As Covid-19 cases including those with the raging Omicron variant circulating all over right now, the city of Asbury Park is the latest New Jersey municipality to put in place an indoor mask mandate.

The new, more transmissible variant is a big reason for the mandate as city government leaders work to prevent spread of the virus and keep residents, those working and traveling through Asbury Park as safe and healthy as possible.

As of Friday, at 12:00 pm, the indoor mask mandate goes into effect, according to a statement from the City of Asbury Park Emergency Management Coordinator as well as Mayor John Moor.

Their executive order, in effect until further notice, is for everyone over the age of 3-years old meaning that any time you are indoors at a restaurant, business or other venue within the city borders you have to wear a mask.

This also includes government facilities, bars, gyms, dance studios, recreation facilities, retail stores, cafes, supermarkets, convenience stores, places of worship, commercial establishments, salons, barbershops, banks, healthcare facilities and hotels among other places.

It's not just a mask mandate for employers and those working in any of these places or elsewhere, but a mandate for anyone that walks through those doors.

The exception to the rule is when you're eating or drinking or socially distanced for an extended period of time like when you're at your desk at work or performing for an audience or the presider of a mass or worship service.

“As Mayor & Council, our number one priority is the health and safety of our community,” Asbury Park Mayor John Moor said in a statement. “By having more people wear masks indoors, we hope to reduce the spread and keep people out of hospitals to minimize the strain on our healthcare system and potentially save lives. Our goal is to shorten the time it will take to get back to some kind of normalcy without negatively impacting our local businesses and residents in their daily lives.”

There's been a Covid sure in cases across Monmouth County alone as well recently and just this week alone, between Tuesday and Thursday specifically, there have been 4,523 new cases reported in Monmouth County with 9 new deaths reported related to Covid-19, according to figures from the Monmouth County Commissioners and Monmouth County Health Department.

In Asbury Park alone, there were 102 cases in that same time period. Since the pandemic began in 2020, there have been 2,867 cases of Covid-19 reported in Asbury Park.

One of the places you can get a vaccine in Monmouth County is at the Montessori Children’s Learning Center at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft and no appointment is needed with the clinic set up on Tuesdays from 2:00 to 6:00 pm.

There is also free Covid-19 testing available in Monmouth County including a couple new locations next Tuesday.

    • Tuesday, Jan. 11 in Long Branch from 4-7 p.m. at the Bucky James Community Center, 231 Wilbur Ray Ave.
    • Tuesday, Jan. 11 in Freehold from 4-7 at the Freehold Borough Fire Department, 49 W. Main St.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.
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