Active cases of COVID-19 continue to fluctuate, and hospitalizations have begun to rise, according to Health Officer Michele O’Reilly.
As of Sept. 23, there were 53 active cases, down from 81 as of Sept. 16. However, hospitalizations at Bayonne Medical Center slightly increased to 8 as of Sept. 23, up from one patient as of Sept. 16. Since the onset of the pandemic, 130 residents have died from the virus.
“This number has been fluctuating from week to week, due to the high transmission rate of the Delta variant, especially in indoor settings,” O’Reilly said. “This variant of concern is extremely contagious and spreads much faster than other variants.”
O’Reilly said the best weapon against the most serious effects of the virus is the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Although there may be differing opinions on how to attack these issues, I can assure you of one thing, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection,” O’Reilly said.
Bayonne offers Pfizer vaccines on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Moderna vaccine is available on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents do not need appointments, and can walk in to the vaccine distribution site at the Korpi Ice Rink at Bayonne High School at 669 Avenue A.
“According to the CDC, infections only happen in a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated,” O’Reilly said.
However, breakthrough infections do happen even if they are rare.
“Whether you chose Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson, you’re taking a huge step in protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your community from serious illness, hospitalization, and death,” O’Reilly said.
Booster shot info
The city has been administering third doses to the immunocompromised. Those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised can get a third dose of the Moderna of Pfizer vaccines at least four weeks after their second dose.
Eligibility for third doses has expanded to include at-risk residents, including those age 65 and older, younger adults with underlying health conditions and those in jobs that put them at high risk for COVID-19.
“Now that the FDA has approved Pfizer, and Pfizer only, shots for individuals 65 years and older, as well as some at-risk groups, we are ready to increase our efforts,” O’Reilly said.
Following approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the city is now administering third doses to those newly eligible.
For a full list of eligibility, go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html. The city is awaiting CDC guidance on administering third doses to the rest of the population.
COVID-19 testing is available at the Bayonne Community Museum at 229 Broadway. Both regular and rapid testing are available on Thursdays from 1 to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Anyone without insurance will not be turned away and will be tested for free,” O’Reilly said.
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.