BRENDA FLANAGAN, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT
‘We put our families at risk. We put ourselves at risk. And we continued because this city needs to rise’
Health workers at Paterson’s Division of Health gave themselves a much-merited standing ovation Thursday for hitting a numerical milestone in the war against COVID-19: Fully 90% of the city’s eligible adults have now been vaccinated — the highest such rate in New Jersey. With so many local health departments under siege — overworked, under-funded and burned out — this one took a brief break to celebrate.
What’s behind the achievement? It’s clear Paterson succeeded in part because it already had 50 contact tracers ready to go; and team members deliberately diversified their skills. Contact tracer Joia Jenkins noted, “Everybody cross-trained. Nobody did just their job… We did what we had to do. And I’m proud of us.”