Lakewood Briefs – February 14, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ -

11,000 Affected by Power Outage

A power outage left over 11,000 homes and businesses without electricity in northern Ocean County last Tuesday.

JCP&L was able to restore service to most customers within a few hours. According to reports, 7,657 of the affected customers were in Lakewood, 2,057 in Jackson, and 1,697 in Toms River.

Vaccine Supplies Still Limited in Ocean County

Supplies of COVID vaccines remained limited in Ocean County as in much of the state, however some expanded service is being offered to answer questions and made inoculations available to high risk groups.

In New Jersey, vaccines are still only being offered to those over 65 years of age, those with medical conditions or other factors that place them at increased risk from infection, or those that work in certain frontline professions.

CHEMED Health Center offered the vaccine to expectant mothers this past Sunday on a walk-in basis, as this group has seen more serious risks from emerging COVID strains.

The county health department, which has not been available to book new vaccine appointments online for several weeks. It expanded its COVID call center to better address the increased calls related to the vaccine roll-out which can be accessed by calling 732-380-5079 or 833-544-0288.

Ocean County GOP Legislators Welcome “Better Late Than Never” Support for Unemployed Claimants

A group of Ocean County legislators welcomed the addition of more personnel to deal with unemployment issues by New Jersey’s Department of Labor.

Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano, all Republicans representing parts of Toms River and surrounding areas, said that adjustment should have been made last spring as the COVID pandemic sent many employees to the unemployment rolls and federal relief packages increased benefits, but were glad the adjustment had been made.

“The understaffing of call centers has been an absolute nightmare for out-of-work New Jerseyans who have been forced to spend hours daily for weeks and months trying to get through to an agent to collect their unemployment,” said Senator Holzapfel. “For months we have requested that the Department of Labor address the issues with their call centers, but those requests were ignored until now by the Governor and his administration. While his action is better late than never, why did it take so long for Governor Murphy to do the right thing?”

Two weeks ago, another group of Republican legislators, State Senator Bob Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and Ned Thomson, called on the Murphy administration to implement a federally funded extension on unemployment benefits.