On the Jersey Shore, fingers are crossed for a healthy and busy beach season, and there's a lot of hope mobile testing and vaccination sites will turn things around; CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reports.
- On the Jersey Shore, fingers are crossed for a healthy and busy beach season. Here's a live look right now at Seaside Park where tourism took such a big hit because of COVID last summer. CBS 2's, Hazel Sanchez tells us there's a lot of hope. Mobile testing and vaccination sites will get things on the upswing.
HAZEL SANCHEZ: Roller coaster rides, carnival games, sunbathing and COVID vaccines? That's what people might soon find near or along the boardwalks on the Jersey Shore. Point Pleasant Beach Mayor, Paul Kanitra says, "Bring it on."
PAUL KANITRA: We have 50,000 people a day, here in Point Pleasant Beach. And obviously, you want to go where the people are in regards to vaccination. So we're supportive of anything that is actually going to help bring more vaccines to the public.
HAZEL SANCHEZ: New Jersey Assemblyman, Ron Dancer has proposed legislation, urging the State Department of Health to deploy mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites to the shore, ahead of the anticipated summer crowds.
RON DANCER: It's about our health. It's about our economy. You can't separate the two. And people are ready to bring New Jersey back. This is one of the best ways to do it.
HAZEL SANCHEZ: Assemblyman Dancer says best case scenario the sites would be in place by Memorial Day. Local businesses say it's the much needed boost they need. Last summer was a financial struggle for many businesses on Grand Central Avenue in Lavallette.
- It was almost like a ghost town.
GREGORY KOHR: A lot of uncertainty. A lot of stress.
HAZEL SANCHEZ: Ice cream shop owner, Gregory Kohr believes testing and vaccination sites would bring peace of mind to many.
GREGORY KOHR: Last year a lot of people were afraid to be around crowds. So if they are getting tests and they're finding that they're not asymptomatic or that they have the COVID, it'll make people feel more comfortable. And more willing to come down and spend time at the shore.
HAZEL SANCHEZ: Dancer says more than half of the state's tourism revenue comes from the Jersey Shore. And he's confident testing and vaccination sites are just what that area needs to bring it back, Jersey strong. In Point Pleasant Beach, Hazel Sanchez, CBS 2 News.