VIRUS UPDATE: YEAR BEGINS ON DEADLY NOTE

A Walgreens employee prepares to inject a resident of the Wesleyan in Red Bank with her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday. (Photo by Nick Delmar. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County has recorded 115 COVID-19 related deaths since the start of the new year, according to data released by the New Jersey Health Department Friday.

After climbing sharply over much of the past two months before easing, Red Bank’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is again rising. (Chart from Monmouth County data. Click to enlarge.)

Nearly eleven percent of the county’s confirmed death toll from the pandemic, or 115 fatalities, have been reported in the first two weeks of 2021, according to data posted on the New Jersey Health Department COVID-19 dashboard. The county’s pandemic total stood at 1,052 deaths Friday, up 14 from Thursday’s report.

Another 102 deaths in the county were classified as “probable” results of the pandemic, the dashboard indicated.

Statewide, seven percent of the 18,229 pandemic-related deaths have been reported in the first 15 days of the year. The tally grew by 67 Friday.

• Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that New Jersey has now had 310,595 residents vaccinated against the virus, up 22,755 from Thursday.

In a series of tweets, Murphy also sought to “push back on the false narrative that we’re vaccinating smokers while not vaccinating another group.

“We have a limited supply of vaccines from the federal government – roughly 100,000 additional doses coming in per week,” he wrote. “Our first priority must be to vaccinate those at higher risk due to age or other health factors that put them at a greater vulnerability for severe COVID… Smoking puts someone at a higher risk of a more severe case of COVID. In this, we are in agreement with @CDCgo guidance.”

• Residents and workers at United Methodist Communities at the Wesleyana senior retirement facility in Red Bank, received their first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Walgreens Pharmacy staffers Wednesday.

Some residents ” shed tears of joy,” Wesleyan spokesperson Jan Carrato. The second doses are scheduled for February 3.

• News12 ‘Positively Jersey’ reporter and Red Bank resident Brian Donohue produce a video feature this week on the borough-based Stephy’s Place, a nonprofit grief counseling service that is now helping locals who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

The organization was created by Shelia Martello in 2016, 15 years after she lost her husband, Jim, in the September 11, 2001 attacks. She told Donohue there are parallels to today. In the aftermath of the attacks, “some people didn’t have funerals. Some people didn’t have bodies. When you don’t do that, it’s harder to grieve,” she said.

The video is here.

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

January 14 January 15
Aberdeen 1049 1057
Allenhurst 50 50
Allentown 69 69
Asbury Park 955 968
Atlantic Highlands 177 179
Avon-by-the-Sea 119 120
Belmar 285 285
Bradley Beach 218 218
Brielle 329 331
Colts Neck 572 579
Deal 196 196
Eatontown 995 1002
Englishtown 137 138
Fair Haven 242 242
Farmingdale 80 81
Freehold Borough 1078 1088
Freehold Twp 2159 2173
Hazlet 1139 1152
Highlands 199 200
Holmdel 932 942
Howell 3024 3061
Interlaken 51 51
Keansburg 671 677
Keyport 395 397
Lake Como 95 97
Little Silver 294 299
Loch Arbour 14 14
Long Branch 2601 2654
Manalapan 2285 2310
Manasquan 290 299
Marlboro 1987 2015
Matawan 676 683
Middletown 3456 3487
Millstone 502 508
Monmouth Beach 172 176
Neptune City 284 286
Neptune Twp 1998 2026
Ocean 1802 1826
Oceanport 323 324
Red Bank 1175 1183
Roosevelt 33 34
Rumson 327 329
Sea Bright 86 88
Sea Girt 120 121
Shrewsbury 336 339
Shrewsbury Twp 67 69
Spring Lake 139 141
Spring Lake Hts 240 244
Tinton Falls 1004 1012
Union Beach 279 280
Upper Freehold 350 351
Wall 1571 1597
West Long Branch 712 722

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