The rise of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has led to nine deaths being reported in Cape May County this week. Cape May County Commissioner Director Gerald M. Thornton and Commissioner Jeff Pierson, on behalf of the entire Board of County Commissioners, offer condolences to the surviving family members and friends of those nine County residents. Sadly, we are announcing the passing of a 94-year-old male from Upper Township, an 89-year-old male from Ocean City, an 87-year-old male from Middle Township, an 86-year-old male from West Cape May, an 86-year-old male from Wildwood Crest, an 81-year-old male from Upper Township, a 78-year-old female from West Cape May, a 75-year-old female from Dennis Township and a 64-year-old male from Middle Township. While the Omicron strain of COVID is less severe than Delta, the record numbers of new COVID cases across New Jersey and much of the Northeast has led to a rise in deaths. Both Commissioner Director Thornton and Commissioner Pierson are urging residents to take steps to protect those who are most vulnerable. Getting vaccinated and boosted helps to protect you and the people around you. It is also important to mask around those who are elderly and individuals who are in high-risk categories.
“It is incredible difficult anytime we lose any member of our County,” said Pierson, liaison to the Cape May County Department of Health. “Our prayers are with the surviving members of their families. We encourage people to take the steps to protect those who we love the most in our lives. The Department of Health will continue to provide additional access to vaccines and booster shots to ensure any member of our County who wants a vaccine dose can receive it.”
There is some positive news in relation to the spread of the Omicron variant locally. The website covidactnow.org, which monitors the Rate of Transmission (RT), shows Cape May County RT beginning to decline. Anytime the number is over 1.0, it can be said the spread of COVID is increasing. The current RT in the County is 1.23, which is down from its most recent high of 1.31. If the RT continues to trend downward and get below 1.0, it will mean the spread of the virus will be in decline. Cape May County continues its extensive multi-media marketing campaign to promote vaccines, boosters, and masking when indoors and social distancing is difficult as we try to get through this Safely-Together.
The Cape May County Department of Health is offering multiple COVID vaccine clinics every week to provide options for County residents. These clinics will provide initial doses and booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Individuals that have received the Moderna vaccine must wait six months before receiving the booster shot. People who have taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine need to wait two months before getting the booster. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older is now eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot throughout all of New Jersey. These are walk-in clinics. Masks, identification, and COVID-19 Vaccine Cards (if applicable) are required for all clinic locations. This upcoming week, vaccines will be available:
- Tuesday Jan. 11th 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. at the Shore Family Success Center, 1046 B Route 47, in Rio Grande
- Wednesday Jan. 12th 2 P.M. to 5 P.M. at the Avalon Community Center, 3001 Avalon Ave. in Avalon
The Cape May County Department of Health administered a total of X doses so far. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 76,787 Cape May County residents have received at least one vaccine dose and 64,945 have been fully vaccinated. The CDC also reports that 71% of the County’s population is fully vaccinated.
“I echo Commissioner Pierson’s remarks and we keep those we have lost in our thoughts,” said Thornton. “We continue to remain diligent as we prepare for what is next. Our Department of Health knows they have the full support of the Cape May County Board of County Commissioners to protect our residents today and in the future.”
For more information on obtaining the vaccine, quickly and free of charge, go to https://capemaycountynj.gov/226/Health-Department or call (609) 465-1187. Cape May County has recorded 17,179 COVID-19 cases during the pandemic, 14,587 of those are now off quarantine. More details on daily reported case numbers can be found at https://capemaycountynj.gov/1418/Covid-19-Dashboard.