Ocean County Encourages Vaccines, Won’t Require Workers To Get Them Yet

Photo by Micromedia Publications

  OCEAN COUNTY – As the spread of the Delta variant continues to raise concern, vaccination data of county employees is being collected.

  “We are requesting from our staff information about vaccinations just to get some information built up so we know who is vaccinated and who is not vaccinated,” Director of the Board of Ocean County Commissioners Gary Quinn said.

  Quinn stressed that this is just in the discussion stages. Information is just being gathered at this point. There has been no decision yet.

  “If the governor chooses to take us in a different direction on whether we need to wear masks we want to protect not only those who aren’t vaccinated but those who are,” he said. “As far as mandating vaccinations, that is not our job. Everyone has the right to make that choice – whether it is a medical decision, a religious exception, whether they just choose not to do it – but we are certainly going to emphasize to people, think about your fellow worker and the people who work around you every day and get the vaccine.”

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  Quinn appears in the county’s PSA video that urges those able to be vaccinated to get inoculated, whether at a county site or any of the other sites nearby.

  “It has been proven that in getting the vaccine, even if you get COVID, the effects are minimized than what the case was prior months ago before there was a vaccine,” Quinn added.

County Commissioner Directory Gary Quinn speaks to officials gathered at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Quinn added that “we’ll watch the governor (Phil Murphy) does. Our biggest concern are the schools we don’t know what will be happening there. That will be a true factor. Another thing we are being told by some of the professionals is that with this Delta variant, the virus while high now, it may not stay there and we’ll have to see if the numbers start going down in a couple of weeks.”

  “We are hoping they are not as high in number as they are now. This keeps changing every day. That is how rapidly it is changing. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can do to protect the people who work for us and staff and be as safe as possible. At the same time, we have to continue to do business and operate as we did during COVID and provide services for the people,” the director added.

  Quinn said that during a busy summer where residents and visitors have started to enjoy the freedom of going maskless, “all of a sudden you have to take two steps back again. Most people, though, are feeling confident that we will be moving forward and if they have been vaccinated, they feel confident being in public and safe going out. I never expected the last year to go the way it did. We’ll change as we have to and make it all work.”

  At press time, Governor Murphy was recommending the return of mask wearing for those vaccinated as well as those unvaccinated indoors in areas where unvaccinated people could be and in crowded conditions. It is not currently a mandate under an executive order but it matches recommendations by the CDC.