By CBS3 Staff

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — New Jersey’s health commissioner is in quarantine again after possibly being exposed to someone with the coronavirus. Judy Persichilli is working from home because a staffer who works in her office tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday night.

Just yesterday, Persichilli appeared at a coronavirus news conference with Gov. Phil Murphy. She self-quarantined last November after a similar exposure.

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Meanwhile, some of the first people to get COVID-19 vaccinations at a Hunterdon County, New Jersey medical center were the relatives of top hospital executives and some of its trustees and donors, according to a published report. The shots were administered by Hunterdon Medical Center in December and early January, at a time when only front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities were eligible.

Some of the recipients were in their 20s, an age group unlikely to qualify for the vaccine for many months.

A hospital spokesperson said donors and board members weren’t given preference over eligible staff or at-risk individuals who were available, but that they received the vaccine when eligible recipients couldn’t be located rather than have the vaccine doses go to waste.

“More than 99% of the doses Hunterdon Healthcare has administered so far have gone to prioritized health care workers, clinicians, seniors and at-risk individuals,” spokesperson Jason VanDiver said in an email Thursday.

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New Jersey reported nearly 4,000 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total count to 610,000. Over 19,000 residents have died from the virus.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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