Gov. Phil Murphy today announced that New Jersey will open six vaccine “mega-sites” in early January. Additionally, 2,149 healthcare workers in New Jersey have received their first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.
According to Murphy, the sites will initially vaccinate frontline healthcare workers (Group 1a), essential workers (Group 1b), and then adults over the age of 65 and those with high risk medical conditions (Group 1c), in that order.
The mega sites include:
The state is also working to open more than 200 satellite vaccination sites that will include: hospitals, federally qualified health centers, urgent care centers, chain pharmacies, and other localized sites.
Vaccinations of long-term care residents and staff will begin on Dec. 28.
“This is going to take a concerted effort,” Murphy said of both building public confidence in the vaccine as well as creating a statewide network of vaccination sites.
“As each successive group of New Jerseyans becomes eligible to be vaccinated as we move from 1a, to 1b, to 1c, and beyond, we will have the infrastructure in place to administer to every resident in those groups who wishes to be vaccinated.”
NJ Transit Meets Critical PTC Deadline
In a separate press conference earlier today, Murphy also announced that NJ Transit’s Positive Train Control (PTC) system has been certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), meeting the Dec. 31 deadline for implementation.
PTC is a federally-mandated safety system of functional requirements for monitoring and controlling train movements. Essentially, it is a railway technical installation that ensures safe operation in the event of human error.
The certification is significant, as an FRA evaluation in November revealed that NJ Transit was at risk of not meeting the deadline, adding that NJ Transit was the only railroad at risk of not fully implementing PTC technology on all its required main lines. On Sept. 30, NJ Transit was operating a PTC system in advanced field testing on just 48% of its 375.9 mandated route miles, according to FRA officials.
Had NJ Transit not met the deadline, trains would have been forced to stop running on Jan. 1, or the railroad would have been fined $27,000 a day if they did run.
“Our commitment to meeting this deadline and ensuring the safety of every rider along NJ Transit’s rail network is simply an extension of our overall commitment to delivering the world-class transportation experience that NJ Transit customers deserve,” Murphy said. “As our post-COVID future takes shape in the months ahead, hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans will again turn to our rail system for their commutes and NJ Transit will be ready to get them to their destinations more safely than ever.”
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