LACEY – Township Mayor Peter Curatolo was pleased to note some heavy traffic – but not the kind that is sometimes seen on Route 9 or Lacey Road. This kind of traffic is online and officials are happy about it.
A township video promoting the need for COVID-19 vaccination has “received heavy traffic on the NJ Department of Health Facebook page and that partnership was critical in getting the word out,” the mayor said.
Curatolo, who works as the coordinator of the community health services division of the Ocean County Health Department added, “it was a real testament as to how government at different levels can work together to benefit the public good and for that, I am grateful.”
The mayor thanked the Board of County Commissioners for their “steadfast support provided to our municipalities and the Ocean County Health Department before, during and post COVID. We simply cannot do what we do for our residents at the municipal level without the leadership demonstrated by our Board of County Commissioners.”
The video features the mayor stating his pride in Lacey Township in “stepping up to get vaccinated.” It highlights various nature scenes within the community and its businesses. Lacey is currently observing its 150th anniversary year.
“We have so much pride in Lacey Township. We see it every day in the beauty of our nature and the growth of our businesses and most of all in our people,” the mayor states at the start of the 30 second video.
“Today I am so proud of you because you stepped up to meet the challenge of the pandemic. Today I want to talk to you about our victory over this virus,” the mayor says amid shots of opening day of the Little League season at a township ballfield. “We came together on opening day of Lacey Little League as our community began to open up after restrictions to contain the virus affected us all.”
The mayor added, “Lacey, we are getting back to normal but we have one more thing to do. Our work is not yet complete. We want everyone to get vaccinated.”
The video cuts to a scene of the Lacey branch of the Ocean County Library where a local clinic was set up for residents to “pick whatever shot (of COVID-19) vaccine you want, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. We’ll have more local vaccination sites set up here in Lacey Township,” Curatolo says in the video noting one that was held on July 21 at Mill Pond Elementary School and one is scheduled for September 25, noon to 3 p.m. during Lacey Day to be held in Gille Park.
He also plugged OCHD vaccination sites. “You can go to any of the sites offered by the Ocean County Health Department to get vaccinated.”
“The people who are getting sick with COVID-19 right now are unvaccinated. The people who are passing away are unvaccinated. These vaccines are safe, effective are free and available. Step up Lacey and get the shot,” the mayor said at the conclusion of the video.
Comments to the video’s posting on the NJ Department of Health Facebook page were not all positive to the message of the public service announcement however. While one stated “to all you anti-vaxers be sure to be honest and mask up while the rest of us enjoy our freedom” others responded, “no it is the other way around. All those getting vaccinated are victims of social engineering and aren’t capable of critical thinking. Those who aren’t falling for all this virus nonsense want freedom and are enjoying freedom because we aren’t controlled by the fear mongering news.”
“Virus nonsense? Tell that to the families of the 500,000 plus who died from this,” another post responded.
A video on the NJ Department of Health Facebook site also includes an OCHD PSA that features Gary Quinn, a former Lacey Township committeeman, in his role as current director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners. Quinn is seen stressing the importance of county residents to get vaccinated noting a variety of vaccination sites available in Ocean County.
According to the latest statistics on the New Jersey Department of Health website, 43% of Lacey residents are fully vaccinated. However, that number climbs to 53% for adults 18 and older, and 88% for seniors 65 and older.