Monthly Archives for January 2021
COVID-19 Vaccination Information
Posted: January 25, 2021
Beginning January 25, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Health has opened the Vaccine Call Center to assist those individuals not able to process registration and/or appointments for the vaccine through the online portal. The call center number is 855.568.0545.
Assistance Available for Scheduling Vaccine Appointments: Any seniors 65 and over who are interested in requesting assistance with scheduling the COVID-19 vaccine may call the Randolph COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Hotline at 908.955.3996 or complete this form.
View an explanation of the online process for obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine appointment as well as sources for the vaccine other than the official New Jersey website.
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
As of January 14, 2021, the following groups are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and can start making vaccination appointments:
- Paid or unpaid persons working or volunteering in a healthcare setting
- Residents of long-term care facilities and other congregate settings
- Frontline first responders
- Persons aged 65 and older
- Persons aged 16 to 64 years old who have at least one chronic medical condition that poses high-risk for severe COVID-19
This is a significant departure from the initial Phase 1A category of individuals, who are currently being served at the Morris Regional Vaccination Center in Rockaway. The logistics involved in implementing such a change are significant and predicated upon the availability of the vaccine, the implementation of coordinated registration and appointment technology, and the expansion of professional and medical staff. The availability of the vaccine is key. As the governor has repeatedly stated, the demand in New Jersey far exceeds supply, which is clearly the case for the Morris Vaccination Center.
To access the scheduling system as well as sign up to be notified when appointments become available, visit the the Atlantic Health System website.
Based on vaccine availability, you will be notified when you are qualified to receive the vaccine AND when appointments are opening. Each individual will then be able to register for an open appointment.
The county has established a COVID-19 hotline where further information can be obtained. This hotline can be reached at 973.829.8250. The hotline is staffed 7 days each week, during business hours.
Once the supply of the vaccine begins to increase, it is anticipated that many individuals will be able to visit their doctor to receive the injection, much like they would the flu shot.
Who is eligible for vaccination in New Jersey? Who is included in the vaccination phases?
Veterans and Veterans’ Caregivers and the COVID-19 Vaccine
The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is helping veterans with accessing and staying informed about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. More information
COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are also being offered to designated family caregivers of veterans participating in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. For more information visit Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program or contact the VA Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 from Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Statement from the Randolph Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee
Posted: January 20, 2021
The Randolph Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee (DISC) would like to issue a statement denouncing the attack on the capitol building and update the community regarding the length of time necessary to issue a final report.
The Randolph DISC’s mission is “to work toward the goal of eliminating acts of bias based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity in Randolph by understanding the causes and identifying solutions…” The expressions of hate during the attack on the capitol by individuals and groups carrying confederate flags and wearing offensive, antisemitic clothing highlights one of the reasons our mission is so important.
We condemn the individuals and groups who hold or stand behind the confederate flag. Our reason is this flag was never the official flag of the Confederate States of America—it was only used as a battle flag during the Civil War. The contemporary usage of this flag is connected with racism, slavery, white supremacy, and the terrorization of African Americans and people of color.
We also forcefully reject the individuals and groups attacking the capitol who used antisemitic symbols and language such as “6MNE” (acronym for six million Jews is not enough) and “Camp Auschwitz” extolled on clothing (reference to Nazi concentrations camps). We know that these messages can trickle down into our community, our schools and into our homes. We denounce these symbols and language as to not allow the normalization of this hate speech here in Randolph and our country.
The following is a status update:
- We are currently reviewing recommendations from our townhalls that were held during the last 6 months. We are thoughtfully and meticulously reviewing each individual recommendation. We are carefully vetting the suggestions among all 11 of our committee members. Our committee consists of 7 Randolph Township elected officials and 4 Morris County Human Relations Commission members.
- We are fortunate to have access to Hanover Research without costing the taxpayer additional dollars. Hanover is working in parallel to our work and we are hopeful that their survey and subsequent results will both enrich our findings as well as provide other recommendations that we can put forth to the Randolph community.
- Our committee continues to meet a minimum of once a week to continue our important work.
- Additionally, we would like to point our community to the state report issued in October of 2020 “An Anti-Bias Vision for the Next Generation” by the New Jersey Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias to the Governor and Attorney General. This New Jersey interagency task force was established in August of 2019 by Executive Order No. 78. In November of 2019, the task force announced a series of listening sessions. From these listening sessions, and 14 months after their initial organization, the task force issued their October 2020 report with recommendations. We find this state issued report and recommendations optimistic in our local effort. Without state support, Randolph would have difficulty in implementing recommended modifications.
Our committee is working diligently and is excited about creating Randolph’s future roadmap to lead us to a community where all are accepted, supported, and treated fairly and where we continue to educate and promote inclusion for all residents of Randolph Township.
Prosecutor’s Office to Host Forum on Bias Crimes & Reporting Procedures
Posted: January 15, 2021
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office invites the public to attend a live webinar community forum on January 25, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The forum, Bias Crimes and Reporting Procedures, will include information on what a bias crime is and the proper reporting.
Featured panelists include Morris County Acting Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Middlesex County Department of Corrections and Youth Services & New Jersey State Bias Crime Officers Association Chief David Damico, Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Samantha DeNegri, and Detective/Supervisor Patrick LaGuerre.
Register for the event
Coronavirus Information Update
Posted: January 14, 2021
On Wednesday, Governor Murphy announced a major expansion of the state’s vaccination program. Beginning today, eligible people who live, work or study in New Jersey who are 65 and older as well as those ages 16 to 64 who have certain medical conditions can receive the Coronavirus vaccine. People are asked to register on the state’s website and then make an appointment at one of the 123 approved sites around the state. Detailed information
Mayor’s Reorganization Address
Posted: January 7, 2021
Happy New Year everyone, and thank you so much for taking the time to attend our reorganization meeting via Zoom.
I especially thank my wife Susan, daughter Lauren, and mother-in-law Inge for supporting me as I continue to serve Randolph Township. Without the support of my family, I could not volunteer the time necessary to serve this fine community.
I am honored and grateful that my colleagues on the council have again selected me to serve as mayor. I will do my best to serve our township, and will always look for ways to improve our excellent quality of life.
Congratulations to Deputy Mayor Marie Potter. I look forward to working with you. Your fresh perspectives and extraordinary organizational skills will certainly help us to move Randolph forward.
Our manager Steve Mountain did an excellent job during a most unusual year, and it was clear that sound fiscal planning allowed us to function much better than many other government organizations. In fact, we were one of the few municipalities able to extend tax collection deadlines to assist our residents when they faced cash-flow issues due to the pandemic. You and your staff did a great job successfully keeping Randolph running well.
Our township clerk, Donna Luciani had another successful year, made much more challenging due to both COVID-19 and the unprecedented elections using mainly mail-in ballots. But she was up to the task, and did a great job.
As a member of our volunteer fire department for 25 years, I can tell you that you will never find a group of more dedicated volunteers who literally risk their own lives to protect others. The past year has been tough on the front lines for all first responders, but the safety protocols established by our chiefs kept the department functioning, and we were able to respond to all of our residents’ calls for assistance. They, as well as our EMS volunteers and police, have earned and deserve our profound thanks.
For the past 6 months, Marie Potter, Lance Tkacs and I have served on the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, also known as DISC. Along with members from the board of education and the Morris County Human Relations Committee, we have spent countless hours gathering information, reading, studying and discussing ways that we can eliminate bias, improve our relations with others, and celebrate our diversity. While we continue to invest the time necessary to work on our report and make recommendations, I am very pleased that this council will pass a resolution this evening recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as well as Black History Month. We must all learn from one another, and try to show and teach how to live together in peace and acceptance.
As we enter into another unpredictable winter season, think about steps that you can do to help get through the season better;
- Please sign up for reverse 911, using your cell phone number, so that you can continue to receive important messages.
- Make sure that your cell phones, and all devices, are fully charged at all times.
- Check on your neighbors who may be in need of assistance.
- And consider an emergency generator, making sure to install and operate it in a safe manner.
I will continue to work with other mayors and elected officials to push JCP&L and Public Service to make the needed improvements in our electrical grid to limit future power outages, and to press them to cut down more trees that impact our overhead wires.
In addition to working closely with our deputy mayor and council, I will serve as liaison to the board of education and the EDC.
I will also be the media communications liaison, and will continue to serve on several sub-committees, including emergency management, ordinances, and infrastructure.
I look forward to working on our budget for 2021; will do my best to minimize any tax increase, and to be a good steward of our tax dollars. For the past four years we did not increase the municipal tax levy at all, so after a very difficult 2020, our work is cut out for us.
We have many plans for 2021 including;
- Working with county and state health departments to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Any form of bigotry, hatred, or racism has no place in Randolph, so we are looking forward to seeing the final DISC report and recommendations.
- Equipping our police department with both tasers and body cameras.
- We will continue to work with Fair Share Housing, the State of New Jersey, and the courts to implement our mandated affordable housing plan.
- For many years we have been working with the NJ State DOT to improve the intersections on Route 10. We did see some success with the improved signaling at Dover Chester Road, and the eastbound turn lane extension at Center Grove Road. We plan to work closely with State Senator Anthony Bucco, and will continue to keep our concerns in front of the DOT. We already have more meetings planned for January.
- The program to replace deteriorating retaining walls in town will continue.
- Veterans Community Park will see more improvements, and once the great lawn fills in, we expect to attend many outdoor events and concerts there.
- Our new cannabis sub-committee will work to understand the new state legislation, once it is finally passed, and seek input to help us make necessary decisions early this year.
- The recycling and sustainability sub-committee will work with our residents to seek new and innovative ways to keep our community cleaner.
I have a very positive outlook for 2021, and will enjoy working with this council, township workers and all of our community volunteers to continue to keep Randolph a most desirable place to live, work and enjoy life.
Mayor Mark Forstenhausler
January 7, 2021
Posted: January 5, 2021
The New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) Program provides comprehensive outreach, education and screening services for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers.
The Morris County NJCEED reminds residents to take good care of themselves and continue to get routine health screenings, including screenings for cancer. For anyone who is without health insurance, the Morris County NJCEED Program may be able to provide you screenings for free.
For more information on programs, where to find a doctor, or to schedule an appointment, please call 973.971.5952.
Upcoming screening dates:
- January 6, 2021
- January 13, 2021
- January 27, 2021
- February 10, 2021
- February 24, 2021
Dog/Cat License Renewals Due Soon
Posted: January 4, 2021
Update Posted January 28, 2021: Residents have reported some difficulties with the scheduling of appointments with their veterinarians due to changes in office procedures to comply with safety guidelines for COVID-19. Therefore, Randolph Township is extending the deadlines for pet licensing from January 31 (dogs) and February 28 (cats) to March 31, 2021. If the renewal is received after the March 31, 2021 deadline, there will be a $10 late fee. If you have any questions, please call the health department at 973.989.7050.
Change to Randolph’s Rabies Vaccination Program: Due to COVID-19, the Hodes Veterinary Group has opted out of Randolph’s rabies vaccination program this year. The six remaining veterinary practices have asked that pet owners inform them of the voucher prior to the administration of the vaccination.
The Randolph Township Health Department would like to remind residents that all dogs and cats must be licensed by 7 months of age and have a current tag affixed to a collar or harness.
Newly acquired dogs and cats must be licensed within ten days of acquisition.
Licenses are good for one year and must be renewed by January 31 of each year for dogs and by February 28 of each year for cats.
License applications are automatically mailed in December to all registered pet owners. For your convenience, we have also made these applications available for download from our Dog/Cat Licenses page.
As mandated under state law, a condition of licensure requires that each dog or cat has a current rabies vaccination. Please note that our free rabies immunization voucher program, as explained on the Dog/Cat Licenses page, has a defined time period for redemption—it is available between January 1 and February 28.
Have questions or need more info? Contact the health department at 973.989.7050.
At-Home COVID Testing Being Phased Out
Posted: January 2, 2021
Morris County’s at-home testing program is being phased out for all but homebound, symptomatic residents. Instead, the focus will be on having residents use the walk-up testing center at County College of Morris (CCM).
Opened at the student center earlier in December, it requires individuals to preregister for a test through the Morris County COVID-19 website.
Individuals who are symptomatic and unable to leave their home will still be able to order no-cost, at-home tests through the Morris County COVID-19 website but the only at-home test available will be a federally-supported nasal test known as Pixel, which is provided by Lab Corp.
The previous at-home test—a saliva test offered through Vault Health—is being phased out. According to the county, the transition became necessary because more than 50 percent of the people who ordered the at-home Vault tests hoarded them, forcing authorities to focus Morris County’s limited COVID-19 testing resources on programs that are not as easily abused. About 16,300 of the at-home Vault tests were ordered, yet only 7,500 were returned with samples for testing.