Gloucester Twp. Police Receive 1st Round Of COVID-19 Vaccines

Anthony Bellano

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ — Gloucester Township police officers and dispatchers began receiving the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, the police department announced.

The vaccinations began on a day when five new deaths and 94 new cases were announced in Gloucester Township for the period of Jan. 9-11.

The officers, including Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins, received their first round of the vaccine at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford. The second round is scheduled to begin Feb. 8.

“We would like to thank the staff of Rowan University School of Medicine in Stratford for their efforts to get the vaccine to our officers and dispatchers,” the police department said in a message to the community. “We recommend that anyone who wishes to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, that you register as soon as possible at the NJ COVID-19 Vaccination Hub website at https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine. We look forward to putting COVID-19 behind us.”

In New Jersey right now, the vaccine is only being administered to people in Phase 1A: health care workers, their staffs, and long-term care residents and staffs. However, on Thursday, police and firefighters in New Jersey became eligible as well.

As part of the next phase, 1B, the vaccine will be offered to other types of essential workers and to New Jersey residents over 75. The state is the authority that determines when vaccination centers will move to the next phase.

On Monday, Camden County officials announced that five Gloucester Township residents were among 34 Camden County residents whose coronavirus-related deaths were reported over the weekend.

Those deaths included a man and a woman in their 80s, a woman in her 90s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 50s.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as we mourn the loss of 34 additional cherished members of our community,” Camden County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said. “The post-holiday surge is beginning to manifest as expected. Over the last seven days we have averaged more than 319 cases per day, after falling to as few as 251 at the beginning of the month. We have to buckle down and stop the spread of this virus before it increases any further. Remember to wear a mask, minimize gatherings with others, and register for a vaccination appointment as soon as you are eligible.”

There have been 3,676 cases of the coronavirus in Gloucester Township since the pandemic began. Countywide, there have been 31,992 cases and 815 deaths since the pandemic began.

The Camden County Department of Health also announced that 2,099 residents and 1,121 staff members at the county's 56 long-term care facilities have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Since then, 423 residents and three staff members have died.

On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said that more than 209,000 New Jersey residents have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. One of the state’s six coronavirus vaccine “megasites” opened at Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County on Monday. Read more here: NJ’s COVID-19 Vaccine Megasite Opens In South Jersey

Even if you're not eligible to receive a COVID-19 yet, New Jerseyans can pre-register online. More than 1 million New Jersey residents have already pre-registered.

This article originally appeared on the Gloucester Township Patch