In a showing of community collaboration in a time of need, the Sussex County Fairgrounds has partnered with the Sussex County government to establish a Covid-19 vaccination site on its property.
The site opened on Jan. 14. Yes, they are open, but don’t just show up unless you have an appointment. Registration information is available at bit.ly/3qEa4Q7 and is updated frequently.
“Our role is to help support the operation being conducted by the County of Sussex,” said Fairgrounds manager, Mike Richards. “We work closely with them to ensure that they have what they need here at the Fairgrounds so that the staff and numerous volunteers are safe and supported, capable of performing the long schedule of vaccinations ahead in the next several months.”
The Fairgrounds has been working with the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management since the pandemic hit last spring and has worked with the Division of Health to offer drive-through flu vaccines in the Richards Building this past fall.
“I think it’s a great partnership we have right now with the Fairgrounds,” said Sheriff Mike Strada. “We certainly appreciate that they are offering this for the citizens of county. We started looking at centrally located places in the county where the Department of Health could give out vaccinations and the Fairgrounds was a great option.”
Sheriff Strada said the Sheriff’s Department’s role with the vaccine distribution is to provide security at and around the Fairgrounds.
“Given the central location of the Fairgrounds in Sussex County, our past successful partnership, the County of Sussex inquired if the Fairgrounds could be a Covid vaccination site and we gladly accepted the opportunity to help improve public health in our County and to help the businesses rebound as soon as possible,” Richards said. “The Fairgrounds is owned by the private non-profit Sussex County Farm & Horse Show Association/NJ State Fair and has been severely impacted by the pandemic, so we look forward to doing everything we can to serve as a community partner with the County of Sussex to help restore normalcy and safe social gatherings as soon as possible.”
One week in
Vaccinations have been administered for more than a week now and will continue. Richards said all scheduling and appointment questions should be referred to the Sussex County Division of Health.
Law enforcement is protecting the precious, life-saving vaccine.
“The Sheriff’s Office has been providing security at the site, and no vaccines are stored at the Fairgrounds,” Richards said. “The Fairgrounds is also regularly patrolled by the New Jersey State Police.”
The Sussex County website states: “Sussex County has been advised that the Moderna vaccine will be delivered. Future shipments could be provided by other manufacturers. You will receive a card at the time of your first vaccination with pertinent information and a schedule for the second round of vaccine to be administered.”
A statement issued by the Fairgrounds says: “While we would prefer to be hosting events at the Fairgrounds that promote agriculture, family-friendly entertainment, education, and youth development, or helping other local non-profits with their fundraising efforts, the members of Sussex County Farm & Horse Show Association have stepped forward to help improve public health and to help area businesses rebound as soon as possible.”
Please see related story, “Tristate area feels like the Wild West trying to get a Covid vaccine,” on pages 8-9.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King