHD staff.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.