Lakewood Briefs

LAKEWOOD, NJ -

Lakewood COVID Numbers Remain Steady

Lakewood’s numbers of new COVID cases remained steady at the elevated number of reported cases that have been seen in recent weeks.

The total of positive tests reported to the Ocean County Health Department for Lakewood were 257. For most of October numbers had been in the mid-100s, but began to increase over the past two months.

Amid rising numbers and a steady flow of hospitalizations, Lakewood’s Igun Harabbanim urged those who test positive and those who are exposed directly to those who are ill to fully observe quarantine protocols.

The spike comes amid rising case numbers and hospitalizations statewide and in many parts of the country.

Ocean County to Begin Giving COVID Vaccines

Ocean County residents are scheduled to begin receiving COVID vaccines over the coming weeks.

According to reports, 1,500 doses of the recently approved Moderna vaccine should be delivered to county health officials sometime this week. The first to receive the vaccine will be frontline health workers and residents of long term care facilities. Next in line, once enough doses become available, will be residents who are over 65 years of age or have serious underlying health conditions.

It will likely be several months before the vaccine is available for those outside of those categories.

The county plans to use existing vaccination infrastructure that has been used for flu vaccines in the past to distribute and administer the inoculations. A plan is under discussion to create a central vaccination site at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River.

Governor Phil Murphy has said that he hopes to vaccinate over 70 percent of the state in the coming months. He expressed frustration after federal agencies charged with distribution announced that only 76,000 doses would be initially given to New Jersey after the state had been promised between 300,000 and 500,000.

Freeholder Little Will not Seek Re-election

Gerry Little announced that he will not seek re-election to the Board of Chosen Freeholders when his term ends in 2011.

Mr. Little was first elected to Ocean County’s governing body since 2003 and serves as its liaison to the county health department and veteran’s bureau.

Prior to serving as a Freeholder, Mr. Little occupied several government positions in the county and worked as chief of staff for the 9th legislative district.

His exit will leave a spot open for new candidates to seek election to the five member board.

Toms River Home Destroyed in Fire

A home in Toms River was destroyed by a fire that was blamed on an unattended menorah. There were no injuries.

On the fifth night of Chanukah, firefighters responded to the scene on Fiddlers Run. Toms River Fire Prevention Chief Kevin Esposito cautioned residents not to leave fires burning near curtains and other objects that could easily ignite.

Real Estate Report Notes Increase in Lakewood Property Values

A report by Realtor put Lakewood on the top of a list of suburban towns were property prices had increased significantly over the past year.

The report focused on rising property values driven by residents leaving cities amid the COVID pandemic and rising crime rates in some urban centers. Yet, it noted that Lakewood’s increase is not driven by this trend.

With the median house price reported at $309, 000, it marks as 47.6 percent increase from the previous year.

Ocean County Government Pays Tribute to Former Freeholders

Ocean County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution honoring all those who have held the title “freeholder” in the county. The move comes as a law set to take effect on January 1, will eliminate the title for those charged with county government in New Jersey to “commissioner.”

“This change in no way will diminish the hard work and dedication of all those who served on the Boards of Freeholders throughout time in Ocean County,” the resolution reads. “Whereas, today as we prepare to change the name, Freeholders that have served before us are remembered and sent our gratitude.”

The change was made by Democratic legislative leaders and Governor Phil Murphy amid nationwide protests ostensibly in response to the death of George Floyd. Many demonstrations turned to vandalism of statues and other symbols of American history. Despite the fact that the title simply denotes a landowner free of debt and has not connection to slavery, it was jettisoned amid a national rush to eliminate a wide array of symbols of America’s early history.