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The Wrap' is a feature from the Herald editorial team that offers our take on the news of the week. Get ‘The Wrap’ in your inbox every Monday by signing up at https://bit.ly/HeraldWrap. Learn more about J. Byrne Insurance. 

Jan. 4-10 

Over 400 more COVID-19 Cases Reported 

This week saw 417 new cases among county residents and 18 new cases for nonresidents. One daily report showed 91 positive tests reported for residents.  

County health officials removed 318 individuals from quarantine, but the number of active cases still grew by 93. The case count was growing faster than people could come off quarantine. 

Covid fatalities increased by six this week. In the first 10 days of January, the health department has reported 10 Covid-related deaths. Since March, the county has lost 148 residents to the virus. 

As of Jan. 9, Cape Regional Medical Center reports 21 Covid patients, five of whom are in intensive care. No Covid patients are on ventilators. 

The vaccine is in the county. Vulnerable health care workers were among the first to have access. A vaccination program then began at long-term care facilities. This week,  it was announced that first responders will be included in those receiving available doses.  

A state vaccine registration site has opened, and everyone can register. The site promises to notify those registered when their demographic and health information places them in a group to be vaccinated. An appointment feature is planned for the site, so that individuals notified that they are eligible can make an appointment online.  

At Coast Guard Training Center Cape May (TRACEN), Covid infections disrupted training programs. The Coast Guard announced that the training regimen has resumed

The Small Business Administration has extended the period for applying for Covid disaster loan assistance. 

The state judiciary also announced the start of remote civil jury trials

Municipalities Reorganize and Take Actions 

This is the time of year for municipal reorganizations, which occurred in Middle TownshipStone HarborCape May CityDennis TownshipWest WildwoodWildwood CrestNorth Wildwood and Lower Township. The county government also held its reorganization meeting. Freeholders no more, the members of the county governing body are now commissioners. 

Avalon’s Mayor presented a Public Works reorganization plan to borough council, after an internal investigation showed that a Jewish employee’s claims of being subject to anti-Semitism in the work place had a basis in fact. 

 In Cape May, the newly elected mayor unveiled an ambitious agenda for his administration. The city council also reversed a decision by the previous council and is acting to remove 10.5 acres of city property from the Recreation and Open Space Inventory (ROSI).  

The city sent a letter expressing its desire to withdraw the properties from the list within a week of the formal letter placing them on the ROSI list. 

Two new council members in Cape May were treated to an extended closed session meeting to hear the city’s new solicitor provide details on several legal issues facing the city

A citizen petition seeks to speed up the riparian process, with a time limit on state evaluation and action on riparian grants.  

Plans exist to expand parking at the popular county zoo while still maintaining a policy of free admissions. 

The Cape May City Historic Preservation Commission presented a plan this week to allow historic building owners to increase the building elevation as a flood mitigation measure without losing any historic designation. 

The Wildwood Boardwalk is in desperate need of repairs, and the city’s mayor says help from Trenton is on the way. The city is developing a formal plan for the necessary work. 

Law Enforcement’s Busy 

Cape May County man was among those arrested in Washington for the storming of the U.S. Capitol. 

The county grand jury continues to meet and hand up indictments, even as the courts struggle to reduce the backlog of cases that built up during the Covid-related shutdown. 

murder-suicide in Villas looks to be a case in which a husband shot his wife before turning the gun on himself. 

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that a plane crash off Cape May Point in May of 2019 was a suicide.  

In 2020, nine individuals died in vehicle crashes in the county. That number was down from 13 deaths, in 2019. 

And...Best of Spout Off 

The Herald believes community conversation and the exchange of ideas will help solve challenging community problems, as well as open vistas to differing perspectives. To that end, the Herald will feature a weekly selection of the best of Spout Off.  

The Spout selected as best this week is from Avalon – “It is confusing to hear the planning board solicitor repeatedly refer to exhibits for people who are following on Zoom. Avalon does not use Zoom. Avalon prefers the antiquated method known as teleconferencing. Avalon’s claims of transparency are mystifying.” 

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