By Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season!
It’s hard to believe it is already January, but here we are. As we get deeper into the winter months, I want to ensure our residents that the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering has been preparing for inclement weather for months and is ready to serve at a moment’s notice.
This week, I had the opportunity to attend the virtual reorganization meeting for Colts Neck, as well as the Freehold Township and Middletown reorganizations. At the Middletown Reorganization, I had the honor of swearing in Mayor Tony Perry.
I would like to congratulate everyone who was elected to serve their communities and thank them for making that tremendous commitment. I am looking forward to continuing to work with all of you.
On a separate note, this week my fellow Commissioners and I held a press conference to provide important vaccine information, as well as CARES Act grant updates.
I am happy to announce that Monmouth County will roll out the Mobile Command Center starting, January 5th to begin vaccinating Group 1A of the NJDOH phases for prioritizing the COVID-19 vaccine.
The County plans to inoculate four days per week in four towns. The first three vaccine sites with the Sheriff’s Office are:
- Tuesday, January 5th from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Middletown Fire Department, 336 State Highway 35 in Middletown
- Wednesday, January 6th from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Shore Area Communications Center, Neptune Boulevard and State Route 33 in Neptune
- Thursday, January 7th from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.at the I-Play America Event Center, 110 Schanck Road in Freehold
There will be 50 vaccines administered by appointment only at each site per day.Monmouth County has been receiving 500 vaccines per week, for the last two weeks, with no guarantee of future deliveries at this time.
Individuals who fall under the Group 1A category will need to preregister for the appointment to be inoculated, no walk-ins can be accepted. License, certification or documentation will need to be provided at the time of the appointment in order to prove Group 1A status. Individuals will need to remain onsite for 15 minutes post-vaccination to be monitored for any symptoms.Group 1A individuals include; healthcare workers and long-term care residents. Additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine and Group 1A can be found at www.visitmonmouth.com/health.
On another note, as we begin the New Year – and 10th month – of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, we know many people are starting to have “pandemic fatigue.” We know it’s been tough following new restrictions and protocols, but they are in place for your health and ours. We have not come this far to stop following measures that can help stop the spread. We all want this over with – and the sooner, the better.
This is why my fellow Commissioners and I have invested in a new campaign to remind Monmouth County residents and visitors to wear a mask, social distance and wash their hands.We created several cohesive fliers with this important messaging for businesses to print – for free – and display in their establishments. Messaging includes:
- No Mask, No Entry
- Keep Distant, Keep Healthy
- Wash Your Hands, Guard Your Health
The fliers can be downloaded by visiting www.KeepMonmouthSafe.com . In addition to the fliers, we’ve also purchased nearly two dozen billboards around the County with the same messaging. We will also be using this messaging to remind people on our social media pages.
Additionally, I want to remind everyone that our Takeout in Monmouth initiative is back.We have once again purchased thousands of takeout bags to provide to our Monmouth County businesses, for free, as takeout orders again increase.
Since announcing the campaign was back about two weeks ago, nearly 50 businesses have requested bags. We have plenty more so if your business provides takeout, please email [email protected] with your business name, address and contact phone number so we can deliver them to you!
Since our Takeout in Monmouth initiative began at the beginning of the pandemic, we have provided businesses with over 25,000 bags for free.
Lastly, I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year!
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your County Commissioner Director.