TRENTON, NJ – On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy said COVID-19 said there’s a possibility that when a New Jersey resident calls the state hotline, they’re being transferred to out-of-state call centers, denying local residents the ability to man those jobs. If that’s the case, Murphy says, he’s going to make sure he looks into it.
“Dan Bryan, help me follow up with Karin Mueller. She posted something that said she had heard one of the call center persons was in Texas so we just want to make sure if that’s the case, that we know about it, because we want them to be in Jersey, serving Jersey people,” Murphy said.
This comes after state health officials put a pause on the ability to schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccines.
“Beginning last evening, we had placed a temporary pause on the call center’s ability to schedule appointments. While the agents were working to assist those who wanted appointments, we discovered we needed to streamline the system on the agent end to prevent scheduling errors, and also offer further training to the agents so that they can best meet your needs,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli. “The call center can still provide information about vaccination sites, they can still preregister individuals and answer frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccine. We hope to bring up their scheduling capability in the near future.”
New Jersey reported Karin Mueller reported her findings to the Governor on Tuesday which raised the issue publicly.
“Are all the call center employees located in New Jersey, or are they outsourced to other states, because we’ve been getting some interesting reports back from our readers,” Mueller asked. “Some of the readers have also said that the call center representatives have told them that the system is down or had crashed, and you said that you’re doing some retooling. I’m wondering if you can explain a little bit more about what changes you’re making on your end, and if that’s why they were referencing that.”
New Jersey’s call center currently boasts that it employs 250 agents.