Have you had trouble getting in touch with someone at the Ocean County Health Department regarding Covid testing and vaccine questions? You are certainly far from the only one with questions seeking answers.

The phone systems at the Ocean County Health Department are lighting up more than Clark Griswold's house at Christmastime lately.

This has happened once before, at least, as well.

When Governor Murphy moved New Jersey up a phase and added in more qualifications you could be eligible for to receive the vaccine, the phones at the Ocean County Health Department almost literally rang off the hook to a point where they weren't operating properly and the website hit a wall as well as thousands immediately called, emailed or tried signing up on the website for a vaccination appointment.

"When the restrictions were opened up to people 65 and older and folks with underlying and chronic health conditions, we had about 25,000 appointments that were booked almost instantaneously off of our website. We had a couple hundred thousand people hit our website from 1:00 pm that day through the evening," Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye previously told Townsquare Media Jersey Shore News. "Technology wise, it was a stress on our system, and I don't think we're alone in that."

Flash forward to today, it's deja vu all over again.

As the OCHD receives an abundance of calls, they've added two more phone lines you can try calling if the first one doesn't work or is too busy.

The upgrade to the phone system at the OCHD will replace their current COVID-19 extension 7411 Information Call Center.

Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye says residents are now encouraged to use the following two new phone numbers.

The new local number is 732-380-5079.

The new toll free line is 833-544-0288.

"The OCHD COVID-19 Information Call Center has been an important resource for residents and clinicians since early in the pandemic. Representatives of the call center can answer general questions regarding the disease, exposure, quarantine and spread, to contract tracing, testing, and now, vaccination," Regenye said in a statement.

The OCHD main number is still available at 732-341-9700 for residents seeking NON-RELATED COVID-19 QUESTIONS and you'll be directed to other agency departments, programs and employees.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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