Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

VIRUS: HEALTH WORKERS TO GET FIRST SHOTS

red-bank-thanks-riverview-041020-11-500x332-2917267Frontline healthcare workers at Riverview Medical Center received cheers from the police, first aid and fire personnel in April. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

hot-topic_03-220x138-220x138-7378486

By JOHN T. WARD

A nationwide rollout of America’s first COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin Tuesday with inoculations of frontline healthcare workers.

Among them will be employees of Hackensack Meridian Health, the parent company of Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center, according to chief executive Robert Garrett.

“I truly believe this is going to be the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic,” Garrett said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation‘ Sunday.

covid-19-cases-cumulative-121320-500x309-1212435Red Bank’s COVID-19 cumulative case tally saw 15 added Sunday, for a total 842 since the start of the pandemic. (Monmouth County government data. Click to enlarge.)

The federal Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Friday night. Anticipating a shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, University Hospital in Newark plans to inoculate the first healthcare workers in New Jersey Tuesday morning at an event attended by Governor Phil Murphy.

The state is anticipating delivery of 76,000 doses of the vaccine in the first round. And while its arrival is “good news,” Murphy told ABC’s “This Week” that with  case numbers rising rapidly, “the next number of weeks are going to be hell, I fear, so we’re begging with people to please, please, please don’t let your guard down, even when you’re in private settings.”

Garrett said Hackensack Meridian’s shots would first be given to doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists who interact directly with patients, as well as support staff, such as patient transporters.

“Based on the supply, we hopefully will be able to vaccinate all of them over the next three-to-four weeks,” he said.

Garrett said the 14-hospital network, the state’s largest, has had a dedicated team planning for the vaccine for months, acquiring ultra-cold freezers for storing the vaccine and working out a distribution plan for its hospitals.

He said the effort was being aided by volunteer physicians, retired nurses and medical and nursing students offering to help administer vaccinations.

Hackensack Meridian also owns the 180-bed former Chapin Hill longterm care facility on Chapin Avenue in Red Bank. Garrett said the CVS drugstore chain would begin vaccinating longterm care patients in those facilities next Monday, December 21.

The network had about 900 COVID-19 patients in its beds Sunday, compared to nearly 3,000 at the peak in April and a summer low of about 50, Garrett said.

Now, “we see our ICU capacity getting stretched,” he said.

“Our biggest challenge now is staffing,” Garrett said. “During the first surge, we were able to source staff from literally around the nation, but as you’ve been reporting, there’s a surge all over the country now, so it’s much  harder to supplement our regular staff with additional staff.”

Over the weekend, the state health department reported 728 new COVID-19 positive cases in Monmouth County, including 25 in Red Bank. Four additional deaths were reported countywide, for a total 825 since the start of the pandemic in March.

• In their daily update Wednesday, Monmouth County officials reported these cumulative cases by town:

December 11 December 12
Aberdeen 680 694
Allenhurst 37 37
Allentown 40 43
Asbury Park 631 649
Atlantic Highlands 108 110
Avon-by-the-Sea 63 64
Belmar 163 167
Bradley Beach 145 146
Brielle 184 187
Colts Neck 358 360
Deal 149 150
Eatontown 679 689
Englishtown 95 98
Fair Haven 152 154
Farmingdale 46 48
Freehold Borough 764 774
Freehold Twp 1418 1448
Hazlet 751 773
Highlands 124 126
Holmdel 621 627
Howell 1905 1958
Interlaken 41 41
Keansburg 399 412
Keyport 243 247
Lake Como 56 56
Little Silver 168 171
Loch Arbour 11 11
Long Branch 1628 1678
Manalapan 1360 1377
Manasquan 153 160
Marlboro 1364 1381
Matawan 482 485
Middletown 2210 2257
Millstone 278 283
Monmouth Beach 87 88
Neptune City 184 185
Neptune Twp 1229 1247
Ocean 1145 1181
Oceanport 217 219
Red Bank 817 827
Roosevelt 18 19
Rumson 210 213
Sea Bright 56 58
Sea Girt 78 81
Shrewsbury 206 211
Shrewsbury Twp 41 42
Spring Lake 81 83
Spring Lake Hts 137 140
Tinton Falls 604 622
Union Beach 168 171
Upper Freehold 230 234
Wall 959 972
West Long Branch 548 557

If you value the kind of news coverage redbankgreen delivers, please become a paying member. Click here for details about our new, free newsletter and membership information.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
GOING GREY
Workers painting the stone facade of the PNC Bank at the corner of Broad and Harding Thursday morning. An upgrade? Maybe it’s just pri ...
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.
PEAK COLOR ON BROAD
RED BANK: A year after they were installed, downtown mini gardens have added to "transformational" improvements, says business owner.
RED BANK: FAIRIES MOVE IN ON WHITE STREET
Red Bank: Girl scouts turns tiny parking lot plot of dirt into a "magical girls sparkle garden."
TRAINING UNDER FIRE
RED BANK: Volunteer firefighters train to cut into pitched roofs under active fire conditions.
“SUPERMOM” WANTS YOUR VOTE
Business owner. Dyed in the wool, lifelong Red Banker. Mother of six. Yup, seems like Anita Pierce does it all. In other words, she’s ...
SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS
RED BANK: Town prepares for Saturday's Pride in the Park celebration with another lawn art design by public works supervisor and Fire Chief ...
MOVIES VIA LIBRARY
RED BANK: Public Library now offers members access to streaming movies via Kanopy, with some 30,000 titles and tons of content for kids.
NEW RAINBOW CROSSWALK ON BROWN PLACE
Kicking off pride month, some Brown Place and Spring Street residents, ages 5 to 11, constructed a rainbow crosswalk with chalk over the wee ...
WHAT TO WEAR?
RED BANK: Dressmakers' mannequins appeared to mull what to wear as they looked down on Monmouth Street last week.
SYMPHONY RETURNS JUNE 29
RED BANK: An annual crowd pleaser returns June 29 with a free concert in Marine Park by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, RiverCenter said ...
Heard on the Green
Heard on the Green
DUCK RESCUE EFFORT
Duckling rescue attempt underway in sewer at East Front and Broad, 10:29 a.m.
HOUSING CRUNCH
Demolition begins for new apartments at Globe Court and Mechanic Street.
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...