NJ vaccine mega-sites close due to storm; shots being rescheduled
As New Jersey braces for the first winter storm of 2021, all six of the state's mega-sites offering COVID-19 vaccines will be closed for Monday.
Anyone with appointments at the Atlantic, Middlesex, or Morris mega-sites should receive a call from the health care partner at that site and be rescheduled within the week, according to Gov. Phil Murphy, who declared a State of Emergency starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The Bergen, Burlington, and Gloucester County mega-site were pre-scheduled to be closed on Monday, according to the governor's office.
Snow accumulation for the storm had begun by afternoon, with the heaviest snow expected to fall during the day on Monday, and hazardous conditions potentially through Tuesday morning.
Appointments at Atlantic (AtlantiCare) and Middlesex (RWJBarnabas) would be rescheduled to Thursday, while appointments at Morris (Atlantic Health) would be rescheduled to Wednesday
Health care partners will begin making calls after 2 p.m., Murphy's office said.
The emergency declaration, typical during such winter weather events, allows resources to be deployed throughout the state during the duration of the storm.
Similarly, COVID-19 vaccine clinics run at the county level and by private carriers also were being impacted to start the week.
Vaccination sites run by the Ocean County Health Department at Toms River High School North and Southern Regional High School and the drive-thru testing site at Ocean County College also were closed for Monday, as appointments were cancelled but would be honored at any clinic next week.
All appointments scheduled with the VNACJ Community Health Center for Monday were being moved to Tuesday and Wednesday, as those who had been scheduled would be contacted directly by Community Health Center staff, according to a Twitter update.
The state-run Vaccination Call Center also would remain open through the storm, as those eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can call for help with questions and issues at 855-568-0545.
State offices also have been closed for Monday, with the exception of "weather-essential employees."
As of Sunday afternoon "all signs are pointing to some truly impressive snowfall across northern New Jersey," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
In addition to an extended 48-hour period of wintry precipitation, power outages and near-blizzard low visibility conditions were likely along with moderate coastal flooding, he noted.
“The safety of residents and workers is our utmost priority. Please follow all weather-related guidance and stay off the roads in order to allow access for emergency personnel,”Murphy said in a written release.
"I’ve connected with all of the major utilities in preparation for the expected winter storm. There’s a high potential for power outages due to heavy snow and high winds. Charge your devices, and if you experience a power outage – report it immediately," the governor added in a tweet on Sunday late afternoon.