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Covid-19 Recent News

Camden County COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Underway; To Expand in Coming Weeks

(Camden, NJ) – The Camden County Board of Commissioners has opened a COVID-19 vaccination site at Camden County College. 

The site will be supported by volunteers from Cooper University Health Care, Jefferson Health – New Jersey, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and Rutgers College of Nursing and operate six days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will administer 500 vaccinations a day.

To register for a vaccination by the state mandated phase individuals can go to www.CamdenCountyVaccine.com.

County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli, Jr., talked about the importance of getting this vaccine into the hands of the public as quickly as possible.

“We all want to see an end to this pandemic and the more people who are vaccinated, the quicker we will see a return to the lives we use to know. For the first time since March there is light on the horizon,” Cappelli said. “This is an unprecedented vaccination effort that takes significant logistics and coordination to get the vaccine to everyone who wants it. The State of New Jersey ultimately determines the number of doses available and the timing about who is eligible to receive them. Nevertheless, getting this vaccine out to the public is one of the most important duties we have to protect the health and welfare of our residents and we are going to do everything possible to achieve that objective at Camden County College and hopefully other locations soon.”

Cooper University Health Care has been a vital medical partner to the county throughout the pandemic and will now take on the critical process of vaccine distribution.

Both CEOs of the organization talked about the dedication they have to the region and its residents.

“Cooper is committed to working with state and local officials to ensure everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one in the Southern New Jersey region as we enter a new phase of vaccine distribution and battling this pandemic,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-CEO of Cooper.

“Just as we have been committed to providing testing and caring for those afflicted with COVID-19, Cooper is focused on protecting the community by educating and encouraging people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring an effective vaccination program,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-CEO of Cooper.

Jefferson Health – New Jersey has also provided support and logistics to the vaccination site and has been a valued partner in this mission to provide access to the vaccine. The healthcare system has also played a key role in providing testing and medical professionals to the county over the course of the pandemic.

“Jefferson Health is pleased to be able partner with Camden County in this important vaccination program,” said President Brian Sweeney. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have worked closely with Camden County through the establishment and staffing of various testing sites. Now, we are excited to provide staffing and support for this new vaccination program. Vaccination is our best protection against COVID-19 and we are honored to do all we can to help frontline healthcare workers – and eventually, members of the public – receive this vaccine.”

The four-lane vaccination site will be staffed by public health employees, staff from both healthcare institutions and medical students from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) and the Rutgers-Camden School of Nursing. Both organizations will have a key role in administering the vaccine and performing other functions in support of the clinic at the college campus.

The Cooper Medical School and Rutgers Nursing students were vaccinated by Cooper to build the volunteer workforce for the vaccination site.

“This is the largest public health mass mobilization event in our lifetimes, and our medical student volunteers are ready and willing to do their part,” explains Annette C. Reboli, MD, dean of CMSRU. “Nearly 200 students have already received training in all aspects of operating a clinic, from registration, to administering vaccines, to post-vaccination monitoring. Their engagement is remarkable.”

The Rutgers-Camden Nursing School has been a vital piece to the foundation of the vaccine site.

“Nurses have always been at the front lines of every crisis, and never have we needed a dedicated and knowledgeable corps of nurses more than we do today,” says Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden Dean Donna Nickitas, PhD. “The Rutgers–Camden nursing school is proud that more than 350 of our students will join Rutgers faculty and alumni to be trained in – and then actually implement – the delivery of vaccinations to our South Jersey families and neighbors.”

Across the state, vaccinations are currently being administered to groups within the Phase 1A population, including healthcare personnel and individuals working and living in long-term care facilities (LTCs). Initial vaccinations were provided to qualifying individuals working within hospital settings last month. As the rollout continues, non-hospital based healthcare personnel will also become eligible as part of Phase 1A.

The New Jersey Department of Health currently defines “healthcare personnel” as all paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct and indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Licensed healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists
  • Staff like receptionists, janitors, mortuary services, laboratory technicians
  • Consultants, per diem, and contractors who are not directly employed by the facility
  • Unpaid workers like health professional students, trainees, volunteers, and essential caregivers
  • Community health workers, doulas, and public health professionals like Medical Reserve Corps
  • Personnel with variable venues like EMS, paramedics, and autopsy workers
  • Other paid or unpaid people who work in a healthcare setting, who may have direct or indirect contact with infectious persons or materials, and who cannot work from home

Starting today, vaccinations will be available, by appointment only, to members of Phase 1A population and exceptions in the 1B population concerning firefighters and law enforcement.

“It’s important to emphasize why an approach that prioritizes certain groups is not only appropriate but critical,” Cappelli said. “By vaccinating healthcare personnel, first responders and long-term care residents and employees we can reduce staffing issues that interrupt care to those who contract the virus. This, combined with prioritized vaccinations for groups that face higher mortality rates due to COVID-19, will dramatically reduce the number of deaths caused by this pandemic, and allow our community to safely return to a normal course of business faster than if we distributed the vaccine to all residents, regardless of age, risk, or place of employment, from the onset.”

Once vaccine availability expands, vaccination will advance to Phase 1B (essential frontline workers).

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • First Responders (Already being seen)
  • Energy
  • Education /Childcare
  • Government
  • Transportation
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Water Sanitation
  • Adults over 75 years of age

Then Phase 1C (adults over 65 or with underlying medical conditions), and eventually Phase 2 (general public).

The definitions of these groups remain subject to change, but will be made explicit as the rollout progresses.

Individuals with questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine can call the vaccination information hotline at 1-800-999-9045.

A hotline to assist individuals with scheduling their vaccination appointment will be available in the coming weeks.

More information regarding vaccine distribution in Camden County is being continuously updated on the county’s webpage, available here.

Additional information can be found on the NJDOH webpage, here.

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Feature Stories News

Camden County Board of Elections Announces Vote by Mail Drop Box Locations

(Gloucester Township, NJ) – The State of New Jersey has provided vote-by-mail (VBM) drop boxes for each county in advance of the general election on Nov. 3. Camden County will have 13 VBM drop box locations that will be available 24 hours each day through the close of polls on Election Day. Each location is well-lit, secured and monitored by video surveillance cameras.

SJO Photo

Camden County’s VBM drop boxes can be found at the following locations:

Audubon
Municipal Building
606 West Nicholson Road

Berlin Twp.
Berlin Township Municipal Building
135 Rt. 73 South

Camden
Administration Building
600 Market Street
(Former entrance for Surrogate’s Office on Market Street)

Cherry Hill
Camden County College / William G. Rohrer
1889 Marlton Pike East
(Corner of Springdale Road and Marlton Pike East/Route 70 E)

Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill Municipal Building
820 Mercer Street

Chesilhurst
Municipal Building
201 Grant Ave., Waterford Works

Gloucester Township
Municipal Building
1261 Chews Landing Road

Haddon Twp.
Haddon Township Municipal Building
135 Haddon Ave.

Lindenwold
Lindenwold Municipal Building
15 North White Horse Pike

Pennsauken
Pennsauken Municipal Building
5605 North Crescent Blvd.

Runnemede
Runnemede Municipal Building
24 North Black Horse Pike

Voorhees
Voorhees Municipal Building
2400 Voorhees Town Center

Winslow Township
Winslow Municipal Building
125 South Route 73

County residents can use any of the 13 drop boxes which have been placed throughout the county.

VBM ballots can also be dropped off at the Camden County Board of Elections located at 100 University Court in Gloucester Township.

“VBM drop boxes are conveniently located throughout Camden County to make voting easier and more convenient during this most unusual election year,” said County Clerk Joseph Ripa. “Voters can rest assured that these boxes are safe and secure, and that their vote will be counted as long as their ballot is completed properly and placed in any VBM drop box prior to the closing of polls on November 3. Voters can also return their ballot by mail or by bringing it to the Board of Elections in person.”

Residents with questions regarding VBM drop boxes and voting by mail should call (856) 401-VOTE. More information is available at https://www.camdencounty.com/service/voting-and-elections/.

Post has been updated.

Categories
Bright Side Covid-19 Feature Stories

246,000 Meals Delivered to Seniors During COVID-19

Since the Camden County Division of Senior and Disabled Services expanded its meal delivery program in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on March 18, more than 246,000 meals have been delivered to Camden County seniors.

In total, more than 3,500 individual seniors have received nutritious meals as they navigate the unprecedented crisis represented by coronavirus. From July 1 to July 20, the Division delivered nearly 42,600 meals countywide. Over this same span, the Division delivered an average of 3,553 meals per day.

“For the past four months we have been delivering meals to thousands of seniors around the county to ensure that no one goes hungry because of this crisis, and to minimize the amount that vulnerable members of our community have to leave their homes,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young. “To date, we have distributed nearly 250,000 meals, and we are continuing to deliver more than 3,000 meals every day.”

Meals have been delivered to seniors in 36 municipalities. More individual clients (558) were served on May 4 than any other day since the expansion of the program. More deliveries were made on May 22 (4,950) than any other day.

“This entire operation wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible employees at the Department of Health, Parks, Buildings and Ops, and all the other county employees who have stepped up to make deliveries,” Young said. “These men and women have selflessly worked for more than four months to ensure that their neighbors don’t go hungry. We are incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated public servants in our community.”

The Division of Senior and Disabled Services is continuing to deliver meals to new program participants. If you or a senior you know needs meal assistance, please call (856) 374-MEAL or (856) 858-3220 to make arrangements.

Post has been updated.

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Bellmawr Brooklawn Feature Stories Gloucester Local Government Mt. Ephraim News Recent News Runnemede

Report Potholes to Camden County Public Works

Lindenwold — The Camden County Department of Public Works (DPW) is hitting the roadways with several crews to repair potholes created by the severe winter weather. For a second year in a row record temperatures and precipitation have taken a significant toll on the county’s highway system.

To combat the effects of this winter, the Freeholder Board will aggressively locate and fill potholes on all county roads.

Freeholder Susan Shin Angulo, liaison to the Camden County Department of Public Works, talked about the ongoing effort.

“Crews have been dispatched throughout the highways and byways of the county to put down thousands of tons of hot asphalt and keep vehicles moving,” Shin Angulo said. “This spring the county will move forward with its capital maintenance program to repave roadways, but in the interim the pothole patrol will put a patch over any problematic areas.”  

The Freeholder Board is asking residents to report any road hazards they encounter to the Camden County Public Works Hotline (856) 566-2980. The number is answered by a live operator, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, residents can contact DPW through the county website by clicking here, through Twitter or Facebook .

“Residents are our best eyes on our roadways and we, as a collective Board, want address potholes and roadway concerns from the Delaware River to the Pine Barrens,” said Shin Angulo. “We need everyone to become engaged in this effort to make Camden County a better place to live and drive throughout our 1,200 lane miles of highway.”

When residents call the Highway Department to report an issue, county personnel will come out to address the situation within a short period of time.

“[Recently], one crew working in Winslow and Berlin put down more than 10 tons of asphalt,” Shin Angulo said. “And as a reminder I want to ask residents to slow down and be patient when they see our crews working. Filling potholes can be dangerous so please remember to keep an eye out for our personnel.”

For more information, contact the Camden County Department of Public Works at (856) 566-2980 or visit www.camdencounty.com.

Categories
News Recent News

Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Haddon Heights

(Gloucester Township, NJ) – The Camden County Health Department has been notified by the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services (NJDHHS) that a raccoon removed from a yard in Haddon Heights has tested positive for rabies.

On October 13, a Haddon Heights homeowner’s two dogs were attacked by a raccoon. The homeowner had no exposure to the raccoon. The Animal Control Officer for Haddon Township picked up the raccoon and submitted it for rabies testing at the state Public Health & Environmental Laboratories in Trenton (PHEL).

On October 18, the Camden County Health Department was notified by the NJDHHS that the animal was rabid. The two dogs were up to date on their vaccines and were both given a booster shot by their veterinarian. In accordance with state regulations, the dogs will be confined and observed for 45 days. The NJDHHS has not provided the name or address of the individual that reported the raccoon. No other human or animal exposure was reported.

“Although rabies is a serious illness, it can be prevented by early treatment,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Health Department.  “If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal it is important that you seek immediate medical attention.”

Rodriguez urged county residents to observe a few simple rules, including acting responsibly as a pet owner:

  1. Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets.
  2. Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals.  If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.
  3. Contact your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.  They may be unvaccinated and could be infected by the disease.

Rodriguez said it’s also important to avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals:

  1. Enjoy wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes from afar.  Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or liter.
  2. Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.  Do not try to nurse sick animals to health.  Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for assistance.
  3. Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they seem friendly.
  4. Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people or pets.
  5. When traveling abroad, avoid direct contact with wild animals and be especially careful around dogs in developing countries.  Rabies is common in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  Tens of thousands of people die of rabies each year in these countries.

Rodriguez said interested residents can learn more about rabies through the internet by accessing the information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/ or, residents may call the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at 856-374-6370.

(Source: Camden County Press Release)