N.J. coronavirus update: Volunteers head to Trenton, Camden, Atlantic City with vaccine information

Mary Jenkins, left, received the COVID-19 vaccine in Paterson, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Mary Jenkins, left, received the COVID-19 vaccine in Paterson, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

If you’re living in a part of Trenton, Camden, or Atlantic City with low COVID-19 vaccination rates, don’t be surprised if you get a knock on your door starting this week from a state volunteer.

“We have an army of community volunteers knocking on doors to deliver the facts and help residents learn where they can be vaccinated,” said Gov. Phil Murphy Monday during his COVID-19 briefing.

New Jersey is reporting more than 400 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, almost a quarter of the number of hospitalizations it was reporting at the same time last year, but Murphy said the efforts to get jabs into the arms of hard-to-reach communities continue.

During his Monday coronavirus update, the governor said 102 patients are currently in intensive care and 61 are using ventilators, about 20% and 16% of the numbers from this time last year, respectively.

At the same time, the state is reporting a COVID-19 positivity rate of 1.07%. Health experts say a rate below 5% allows the relaxing of social distancing guidelines.

“The vaccines work,” said Murphy, using recent hospitalization data as evidence. “They’re safe, they’re effective.”

To date, 4.3 million Garden State residents have gotten the jab. Murphy aims to boost that to 4.7 million by the end of June.

The effort to use volunteers across 22 New Jersey communities to answer resident questions and connect them to vaccines is part of Operation Jersey Summer. Volunteers will also fan across Vineland, New Brunswick, and Hamilton.

The statewide operation has coordinated much touted incentives, which include a free brewsky when someone gets the jab, as well as a pass to visit state parks if someone gets vaccinated by July 4.

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