Month: March 2020

USA Now at 188,099 and NJ 18,696 Cases of COVID – Ocean And Monmouth Over 1k, Lakewood 438

March 31, 2020 – Updated 4:35 pm.

UPDATE: Today’s county information is updated below the State information. Ocean County and Monmouth County report later in the day usually after 4 p.m. (sometimes earlier)

UPDATE THE USA HAS 188,099 as of 3:46 pm. 3/31/2020

The United States of America as of 12:18 pm has 175,067 cases of COVID-19 and 3,415 have died in the USA from the virus. Follow live updates on the Johns Hopkins University Tracker Here

In New Jersey We have Positive 18,696 Deaths 267 as of March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Cases by County

Data is provisional and subsequent to revision.

3,686 Positives Pending Further Information

Bergen County:   

 2,909 Positive Test Result(s)

Essex County:   

 1,900 Positive Test Result(s)

Hudson County:   

 1,606 Positive Test Result(s)

Union County:   

 1,418 Positive Test Result(s)

Passaic County:   

 1,294 Positive Test Result(s)

Middlesex County:   

 1,277 Positive Test Result(s)

Monmouth County:   

 1,140 Positive Test Result(s)

Ocean County:   

 1,022 Positive Test Result(s)

Morris County:   

 841 Positive Test Result(s)

Somerset County:   

 413 Positive Test Result(s)

Mercer County:   

 268 Positive Test Result(s)

Camden County:   

 228 Positive Test Result(s)

Burlington County:   

 202 Positive Test Result(s)

Sussex County:   

 132 Positive Test Result(s)

Gloucester County:   

 114 Positive Test Result(s)

Hunterdon County:   

 97 Positive Test Result(s)

Warren County:   

 76 Positive Test Result(s)

Atlantic County:   

 31 Positive Test Result(s)

Cumberland County:   

 18 Positive Test Result(s)

Cape May County:   

 12 Positive Test Result(s)

Salem County:   

 12 Positive Test Result(s)

Covid-19 Total Cases (1108) In Ocean County:

Total as of Tuesday, 3/31/2020 at 2:00pm

Effective as of March 28, 2020, the data represented below identifies the municipality or mailing address which was self-reported by the resident at the time of testing. It may not necessarily represent the municipality of residence.

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat Light2
Bay Head2
Beach Haven3
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights1
Little Egg Harbor9
Long Beach Township3
Ocean Gate0
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)4
Pine Beach0
Point Pleasant Beach3
Point Pleasant Borough30
Seaside Heights6
Seaside Park2
Ship Bottom2
South Toms River13
Surf City1
Toms River156
Total Positive Cases: 1108

Monmouth County has 1,163 positive cases 
of COVID-19

FREEHOLD, NJ –Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley have announced that, as of March 31, there are 1,163 positive cases of COVID-19 in Monmouth County.

The breakdown by municipality is as follows:

  • Aberdeen: 35
  • Asbury Park: 19
  • Atlantic Highlands: 7
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 3
  • Belmar: 2
  • Bradley Beach: 5
  • Brielle: 7
  • Colts Neck: 23
  • Deal: 6
  • Eatontown: 38
  • Englishtown: 10
  • Fair Haven: 12
  • Farmingdale: 6
  • Freehold Borough: 9
  • Freehold Township: 94
  • Hazlet: 45
  • Highlands: 5
  • Holmdel: 44
  • Howell: 84
  • Keansburg: 24
  • Keyport: 10
  • Lake Como: 4
  • Little Silver: 15
  • Long Branch: 43
  • Manalapan: 82
  • Manasquan: 14
  • Marlboro: 89
  • Matawan: 33
  • Middletown: 112
  • Millstone: 11
  • Monmouth Beach: 4
  • Neptune City: 7
  • Neptune Township: 46
  • Ocean: 37
  • Oceanport: 13
  • Red Bank: 22
  • Rumson: 17
  • Sea Bright: 2
  • Sea Girt: 6
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 14
  • Shrewsbury Township: 3
  • Spring Lake: 5
  • Spring Lake Heights: 7
  • Tinton Falls: 20
  • Union Beach: 1
  • Upper Freehold: 10
  • Wall: 40
  • West Long Branch: 17

The Freeholders also remind residents that Monmouth County’s healthcare workers and first responders and their desperate need of personal protective equipment which has become increasingly scarce due to the ongoing battle against COVID-19.

Donations of personal protective equipment items are being accepted at Thompson Park, 805 Newman Springs Road, in Lincroft, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. For additional information, or to arrange the drop-off of personal protective equipment, please call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312. The phone number is staffed every day, including weekends.

Monmouth County news updates and information regarding the COVID-19 situation are posted at

NJ FMBA Reports, Passaic, NJ Firefighter Passed Away From COVID-19

Passaic Firefighter Local 13 member Israel Tolentino lost his life to COVID-19, coronavirus.

An e-mail from the NJ FMBA also available at the NJ FMBA website:

March 31, 2020

Israel Tolentino, rest easy brother.

Earlier today we received the devastating news that Passaic Firefighter Local 13 member Israel Tolentino lost his life to COVID-19, coronavirus.

We can’t provide him with a true firefighter’s funeral. We can’t have hundreds of firefighters at his house playing with his children and consoling his wife and family. We can’t have food sent to a grieving family and friends because no one can gather. We couldn’t spend time with him in the hospital when he took his final breaths because no visitors are allowed.

This is hardest for our members because this is so out of character for us.  We take care of our own, and while it may not be today, we will give our brother the tribute he deserves. 

This is the true impact of the devastating coronavirus, and a reminder of the added danger firefighters, EMTs, and dispatchers, as well as other first responders and health care providers, face every shift we report for.

The increased risk of exposure is exactly why the NJ FMBA has been fighting every single day to make sure that our members are equipped with the knowledge, and equipment, needed to keep us as safe as possible during this extraordinary time.

While washing hands and practicing social distancing is good advice for the general public, it is not enough for the men and women of the fire service.This was why it was imperative that we got access to information sharing related to positive COVID-19 cases, recognizing that no firefighter or EMT should have to respond to a call before being made aware of the additional hazards. 

Now, more than ever, we must look out for ourselves, and each other. That means both physically and mentally. 

While we continue to protect the front lines of our communities, your Union will forge forward on the front lines of State and Federal policymaking by bringing forth legislation and new initiatives that will provide the protections we greatly need and richly deserve.  

As we look towards a brighter and more certain future, today we pray for our brother Israel, his family and our brothers and sisters in Local 13/213

As more information becomes available, we will share it. 

Be Well,

Eddie Donnelly



Most Beaches/Boardwalks, Some Parks, And Great Adventure Closed Due To COVID-19 Concerns, Even Plastic Bag Ban Suspended In Long Beach Twp

March 31, 2020

Ocean County Park System is closing all their parks starting 6 pm March 31, 2020 according to a NIXLE notice here:

Most public parks in NJ that have running trails, hiking trails are open. Check with each individual town or park system for updates on closures or modifications.

Almost all towns have closed places where people could congregate such as pavilions, shelters, certain athletic fields, skate parks, playgrounds, etc. Most parks have left running and hiking trails open so people can get out and get exercise while still be able to maintain a 6 foot physical/social distance from each others. Check with your specific park system or town for specific closures prior to heading to any parks.

As of right now State of NJ Parks and Wildlife Management Areas are open. Restrooms, pavilions, buildings, etc. are closed. Open areas and hiking trails are open, please maintain social distancing while out and about.

Island Beach State Park information here

List of all NJ State Parks

Great Adventure:

Six Flags, Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ has postponed opening day for both parks Hurricane Harbor and Great Adventure & Safari. Please follow the official Facebook and Twitter pages for Six Flags listed below concerning park updates.

Most public beaches, boardwalks and promenades are closed or have some kind of modified restrictive access:

You should stay home but if you are at the shore check with your individual town for specifics and updates on closures. Some towns beaches and boardwalks are closed. Some have boardwalks closed but beaches open.

Long Beach Township—Due to this Local/State/Federal Emergency, we have suspended the ordinance that doesn’t allow the use of single use plastic bags.
We are also not allowing dogs to access bay beach beaches at this time due to the size and limited space and over use of these areas.
Thank you for your cooperation during this State of Emergency.

Seaside Heights beach, boardwalk and bay areas closed see website here.

Seaside Park, boardwalk closed beach open.

Seaside Park Boardwalk to be closed
Effective immediately, by order of the Seaside Park Office of Emergency Management the boardwalk
will be closed to the public until further notice. The Beach entrances will remain accessible to
the public while the boardwalk is closed. This closure is to further protect borough employees and
the public during Governor Murphy’s executive order to limit non-essential travel. We appreciate
everyone’s cooperation as we try to limit exposure during the Covid-19 pandemic so we can flatten
the curve and
get through this situation together as a community.

March 27, 2020 8:32 AM

Asbury Park Boardwalk Closed to the Public to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19 Effective 3/27/20

Effective immediately, Asbury Park Boardwalk will be closed to the public until further notice to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Asbury Park Beaches will remain open for now, but are subject to closure should social distancing guidelines not be followed. Access across the boardwalk to the beach will be available at First, Third and Sunset Avenues. Access to the beach will also be available at Deal Lake Drive.

March 26, 2020

Lavallette website
Lavallette The Beach and Boardwalk are Closed to the Public.
The entire length of the municipal boardwalk from Ortley Ave south to Dover Ave and the entire length of the municipal beach (from northern border of Ocean Beach, Toms River, south to the border of Ortley Beach, Toms River) shall be closed to any public use until the Governor of New Jersey lifts the State of Emergency in the State of New Jersey.

Girl Scout Troop #71147 “Cookies For The Caring”

March 30, 2020


Girl Scout Troop #71147

During this tough time there are many on the front line caring for us all!

We would like to give back to those people.

A donation of $5 will send a box of cookies to a local hospital.

There are many ways that you can do this!

Through paypal

(Please send it through the friend/family option so there is no extra charge)

Drop off box on the porch or by mailing to:

259 Route 539

Cream Ridge, NJ 08514

Receipt available by request

Adjustments/Clarifications Of Businesses Operations, Including Firearms Retail, Real Estate, Car Dealers, With Adjustments, But Golf Courses To Close

March 30, 2020

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan today announced an Administrative Order amending which businesses are permitted to operate and clarifying ways in which some businesses may operate in accordance with Executive Order No. 107. The Administrative Order states the following:

  • Individual appointments to view real estate with realtors by individuals or families shall be considered essential retail business. Open houses are still considered impermissible gatherings.
  • Car dealers may continue to conduct online sales or remote sales that are consistent with current law. In the event of such a sale, the car may be delivered to the purchaser or the purchaser can pick up the car curbside or in the dealership service lane.
  • In accordance with the guidance released by the federal Department of Homeland Security, effective Tuesday, March 31, at 8:00 a.m., firearms retailers are permitted to operate – by appointment only and during limited hours – to conduct business which, under law, must be done in person. The NICS background check system will be up and running to process firearms purchases.
  • Golf courses are considered recreational and entertainment businesses that must close to the public and to members associated with private golf clubs.

“While we’ve made adjustments to businesses that are permitted to operate, my stay-at-home order remains firmly in effect,” said Governor Murphy. “Unless you absolutely need to get out, or unless your job is critical to our response, I have ordered all New Jerseyans to just stay home.””As we face this unprecedented challenge, businesses must be flexible in how they operate in order to keep the State’s economy running,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “While these clarifications address the need for certain businesses to operate, the safety of our residents will always remain our top priority.”The Order takes effect immediately.A copy of the Administrative Order can be found here.

156k+ In USA 16,636 in New Jersey With COVID-19

March 30, 2020

In the USA there are 156,931+ cases of COVID-19 and 2,880 have passed away from the virus according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker

Once I receive individual towns for Ocean County and possibly Monmouth County today I will update the page. Ocean usually updates by 4 pm but is not available yet.

Stay home help flatten the curve.

COVID-19 Cases by County

Data is provisional and subsequent to revision.

Positive: 16,636 Deaths:198

3,847 Positives Pending Further Information

Bergen County:   

 2,482 Positive Test Result(s)

Essex County:   

 1,564 Positive Test Result(s)

Hudson County:   

 1,314 Positive Test Result(s)

Union County:   

 1,213 Positive Test Result(s)

Middlesex County:   

 1,123 Positive Test Result(s)

Passaic County:   

 1,091 Positive Test Result(s)

Monmouth County:   

 1,030 Positive Test Result(s)

Ocean County:   

 874 Positive Test Result(s) –see updated direct from Ocean Cty Below.

Morris County:   

 720 Positive Test Result(s)

Somerset County:   

 349 Positive Test Result(s)

Mercer County:   

 249 Positive Test Result(s)

Camden County:   

 200 Positive Test Result(s)

Burlington County:   

 178 Positive Test Result(s)

Sussex County:   

 113 Positive Test Result(s)

Gloucester County:   

 89 Positive Test Result(s)

Hunterdon County:   

 79 Positive Test Result(s)

Warren County:   

 68 Positive Test Result(s)

Atlantic County:   

 29 Positive Test Result(s)

Cumberland County:   

 12 Positive Test Result(s)

Cape May County:   

 9 Positive Test Result(s)

Salem County:   

 3 Positive Test Result(s)

ovid-19 Total Cases (954) In Ocean County:

Total as of Monday, 3/30/2020 at 2:00pm

Effective as of March 28, 2020, the data represented below identifies the municipality or mailing address which was self-reported by the resident at the time of testing. It may not necessarily represent the municipality of residence.

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat Light2
Bay Head2
Beach Haven3
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights1
Little Egg Harbor7
Long Beach Township3
Ocean Gate0
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)4
Pine Beach0
Point Pleasant Beach3
Point Pleasant Borough28
Seaside Heights5
Seaside Park2
Ship Bottom2
South Toms River10
Surf City1
Toms River127
Total Positive Cases: 954

USNS Comfort, Arrives In New York City

March 30, 2020

Story by: US Navy 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

Photos by: Dennis Symons, Jr. – from Liberty State Park

NORFOLK, Virginia (NNS) — The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in New York March 30, 2020 in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.

While in New York, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults.  This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.

Comfort is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has more than 1,200 personnel embarked for the New York mission including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.

“The USNS Comfort arrives in New York City this morning with more than 1,100 medical personnel who are ready to provide safe, high-quality health care to non-COVID patients,” said Capt. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the USNS Comfort Military Treatment Facility. “We are ready and grateful to serve the needs of our nation.”

Comfort’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare. Comfort’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

“Like her sister ship, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), which recently moored in Los Angeles, this great ship will support civil authorities by increasing medical capacity and collaboration for medical assistance,” said Rear Adm. John Mustin, vice commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. “Not treating COVID-19 patients… but by acting as a relief valve for other urgent needs, freeing New York’s hospitals and medical professionals to focus on the pandemic.”

“This USNS Comfort team of Sailors, Marines and Civilian Mariners came together during the transit to New York City  and our medical professionals are ready to begin receiving patients from local hospitals tomorrow,” said Capt. Joseph O’Brien, mission commander of Task Force New York City. “Our personnel are our strength—the men and women of our military services accomplish incredible things every day, and I am confident in their abilities as we start the next phase of this mission.”

The ship expects to begin receiving patients 24 hours after arriving in New York City. All patient transfers will be coordinated with local hospitals, thus ensuring a consistent handoff of care between medical providers. Patients will not be accepted on a walk-on basis, and should not come to the pier with any expectation that they can receive care.

“The last time that this great hospital ship was here was in the wake of 9-11, where she served as respite and comfort for our first responders working around the clock,” said Mustin. “Our message to New Yorkers – now your Navy has returned, and we are with you, committed in this fight.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is providing a security escort of USNS Comfort into New York Harbor, comprised of crews and assets from around the region to include the Coast Guard Cutter Shrike, Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak, Maritime Safety and Security Team New York, Coast Guard Station New York, and Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

U.S. 2nd Fleet exercises operational authorities over assigned ships, aircraft, and landing forces on the East Coast and the Atlantic.

Coverage of USNS Comfort in New York and USNS Mercy in Los Angeles continues at

For more news from U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit and for more information visit or

Smith Works Successfully with Families and State Department to Bring Home 17 Trapped in Peru

March 30, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)– After more than a week of letters, phone calls and personal intervention to bring home Americans stuck in Peru, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) announced today that almost all those he championed are back on U.S. soil.  The last of the 17 Americans seeking Smith’s assistance is in transit and expected back in the U.S. Monday.

Smith, an experienced human rights leader in Congress and a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, worked with the stranded Americans, their families here at home, the U.S. Ambassador to Peru, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Lima, and several top officials at the State Department in Washington to usher all back home to the United States.

“When a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic strikes, you want to be in familiar surroundings and close to the ones you love and the medical professionals you know and trust,” said Smith. “When Peru locked its borders, my phones lit up with worried relatives reaching our for help.  It was a long, busy week but I am ecstatic that all will be home by Monday night,” Smith said.

Congressman Smith and his office were an unbelievable help to me during this difficult time,” said Kathy Given, of Ocean County, N.J., whose daughter Kirby was among those stranded in Peru with her rugby team. “The amazing communication and constant updates provided me with a true sense of calmness, knowing that they were actively working to bring Kirby and her teammates home.” 

Cheryl Budnick of Middletown was worried her son Dylan, 24, visiting Peru as a tourist, would run out of medication he needed. She said Congressman Smith and his staff worked so hard to bring Dylan home.

I am so grateful,” Ms. Budnick said. “I was getting nervous about getting my son his medicine. Every single day, day-in and day-out, they called me. They worked so hard to bring him home. I don’t know if he would have come home so soon if it weren’t for Congressman Smith and his staff.”

David Manion, of Hamilton, said his daughter Noelia, 16, was in Peru visiting family when the Peruvian government issued a quarantine. The family worked for several weeks and it wasn’t clear Noelia’s case was a priority until Smith got involved.

I want to thank Congressman Smith for his advocacy and his hard work in getting Americans home,” Mr. Manion said. “The Congressman’s assistance was very helpful.”

Smith penned three letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlining the location and needs of the New Jersey residents and others desperate to find a way home, including a March 20th letter in which he named specific Americans needing help. He also led a letter cosigned by two additional members of the Foreign Affairs Committee which said asked that Pompeo to “reassure trapped Americans and their families that their needs are being prioritized” so they and all Americans trapped around the globe due to the emergency should know that the U.S. government is doing everything it can to bring them home.

On March 21st Smith spoke at length with U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Krishna Urs, highlighting specific cases including those individuals stuck in Cusco, which is 11,000 feet above sea level where air quality is thin and a strict curfew was being enforced making it difficult for Americans to get supplies and food. On more than one phone call with the Deputy Chief of Mission, Denison Offutt, Smith pressed the U.S. government officials to charter flights or send in military transport to bring American citizens home.  At the start of the crisis there were more than 5,000 U.S. citizens stuck in Peru.

By Friday, March 27 some of Smith’s constituents had made it home–those with medical or special travel conditions that Smith had underscored—and Smith was advised that the rest of the group were scheduled to leave on flights over the next 72 hours. According to State Department officials, there were still more than 2,500 Americans trying to get home from Peru, and the U.S. government will begin charting three flights a day,  every day until all Americans who want to come home, have come home.

To some extent U.S. officials were working their hardest, but something just wasn’t clicking,” Smith said.  “Perhaps the abrupt decision by the Peruvian government caught the Embassy off guard, but going forward they must be more flexible, more nimble and better prepared to evacuate Americans from the challenging terrains of Peru, or anywhere, without an uproar from a local Congressman and added anxiety for relatives, mostly parents, desperately waiting at home.”

According to news reports, on March 15 the Peruvian government abruptly announced it would close all borders, effective March 16, subsequently issuing a 15-day quarantine. It later announced that March 22 would be the final day the country would allow official flights to repatriate foreign visitors before the country closed all borders, effectively trapping many Americans and other international visitors in the South American nation. Further repatriation efforts require diplomatic intervention, something Rep. Smith is urging our Ambassador and State Department to prioritize.

Smith has also helped to successfully secure the return of NJ residents from the Dominican Republic and Honduras during the coronavirus pandemic. He said he will continue to work to assist any other constituents stuck overseas and recommended they—or a family member—reach out to him (732-780-3035) with information so he can help.

Lakewood Couple Charged With 5 Counts of Childhood Endangerment

March 30, 2020

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Lakewood Township Police Chief Gregory Meyer announced that on Sunday, March 29, 2020, Eliezer Silber, 37, and Miriam Silber, 34, both of Lakewood, were charged with five counts of Child Endangerment in violation of N.J.S.A. 9:6-1.

On March 29, 2020, members of the Lakewood Township Police Department were summoned to a residence on Alamitos Drive for a report of a gathering of people blocking the street. This gathering was in violation of Executive Order No. 107 signed by Governor Phil Murphy on March 21, 2020, which bans gatherings of individuals, whether they be at weddings, parties, celebrations, or other social events. Upon arrival, Officers discovered a gathering of approximately 40-50 people, including children, on the front lawn and in the street in front of the residence. The Officers ordered the crowd to disperse, and made contact with the owners of the residence, Eliezer and Miriam Silber. Eliezer Silber was charged with Violating Any Rule or Regulation Adopted by the Governor in violation of APP.A: 9-49h, as well as Endangering the Welfare of his five children who were at the gathering. Miriam Silber was likewise charged with Endangering the Welfare of her five children. They are both required to appear at a future court date in Ocean County Superior Court.

“As I have previously stated, it is my sworn duty to protect all of the residents of Ocean County. That obligation applies across the board,” stated Prosecutor Billhimer. “My Office will prosecute any individual who defies or breaks the law, State of Emergency or otherwise. Everyone must respect and follow the law,” the Prosecutor stated. “The men & women of the Lakewood Police Department have done an exceptional job in the face of a public health crisis. Their efforts are truly commendable,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

The public and media are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Over 13,000 Cases Of COVID-19 in New Jersey, USA 142,106

March 29,2020

There are 142,106 and most likely tomorrow we will be well past 150k in the USA in confirmed cases of COVID-19.

You can follow the latest numbers at the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker Here

The USNS Comfort is scheduled to arrive in New York City tomorrow morning where there are over 33,000 cases.

This is a serious emergency please practice social distancing and follow the governments Do Not Travel Advisory as reported last night.

We have 2,316 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 13,386.
• Atlantic: 24
• Bergen: 2,169
• Burlington: 142
• Camden: 163
• Cape May: 9
• Cumberland: 11
• Essex: 1,227
• Gloucester: 72
• Hudson: 974
• Hunterdon: 66
• Mercer: 202
• Middlesex: 938
• Monmouth: 870
• Morris: 566
• Ocean: 759
• Passaic: 831
• Salem: 3
• Somerset: 295
• Sussex: 93
• Union: 896
• Warren: 56
• Under Investigation: 3,020

Sadly, we have lost 21 more New Jerseyans to COVID-19 related complications. Our thoughts are with the families during this difficult time.

As of 1:30 PM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 13,386
• Deaths: 161

For updates:

Covid-19 Total Cases (835) In Ocean County:

Total as of Sunday, 3/29/2020 at 2:00pm

Effective as of March 28, 2020, the data represented below identifies the municipality or mailing address which was self-reported by the resident at the time of testing. It may not necessarily represent the municipality of residence.

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat Light2
Bay Head1
Beach Haven1
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights1
Little Egg Harbor7
Long Beach Township3
Ocean Gate0
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)4
Pine Beach0
Point Pleasant Beach3
Point Pleasant Borough22
Seaside Heights4
Seaside Park1
Ship Bottom2
South Toms River8
Surf City1
Toms River106
Total Positive Cases: 835

Serious Accident Rt. 524 and Sharon Station Road

March 29, 2020

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A serious accident occurred at the intersection of Route 524 and Sharon Station Road around 1:52 pm on Sunday afternoon. Two vehicles collided sending one of the vehicles into a utility pole and severed it off at the bottom. Power lines above fell and come in contact with one of the vehicles.

Hope Fire Company, Allentown First Aid Squad, Millstone First Aid Squad, Paramedics from Mercer County, NJ State Police and a game warden in the area from NJ Division of Fish Game and Wildlife were at the scene. Jersey Central Power and Light-JCP&L was on scene to cut power and replace the broken wires and damaged pole.

The roadway is expected to be closed for an extended time while repairs are made please avoid the area.

No further information was available about the accident.

Robbinsville Mayor David Fried’s Video Address On COVID-19, Also Touches On Budget Of Flat Taxes

March 29, 2020

Update to earlier story

Taxes to remain flat for 2020, this is Robbinsville’s 8th year of reduced or flat taxes.

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor David Fried has posted a video address concerning COVID-19 and also gave some information on the introduction of the 2020 Robbinsville Township Budget. The mayor stated that the Township will be keeping taxes flat for 2020.

This is Robbinsville’s 8th year of reduced or flat taxes (for the Township Township taxed portion) He also mentioned that the Robbinsville School District will taxes will also remain flat this year. For further details please watch the video address below and further details in the transcript.

The annual “State Of The Township” “Pay it Forward” event will not be held live this year but will be held remotely on Tuesday April 28, 2020 via same day video. Follow for further information on the April 28 event.

Message from Mayor Dave Fried, Sunday March 29, 2020:

Transcript of Mayor Fried’s video address:

Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried.

I wanted to address you today on where we stand as a Township, as a community and as the bubble we call Robbinsville Township. I’d like to begin by reminding you that we are all in this together, and we remain committed to you – our residents. We are fighting an invisible enemy that does not discriminate. As a nation, we were unprepared to deal with a global health pandemic and we are working tirelessly to make up ground.

Please take all the warnings seriously. Wash your hands regularly, maintain a 6-foot distance, clean and sanitize surfaces often and most of all – make smart decisions.

Abiding by these guidelines has proven effective in flattening the curve of COVID19.

As of Friday morning, New Jersey was second only to New York in positive cases. This past week we saw the largest single day increases yet. But we expected this. As more people are being tested, the numbers are going up. However, we are also seeing individuals recover with each passing day, and we will continue to see more and more people either in – or emerge – from recovery.

Let’s continue to be patient and kind with one another. Let’s count to five before responding to someone you disagree with – especially on the internet – and ask what you can do right now to help someone in need.

I’ll start with gratitude. I am overwhelmed by all those on the front lines tackling this crisis head on. I often speak highly of our team, but I can’t express to you enough what I see every day. Public service lives in their hearts – from our first responders – police, fire, EMTs and Public Works to our other township employees dedicated to the community and making sure Robbinsville stays open. They all want you to know they are here for you. Just let us know what you need. While the offices may be physically closed to the public, we are open and have implemented ways for you to interact with us. We are even doing a few weddings – albeit without any guests. Calls and emails will be returned within 24 hours. If you have an immediate need, contact the non-emergency line at the police department. The number is 609-259-3900. We have also added drop-off bins at the Municipal Building and Senior Center for added convenience.

I have been inspired seeing everyday residents, churches, civic organizations, healthcare workers and businesses come together to help one another.

It reminds me yet again how precious our bubble is.

Examples include the BAPS Temple donating masks that helped supply healthcare workers and hospitals throughout Mercer County. BAPS also made over 100 snack bags for Meals on Wheels, while Greenhill Pharmacy produced and distributed more than 40 bottles of hand sanitizer. On Friday, Lola’s Restaurant made 300 pizzas for our pizza party! We know this experience has been especially difficult for our small businesses. Those that operate them, and their employees.

Many of you are out of work and unsure of what is to come. The State has set up a small business resources page at

That link and more is available on the Township website, along with a Department of Labor gateway to file for unemployment benefits.

Please know we understand how difficult and stressful these circumstances are.

Going forward I will be allocating significant funding to increase health services in the form of adding emergency equipment and supplies, especially for our first responders. We fully expect to be reimbursed by FEMA so none of that cost would fall into the laps of our residents.

I introduced the 2020 budget to Township Council Thursday and we will be keeping taxes flat. I would also like to applaud the Robbinsville School District for also remaining flat on the tax front this year. I want to thank the Board of Education and Superintendent Kathie Foster for the work they put into the school budget. It is critical that we all hold the line on taxes this year, especially in light of all that is happening around us today.

The mayors of Mercer County have been meeting regularly and we have been in almost constant communication with the State regarding next steps. It has been my honor to serve side-by-side with these fine public servants during this crisis. They all have contributed wonderful ideas and have shared resources in an effort to help each other. We will continue to push for increased testing locally and for supplies so we are much better prepared the next time this happens – hopefully not for many, many, many years to come.

This has indeed been a very stressful few weeks. But I have to tell you – the response of this community as a whole has been nothing short of inspiring. Although we will not be conducting our annual State of the Township Pay it Forward event live this year, we will be delivering that message via same day video on Tuesday, April 28. We are asking that you still consider contributing. Now more than ever, we have folks in dire need.

This year’s cause and our focus:

 “We (Love) our R’Ville Neighbors”

This year we will be paying it forward to a general fund to help individuals most impacted by recent personal events, in addition to those directly affected by this crisis.

Further details, including a “GO Fund Me” page, will be released in the coming days.

I am so proud of those residents abiding by the stay-at-home order, and grateful to those who have donated gift cards and supplies. The emergence of volunteers offering to help has been amazing. Our Hydroponic Farm is still producing 500 heads of lettuce for Mercer Street Friends and local soup kitchens. The Robbinsville Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels are still operating through the Senior Center. With your help and partnering with the Mercer County Nutrition Program, we have tripled the amount of lunches and other meals distributed to those in need. Thank you to everyone for making that happen.

Promising advances have been made with the experimental drug cocktail being used to treat COVID-19 and testing has ramped up. American companies are reinventing themselves to help produce more ventilators. Women and children are making snacks and protective masks and handing them to truck drivers.

Breweries are making hand sanitizer from leftover ingredients. Houses of worship around the world have adapted and are conducting online services.

Those are just some of the reasons I am significantly more optimistic today than I was just a week ago.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel.

If you need anything, please contact the Township at (609) 259-3600, or email me at

We will respond as quickly as we possibly can.

In closing, please do me another favor.

The next time you see one of Public Works employees picking up your trash or recycling – wave hello from your porch, window or screen door. Maybe even make a sign expressing your gratitude.

It would go a long, long way.

With the number of resources, volunteers and support in and around our Robbinsville Bubble, we will get through this by remembering to

Stay Home – Stop the Spread – Save Lives.

God bless you all.

Mayor Fried Video Address 11 am Sunday March 29, 2020

March 29, 2020

See updated story with transcript here

ROBBINSIVLLE, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Fried’s video address at current state regarding COVID-19 will be listed below.

The annual State Of The Township “Pay it Forward” event will not be held live this year but will be held remotely on Tuesday April 28, 2020 via same day video. Follow for further information on the April 28 event.

Robbinsville Township

Robbinsville Township Facebook

The video will be available by 11 am Sunday March 29, 2020

CDC Issues Domestic Travel Advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut & Statement From Governor Murphy

March 28, 2020

Statement from Governor Murphy on CDC Domestic Travel Advisory

“Throughout the day, I’ve been in constant communication with the White House, including discussions with the President and Vice President, who briefed me on tonight’s CDC travel advisory affecting the tri-state region.“To be clear, this non-binding advisory guidance does not change the rules that have been established and in place for over a week now under Executive Order 107. If you have been working as part of our frontline response effort, from health care workers to supermarket workers, we still need you on the job.“I encourage all New Jerseyans to continue practicing aggressive social distancing and take personal responsibility to help us get through this public health emergency.“

The CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.  This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.  These employees of critical infrastructure, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security ( icon) have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedule.  The Governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.

Should I travel within the US?

CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.

Things to consider before travel:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?
    If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be more likely to get infected if you travel there than if you stay home. If you have questions about your destination, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.
  • Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
    Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like coronavirus may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theatres and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).
  • Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?
    People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel.
  • Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?
    If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.
  • Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
    If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Is COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return from travel?
    Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may choose to delay or cancel your plans. If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.

USNS Comfort Underway And Will Arrive In NYC Monday March 30, 2020

March 28, 2020

Complied from the reports of the White House Press Office and United States Navy Public Affairs Office.

NORFOLK, VA– The USNS Comfort is currently underway after a send off from President Donald J. Trump. The ship is currently underway and is scheduled to arrive in New York City on Monday March 30, 2020. The ship will be used to treat non-COVID-19 patients to free up more room in the regular hospital system for COVID-19 patients.

Selected remarks from President Donald J. Trump prior USNS Comfort getting underway at Naval Station Norfolk.

Today, I’m deeply honored to be at Naval Station Norfolk — the largest naval base anywhere in the world, and the home to the most powerful fleet that has ever sailed the seas.  I just passed some of the most beautiful and, frankly, the most highly lethal ships that I have ever seen in my life, and there are a lot of them.  And they’re in better shape now than they have been for many, many decades, with what we’re doing.

We’re grateful to be joined by Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces, Admiral Christopher Grady, and Commander of the U.S. Second Fleet, Vice Admiral Woody Lewis.  Thank you both for being here.  We appreciate it very much.

As we gather today, our country is at war with an invisible enemy.  We are marshalling the full power of the American nation — economic, scientific, medical, and military — to vanquish the virus.  And we will do that.

Today, I’m here to express my profound gratitude to the dedicated service members who will soon be on the frontlines of this fight.  In a few moments, the crew of the Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort — which is really something — will embark for New York City, where they will join the ranks of tens of thousands of amazing doctors, nurses, and medical professionals who are battling to save American lives.

This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York — a place I know very well, a place I love.  We’re here for you, we’re fighting for you, and we are with you all the way, and we always will be.  You have the unwavering support of the entire nation, the entire government, and the entire American people.

After being rushed out of maintenance with historic speed — it was supposed to be here for four weeks, and they did it in four days — the Comfort will arrive at Pier 90 in Manhattan on Monday, three weeks ahead of schedule.  Its crew will begin treating patients on Tuesday.  It will be met in New York Harbor by Governor Cuomo, who I just spoke with; he’s very excited — and they need the help.

The skilled sailors and civilian mariners aboard this ship will provide a critical surge capacity for the New York metropolitan area.  Their mission will be to care for New Yorkers who do not have the virus but who require urgent care.  In other words, they’ll be using this — people will be coming out of hospitals who don’t have the virus, and they’ll be on the ship where they have great operating rooms and great facilities.  And the places inbound, on land, will be where people that have the virus will be.  So the people with the virus will not be on ship.  The ship will be used for people having operations and other things other than that.

By serving these emergency patients away from the hospitals, beds will be opened up all over the city for those who are infected.  This ship can handle a lot of people, so it will open capacity all over the city.  And it will be ready to address any life-threatening medical emergency.  It is stocked.  It’s stocked to the brim with equipment and medicines and everything you can think of.  Importantly, by treating non-infected patients remotely on the ship, it will help to halt, very strongly, the transmission of the virus.

The Comfort’s sister ship on the West Coast, the USNS Mercy, arrived ahead of schedule, substantially, in port yesterday.  Governor Gavin Newsom was very thankful for it.  They’re working very hard in California.  It’s performing a similar mission for the people of Los Angeles and the people of California.

As the USNS Comfort gets underway, it is fully loaded with 12 operating rooms — and they are fully equipped — 1,000 hospital beds, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, digital radiology, a CAT scan, two oxygen-producing plants, and a helicopter deck, which will be used very actively.

It also bears our military’s greatest weapon of all: a crew of nearly 1,200 outstanding members of the United States Navy.  And I thank them very much.  Among the sailors departing today are some of the finest doctors, nurses, technicians, orderlies, and medical staff anywhere in the world.  These are true professionals.  And no one performs better under pressure when lives are on the line.  These are incredible people. –President Donald J. Trump

200328-N-PW494-0006 NORFOLK (March 28, 2020) The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departs Naval Station Norfolk, Va., March 28, 2020. Comfort is deploying in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore-based hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the Department of Defense’s missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D. Sheppard/Released)

Mercer County COVID-19 Testing Site Opens Tuesday By Appointment Only

March 28, 2020

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)– Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today announced that the County, in collaboration with health care partners, will open an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 31, at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence

The testing center is by appointment only for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a prescription from their primary health care provider (PCP). If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your PCP.

The testing center, which initially will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a collaborative effort between the County of Mercer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health System, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton and the Trenton Health Team.

“Testing for COVID-19 is necessary to identify and isolate people with infections,” said Mr. Hughes. “When it comes to setting up a testing site, we face the same challenges as do other jurisdictions, such as securing testing kits and the personal protective equipment for staff. I thank the County’s Office of Emergency Management, our health care partners, Quaker Bridge Mall management and the leadership at Lawrence Township for clearing the hurdles necessary to get this site online.”

Mercer County has contracted with Bio-Reference Laboratories, which will provide testing for individuals who are symptomatic and have been scheduled through their PCP.

To be eligible for testing, an individual must be examined by a PCP. The PCP will determine the need for the test based on symptoms. No one should be tested without being symptomatic. If the PCP deems a test is necessary, they will fax a prescription to the Mercer County call center with the patient’s phone number. Staff will then call the patient, take registration information and schedule an appointment, providing testing site instructions.

For the health, safety and security of staff at the site, patients will not be permitted to leave their vehicles. Walk-ups are not permitted. If you believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub provides a self-assessment tool that will help you determine whether you should be tested. Visit

Photo of the testing center getting set up at Quakerbridge Mall as seen today March 28, 2020 Photo by corespondent Greg Griffis

UPDATE: Ewing Police Break Up “Corona Party” Violating Executive Order 107

March 28, 2020

Update from earlier story:

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On March 27, 2020, at 11:44 pm. Ewing Police Dispatched received and anonymous call about a party. Units responded to the 300 block of Concord Avenue where they found a large gathering inside of an apartment.

Officers dispersed over forty attendees that were attending a gathering for what the renter of the apartment called a “Corona Party”. Officers immediately advised the renter, Wade E. Jackson, 47, of Ewing that he was in violation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order and Jackson ended the party.

Jackson was issued summonses for Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function (2C:29-1a) and a Violation of Emergency and Temporary Acts (App.A.:9-49A).

As a reminder, Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, paragraph 5 states, “Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled, unless otherwise authorized by any part of this Order. The State Director of Emergency Management, who is Superintendent of the State Police, Shall have the discretion to make clarifications and issue orders related to this provision.”

From the Mercer County Prosecutor:

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Ewing Police Chief John P. Stemler III reported today that a 54-year-old Ewing Township man was issued two disorderly persons citations for hosting a party in his apartment Friday evening.

Ewing police were called to an apartment on Concord Avenue at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday morning, March 28, on a noise violation.  Upon entry, they observed 47 people having a party that included a DJ with speakers, alcohol and the smell of marijuana.   Police broke up the party and released everyone except for the tenant, who was issued disorderly persons citations for obstruction and violating an executive order.  Police noted that the apartment was 550 square feet with one bedroom and one bathroom.  Almost all of the people at the party were squeezed together inside, with a handful outside of the residence.

Prosecutor Onofri praised the response of the officers and the decision to disperse the partygoers rather than charge everyone in attendance.  “The goal was to break up the party and send everyone home.  Based on safety and resources, police made the right call to only issue citations to the host,” he said.

But the prosecutor also gave a stern reminder to the public to heed the Governor’s executive orders.  “These are mandates, not suggestions.  Mercer County and the entire state of New Jersey will not tolerate such irresponsible, criminal behavior, and violators will be prosecuted.  Not only are these actions illegal, but in a time where such reckless conduct could endanger family, loved ones, first responders and the community at large, they are also unethical.”

President Trump Considers Quarantine for NY, Parts of NJ and CT As 115,547 Cases in the USA, NJ Now At 11,124

March 28, 2020

President Trump said in Norfolk, VA today that he is considering having a 2 week quarantine for NY, parts of NJ and parts of CT and details will be revealed soon, perhaps early as later today. We will be posting when we get the order from President Trump.

President Trump’s remarks:

We will stop at nothing to protect the health of New Yorkers and the health of the people of our country in their hour of need.  I also want to remind everyone about the CDC’s latest guidance: If you are from the New York metropolitan area and you travel elsewhere, we need you to
self-quarantine for 14 days to help us contain the spread of the virus.

And I am now considering — we’ll make a decision very quickly, very shortly — a quarantine, because it’s such a hot area, of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  We’ll be announcing that, one way or the other, fairly soon.  This does not apply to people such as truckers from outside the New York area who are making deliveries or simply transiting through.  It won’t affect trade in any way.”

Current confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently at 115,547 at 2:37 pm update.

Follow the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker

Governor Phil Murphy reported cases have increased in NJ by 2,289 over night bringing the total in New Jersey to 11,124 total confirmed cases, see below:

We have 2,289 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 11,124.
• Atlantic: 17
• Bergen: 1,838
• Burlington: 115
• Camden: 123
• Cumberland: 11
• Cape May: 7
• Essex: 1,086
• Gloucester: 51
• Hudson: 771
• Hunterdon: 61
• Mercer: 168
• Middlesex: 808
• Monmouth: 781
• Morris: 442
• Ocean: 624
• Passaic: 608
• Salem: 3
• Somerset: 258
• Sussex: 81
• Union: 742
• Warren: 51
• Under Investigation: 2,478

As of 1:30 PM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 11,124
• Deaths: 140

For updates:

President signs historic bill into law – Smith speaks in favor of Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

March 28, 2020

A comprehensive bipartisan $2 trillion stimulus package to help restore the U.S. economy devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law by President Trump today.

Containing the Coronavirus pandemic, developing and deploying reliable therapeutics and creating a safe and effective vaccine must be our highest priority—no matter the cost,” said Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) who returned to Washington to participate in the floor debate and support the bill. Click here to read or watch Smith’s floor statement.

People—especially those on the front lines in health care and first responders—are heroically meeting the challenge, often at great personal cost. Their tenacity, skill and courage—inspire,” he said. “The public-private partnership in my district, state and in the nation is unprecedented. We must do everything we can to flatten the curve and help our people and communities recover.”

President signs historic bill into lawSmith speaks in favor of Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Actf t # eWashington, Mar 27, 2020A comprehensive bipartisan $2 trillion stimulus package to help restore the U.S. economy devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law by President Trump today.“Containing the Coronavirus pandemic, developing and deploying reliable therapeutics and creating a safe and effective vaccine must be our highest priority—no matter the cost,” said Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) who returned to Washington to participate in the floor debate and support the bill. Click here to read or watch Smith’s floor statement.“People—especially those on the front lines in health care and first responders—are heroically meeting the challenge, often at great personal cost. Their tenacity, skill and courage—inspire,” he said. “The public-private partnership in my district, state and in the nation is unprecedented. We must do everything we can to flatten the curve and help our people and communities recover.”Smith noted that his home state of New Jersey has been hard hit by COVID-19.  “As of today,” he said, “6,876 people have tested positive with 81 deaths. Tragically, in my district, four members of one family have died from the virus.”Smith said the new bill, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), “provides direct financial assistance to taxpayers, $100 billion in grants to hospitals, $150 billion to state and local governments, $350 billion for a new paycheck protection program that provides eight weeks of guaranteed loans to employers who retain their employees, an additional $600 per week for up to four months on top of state unemployment insurance, $25 billion for food assistance and much more.”The CARES Act is Phase III of the federal response. Smith noted that he supported Phase I, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020—which provided $8.3 billion for treatment and prevention measures; and Phase II, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—which provided paid sick leave, family medical leave, free testing, and expanded unemployment benefits among other provisions to help working Americans. As signed by President Trump, The CARES Act will:Provide direct financial assistance of $1,200 for individuals making under $75,000 per year, with incrementally smaller assistance for those with higher incomes under certain thresholdsAllow for loans—rather than bailouts—to industries including airlines and those critical to national security, while also imposing limits on the pay employees may receive, and prohibiting stock buybacks, for businesses which utilize these plansAllocate $100 billion in grants to hospitals to address coronavirus-related financial damageProvide $150 billion to assist state and local governmentsAdds $600 per week to unemployment benefits, and extends them for an additional four monthsDirect $16 billion to assist in the procurement of medical supplies for the Strategic National StockpileAllocate $11 billion for coronavirus research and treatmentAllow cost recovery for investments in Qualified Improvement Properties (QIP)—a provision I urged House leaders to includeEnsure that self-employed individuals and independent contractors can qualify for unemployment benefitsCreate a “paycheck protection program” for small businesses, which provides eight weeks of federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll. The portion of these loans used to pay workers, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.   “More remains to be done to reverse the economic hardship caused by this virus,” Smith said. “Still this legislation ensures that the federal government send money and expertise to New Jersey to help mitigate additional job loss, support those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and support our State and local government response teams, hospitals and service industry sectors. Our country will recover, and this is an important part of that effort.”

Additional Summaries about the CARES Act
Provided by House CommitteesTax, Unemployment and Support for Distressed Industries
Summary of Health, Tax, Unemployment, Small Business, and Distressed Industries Provisions
Summary of Key Unemployment Insurance (UI) Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

Small Business Relief
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
CARES Act Small Business Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Paycheck Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness

Education Programs
CARES Act Education and Labor ProvisionsRelief for Job Creators and Consumers
Key Financial Services Provisions in the CARES Act

House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Energy and Commerce Summary of CARES Act Provisions

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Highlights of CARES Act T&I Committee Related Provisions
CARES Act – Jobs & Economic Importance of U.S. Infrastructure Network
Frequently Asked Questions – T&I Related ProvisionsOverview from the House Appropriations Committee
CARES Act – Detailed Funding Summary
CARES Act – Appropriations Highlights

Governor Murphy Announces Mortgage Payment Relief, Financial Protections for New Jerseyans Facing Economic Hardship as a Result of COVID-19

March 28, 2020

TRENTON – Acting on a commitment to provide financial relief to New Jersey homeowners, Governor Phil Murphy today announced that financial institutions will provide mortgage forbearance and financial protections for New Jerseyans facing economic hardship as a result COVID-19.“Millions of hardworking New Jerseyans are suffering financial losses through no fault of their own as a result of the economic downturn brought on by COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “With this initiative, we can ensure that no one loses their home during this public health crisis. I commend our private sector partners for doing their part to reduce financial uncertainty for New Jersey families.”Building on a similar initiative in California, Governor Murphy secured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, in addition to over 40 other federal and state-chartered banks,  credit unions, and servicers to protect New Jersey homeowners. More financial institutions are expected to sign on in the coming days.  The New Jersey Bankers Association, CrossState Credit Union Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey have endorsed this initiative and are encouraging all their members to adopt these policies.Under Governor Murphy’s proposal, New Jerseyans who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for the following relief upon contacting their financial institution:90-Day Grace Period for Mortgage PaymentsFinancial institutions will offer, consistent with applicable guidelines, mortgage payment forbearances of up to 90 days to borrowers economically impacted by COVID-19. In addition, those institutions will:

  • Provide borrowers a streamlined process to request a forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
  • Confirm approval of and terms of forbearance program; and
  • Provide borrowers the opportunity to request additional relief, as practicable, upon continued showing of hardship due to COVID-19.

No Negative Credit Impacts Resulting from Relief Financial institutions will not report derogatory tradelines (e.g., late payments) to credit reporting agencies, consistent with applicable guidelines, for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19-related relief. Moratorium on Initiating Foreclosure Sales or Evictions For at least 60 days, financial institutions will not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions, consistent with applicable guidelines. Relief from Fees and Charges For at least 90 days, financial institutions will waive or refund at least the following for customers who have requested assistance: 

  • Mortgage-related late fees; and
  • Other fees, including early CD withdrawals (subject to applicable federal regulations).

Please note that financial institutions and their servicers are experiencing high volumes of inquiries and may recommend using online services when available for the quickest service. Loans held by a financial institution may be serviced by another company.  Last week, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 106, which imposed a moratorium on removing individuals from their homes pursuant to an eviction or foreclosure proceeding while the Order is in effect. Tenants cannot be asked to leave their homes for nonpayment of rent during this time.    Governor Murphy also announced that the Department of Community Affairs received an additional $13 million in federal funds as part of its annual renewal for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.  These funds, based on the increased utilization New Jersey achieved in the program last year, are critical to helping current voucher tenants maintain their housing stability during the coming year. For more information on COVID-19 related mortgage relief, please click here.

Governor Murphy Announces New Funding Sources to Assist Health Care Providers with COVID-19-Related Expenses

March 28, 2020

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today detailed two new initiatives that will assist health care organizations with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor announced a $140 million pre-payment to health care providers to support preparations related to COVID-19. Additionally, Governor Murphy announced that the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority (NJHCFFA) has launched a $6 million emergency loan program to assist New Jersey’s health care organizations during this time.

“These new funding sources will help our health care providers meet their needs during this critical time,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to say that our Administration and state agencies are working around the clock to pitch in to help during this crisis. We must continue to support our frontline workers.”

“This funding will help health care facilities most in need of support, such as hospitals and federally qualified health centers, as they respond to COVID-19 illness in our state,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.  “Health care professionals are on the frontlines and the state is committed to helping them get the resources they need.”

The pre-payment, which advances $67.3 million in Charity Care, $60.5 million in Graduate Medical Education, and $14.6 million for University Hospital, will support increasing capacity to meet the anticipated patient growth including workforce demands, supplies, and medications. The Charity Care and Graduate Medical Education funds will be an advance of remaining fiscal year 2020 budget allocations for those programs. 

The COVID-19 Aid program, which was approved by NJHCFFA Thursday, is a $6 million loan program to offset some of the unforeseen expenses incurred by this pandemic. Loans will: 
Have no application, initial or annual fees;Be at an interest rate of 0%;Be secured solely by federal and State grants and other financial aid received by the recipient health care organizations as a response to COVID-19, as well as grants from other private and public sources related to COVID-19 resilience (together “COVID-19 Aid”) and anything acquired with the proceeds thereof.  
Decisions on the loan recipients will be made according to the priority and amounts set by a committee consisting of the New Jersey Commissioner of Health or her designee, the Executive Director of the Authority and the Authority’s Director of Research, Investor Relations and Compliance. Additionally the loan will specify how the requested funds will be used: for instance, the acquisition of any property, or acquisition, construction or renovation of any building, acquisition of any equipment, including ventilators, acquisition of any supplies, medications or personal protective equipment, hiring of any staff, consultants or temporary workers, or reopening formerly closed hospital beds/wings, etc.

Principal payments would be required within 30 days of receipt of any COVID-19 Aid by the recipient health care organization in the amount of such COVID-19 Aid received, if any, until the loan is fully repaid.  

The NJHCFFA expects to begin receiving requests as early as next week. Health care organizations treating COVID-19 patients may contact the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority at if they are interested in applying for a loan through the program.

Attorney General Grewal Urges Public To Comply With Emergency Orders Or Face Law Enforcement Action

“Stay Home and Stay Safe” Is Not Just Good Advice During COVID-19 Emergency— It’s the Law

March 27, 2020

Updated with correction from AG Office

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today urged the public and business owners to comply with the Governor’s emergency orders— not only to keep themselves and others healthy, but to avoid creating more work and risks for hard-pressed law enforcement officers.  He warned that those who fail to comply will be held accountable, citing numerous cases where charges have been filed for violations of the orders or other offenses related to the coronavirus. “Our police officers are going above and beyond the call of duty during this health crisis.  Unfortunately, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the orders put in place to protect us all— or what is more egregious, people falsely using the coronavirus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” said Attorney General Grewal.  “Staying home and maintaining social distance is not just good advice to stay healthy, it’s the law.  Make no mistake, we will do what it takes to keep our residents and police officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file criminal charges against those who violate the emergency orders.”    “Once again, New Jersey citizens are facing a crisis with unwavering resolve, fortitude and perseverance, because the vast majority of our residents and businesses are complying with Governor Murphy’s executive order, which must be strictly adhered to in order to prevent community spread of COVID-19,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “As we work collectively to accomplish this goal, it is imperative that businesses and residents follow the protocols set forth in the executive order. Failure to do so will result in a swift response from law enforcement.” Here are some of the recent enforcement actions taken, as well as other cases where individuals were charged by law enforcement with crimes related to COVID-19: 

  • On March 12, Lea Piazza, 28, was charged with false public alarm and motor vehicle offenses after falsely claiming to be infected with the coronavirus during a DWI arrest in Hanover Township.
  • On March 16, Jennifer Burgess allegedly spit on officers in Dunellen, claiming to have tested positive for COVID-19.  She was charged with throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer and second-degree terroristic threats.
  • On March 17, Nicole A. Ayvaz,  23, was arrested in Belleville and charged with false public alarm for allegedly calling emergency dispatchers and claiming she had the coronavirus to try to get Essex County College to close. She did not have the virus.
  • On March 20, Shaul Kuperwasser, 43, was charged with maintaining a nuisance for holding a wedding in Lakewood the previous day, March 19, in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
  • On March 20, Eliyohu S. Zaks, 49, was charged with maintaining a nuisance for holding a wedding in Lakewood in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
  • On March 20, Zachary Hagin, 33, was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, and endangering for allegedly spitting on a police officer in Gloucester Township and claiming to have the coronavirus.
  • On March 20, Marina N. Bishara-Rhone, 22, allegedly coughed directly on an officer during a domestic violence incident in River Edge, saying she had the virus and she hoped he was now infected.  She was charged with endangering and throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer.
  • On March 21, Jacquon Jones, 37, was charged with disorderly conduct for holding a large party in Penns Grove in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
  • On March 21, David Haley, 52, was charged in Middlesex County with throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer and second-degree terroristic threats.  He claimed to be infected with the coronavirus.
  • On March 24, Adrienne Morris, 34, was charged in Gloucester Township after she allegedly went to the home of another woman and assaulted her. She was charged with aggravated assault, harassment, and a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order. —Correction by AG Office
  • On March 22, in Waterford, Carmen J. Fasanella, 25, was charged after he allegedly went out drinking with a friend and crashed his car. He was charged with DWI, reckless driving, and a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.–Correction by AG Office
  • On March 24, George Falcone, 50, was charged with terroristic threats, obstruction, and harassment for allegedly purposely coughing on an employee at the Wegmans store in Manalapan and refusing to cooperate with a police officer.
  • On March 24, David C. Morris, 54, allegedly told New Jersey state troopers in Sussex County that he had the coronavirus in an attempt to avoid arrest after a motor vehicle stop.  He was charged with DWI.
  • On March 24 in Lakewood, police charged Meir T. Gruskin, 37, with a disorderly persons offense for holding a wedding at his home in violation of the emergency orders.
  • On March 24,  the Jersey City Police Department charged multiple individuals who were loitering as a group outside an apartment building.  Three juveniles were charged with defiant trespass, failure to disperse, and disorderly persons offenses related to the emergency orders.
  • On March 25, Karley A. Rosell, 24, of Pitman, was charged in a domestic violence incident with leaving her home and allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at her boyfriend’s residence.  It did not detonate. She was charged with arson and weapons offenses, as well as a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.
  • On March 25 in Lakewood, police charged Abraham Bursztyn, 48, with maintaining a nuisance, in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings, for holding a gathering of approximately 25 young men at the school where he is headmaster.
  • On March 25, Raymond Ricciardi, 51, was arrested in New Providence on domestic violence charges.  He allegedly stated that he was infected with the coronavirus and started to cough at police and medical personnel. He was charged with obstruction and harassment.
  • On March 25, in Lakewood, Juan Gomez Sanchez was charged with a disorderly persons offense for purposely coughing at a liquor store and claiming he was infected with the coronavirus.
  • On March 26, police in Washington Township, Warren County, charged David Merring, 62, owner of Rack and Roll Billiards Hall, with obstruction of the administration of law for keeping his business open in violation of the emergency order. He was previously warned about opening during the emergency and closed down. He re-opened and had customers inside when police arrived.
  • On March 27, Piscataway Police charged four individuals, Yu Han, 20, Xiaonuo Shi, 18, Chenyu Yang, 19, and Roukai Wang, 19, with disorderly persons offenses for violating the emergency orders and criminal mischief for allegedly drag racing and doing donuts in a school parking lot.
  • On March 27, in Hazlet, state troopers charged Travis Urban, 30, with obstruction and hindering apprehension or prosecution for allegedly falsely claiming he had the coronavirus to try to avoid charges after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
  • On March 26, Lakewood Police charged William Katzenstein, 39, with a disorderly persons offense for holding a wedding in violation of the emergency order.
  • On March 27, police charged Pria Milledge, 37, with a disorderly persons offense for holding a party in Bridgeton in violation of the order prohibiting large gatherings.

 If you are seeing a lack of compliance in your town, please contact your local police department or report here The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.  Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS. 

USA Just Shy Of 100,000 Cases of COVID-19 Set To Pass 100k Today, New Jersey At 8,825, Ocean County 557 With Lakewood At 236

March 27, 2020


97,028 Cases of COVID-19 in the USA as of the 2:54 pm update and set to go over 100k later this afternoon as tests come in. Keep up with the latest numbers at the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker Here

4:02 pm tracker update 97,226 cases in the USA

New Jersey:

We have 1,982 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 8,825.
• Atlantic: 14
• Bergen: 1,505
• Burlington: 88
• Camden: 95
• Cumberland: 9
• Cape May: 7
• Essex: 826
• Gloucester: 40
• Hudson: 594
• Hunterdon: 52
• Mercer: 131
• Middlesex: 640
• Monmouth: 634
• Morris: 391
• Ocean: 484
• Passaic: 484
• Salem: 3
• Somerset: 222
• Sussex: 65
• Union: 519
• Warren: 38
• Under Investigation: 1,984

As of 1:30 PM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 8,825
• Deaths: 108

For updates:

Covid-19 Total Cases (557) In Ocean County:

Total as of Friday 3/27/2020 at 2:00pm

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat Light2
Bay Head1
Beach Haven0
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights1
Little Egg Harbor5
Long Beach Township2
Ocean Gate1
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)3
Pine Beach0
Point Pleasant Beach2
Point Pleasant Borough20
Seaside Heights1
Seaside Park1
Ship Bottom2
South Toms River5
Surf City1
Toms River69
Total Positive Cases: 557

Mercer County: Mercer: 131

A letter from County Executive Brian M. Hughes

As the coronavirus response continues full force, I want to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt gratitude to our many citizens who are on the front line of this daily battle.

Our heroic first responders and health care professionals have been working around the clock to keep people safe. Others on the front line, who can’t work from home and are putting themselves at risk to keep our communities functioning, include drug store clerks, supermarket cashiers, people preparing and delivering food, and many more.

State, county and local governments have closed their doors to the public but continue to provide vital services, especially to our most vulnerable populations.

I commend all of you for rising to the occasion day in and day out during this public health emergency, and I applaud your commitment to continuing this effort.

We don’t know how long this crisis will last. We do know that to slow the spread of infection, especially among high-risk groups, and to take the pressure off our health care system, we need to follow the Governor’s directive to stay home if at all possible, and to practice social distancing when we must go out. Those at higher risk – older adults and people with existing health problems – depend on everyone else to stay safe.

We also need to continue taking everyday preventive measures such as frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

I thank each of you for the sacrifices you’re making to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If we all work together, we WILL get through this crisis. Brian M. Hughes
Mercer County Executive

The New Jersey Department of Health today announced that there are now 131 positive cases of COVID-19 in Mercer County. Mercer County releases no identifiers other than the number of cases, and does not tally by municipality. Contact tracing, including information gathering, is underway on the new cases and continuing on the remaining ones where needed. We expect that these numbers will continue to grow as more testing sites come online. For data specific to a municipality, please contact the local health office.

Mercer County continues to recommend basic steps for residents. Whether you are ill or not, adhere to the Governor’s Executive Order and stay home. If you must leave your home, practice social distancing. Wash your hands. Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the Public on COVID-19:
Call: 2-1-1
Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
Text: your  ZIP code to 898-211 for live text assistance


NJ Guard helps state, local officials with COVID-19 response

March 27, 2020

By Master Sgt. Matt Hecht | New Jersey National Guard

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – More than 150 New Jersey National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are helping screen people for COVID-19 at multiple drive-thru testing facilities in the state.

Guard medics, transportation and military police specialists are supporting testing.

“Expanding access to testing is critical in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve in New Jersey,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “I am grateful to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their swift response in fulfilling our request for specimen collection kits and personal protective equipment so that we can successfully offer expansive drive-thru testing in New Jersey.”

Soldiers from the 508th Military Police Company, 143rd Transportation Company, 250th Brigade Support Battalion, and Airmen with the 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing, were activated and are operating under Joint Task Force 57, run by 57th Troop Command.

“The testing of residents is a mission the New Jersey National Guard is ready to assist with in the battle against COVID-19,” said Brig. Gen. Jemal J. Beale, the adjutant general and commissioner, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen stand ready to serve where ever the governor needs us.

The Guard members are spread out at multiple sites, providing medical assistance and directing traffic in partnership with FEMA, the New Jersey Department of Health and New Jersey State Police.

“You know, it feels good, it’s what we sign up for,” said 1st Lt. David Robone, commander of the 508th Military Police Company. “I’ve got a great group of men and women who put on this uniform and have answered the call, and are always willing and able to. To be able to go out and help the community at a time like this is something that we’re all proud of.

“We want to help to end this before it gets worse,” said Spc. Thomas Brennan, a military policeman. “It feels great to help out the state, and hopefully, we can be a part of making sure more people get tested and treated.”

“Let’s all remember that we are America,” said Murphy. “We’re the country that never leaves the fallen soldier injured or killed on the battlefield. We always go back, including putting lives at risk to get that fallen soldier. That is America. That is what we stand for. That is our value system, and that is New Jersey. We will fight to save every single life, and there is no cost too high associated with that.”

New Jersey Air National Guard medics with the 108th Wing process specimens at a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., March 23, 2020. The testing site, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is staffed by the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

Reserve Sailors Deploy Aboard USNS Comfort

March 27, 2020

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Craig Rodarte and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Van Nuys, Commander, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) — Ready to answer the nation’s call, Navy Reserve Sailors reported to the Military Sealift Command’s hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) March 25, to support the ship’s upcoming medical relief mission to New York City.

Preparing for the ship’s COVID-19 response deployment, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command selected more than 120 volunteers from a group of Navy Reserve medical professionals and other ratings to embark on the ship in support of the upcoming mission.

“Right now, medical centers are doing everything they can to help their communities,” said Lt. Derek Hinkley, selected from Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) White River Junction, New Hampshire, to support the response effort. “I see this mission as an opportunity to do what we can to help, in whatever way we can.”

This was the second short-fused request for reserve support on a Navy hospital ship as nearly 60 Reserve Sailors departed Wednesday on the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in support of the COVID-19 response efforts in Los Angeles.

Comfort will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore-based hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases.

One of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people.

“The sheer strength of what the ship can do, from all the cat scans, to full operating rooms and how fast it can be there to support different areas is awesome,” said Yeoman 1st Class Chad Williams, who traveled from NOSC Washington D.C. “This mission is important because it shows that we are not only doing humanitarian missions outside of the U.S., but that we support missions inside the country as well.”

The ability to rapidly provide support to missions like the Comfort’s is a key purpose of the continual training and mobilization readiness efforts of the Navy Reserve, but the motivated responses from the volunteer Sailors was remarkable.

Rear Adm. John Schommer, deputy commander for Commander, Navy Reserve Force, says the response to the call for volunteers was humbling.

“We diligently ensured our volunteer reservists are available to support the medical relief efforts without impacting their local and state communities,” said Schommer. “When we were asked to help find medical professionals to help support this mission, we received hundreds of volunteer requests from our reserve medical community in less than 24 hours.”

Another volunteer, Chief Hospital Corpsman Robert Willis, from NOSC Charlotte, stressed the importance of the response effort. “Supporting this national mission and helping to contain this virus is important,” said Willis. “I want to help in whatever way I can to make sure it gets eradicated.”

The Navy Reserve prides itself on being a ready, agile force providing valuable and vital support to the Navy and the Nation. Today, the Reserve force consists of 59,641 Selected Reserve Sailors (including 10,153 Full Time Support members) 43,754 Individual Ready Reserve members and 422 civilians. The Navy Reserve team, over 100,000 strong, delivers strategic depth and operational capability to the Navy and Marine Corps team and Joint Forces in times of peace and war. 

For U.S. Navy COVID-19 updates, visit

For more Reserve information about COVID-19, visit
For more information about COVID-19, visit

NORFOLK (March 25, 2020) Navy Reserve Sailors prepare to board the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). More than 120 Reserve volunteers were selected to support Comfort’s upcoming deployment to New York City. Comfort is preparing to deploy in support of the nation™s COVID-19 response efforts and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore-based hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the Department of Defense™s missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Craig Z. Rodarte)

United States # 1 In World With 82,404 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

March 26, 2020

Just about 3 hours ago we told you the USA was on track to pass Italy in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the number is higher than thought we are now # 1 with confirmed cases of coronavirus. See current confirmed cases from Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker As of the 5:37 pm. there were reported 82, 404 cases in the USA and we have now passed both China and Italy.

See earlier report here:

New Jersey’s latest report:

Rep. Chris Smith Secures 41 Million Medical Gloves Locked in Govt Warehouses; Now Bound for Healthcare Workers Across the U.S.

PPEs To Help Protect America’s Healthcare Workers on the Frontlines

March 26, 2020

Within 24 hours of being contacted, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) persuaded the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release a massive shipment of 41.3 million medical-grade gloves for distribution in the United States for medical professionals including nurses and doctors and to first responders. The gloves had been held by CBP since late September of last year.

   “At this critical juncture, when supplies of personal protective equipment—PPE—are scarce and medical professionals need to be safeguarded from the coronavirus, we needed to act quickly and work with federal officials to get 41.3 million medical examination gloves released by CBP and into the communities across the country where they are desperately needed,” said Smith.

Amidst the national emergency to combat the COVID-19, CBP had been holding the gloves for many months, and it took dozens of calls to numerous different federal officials. But it was just too important to give up on,” Smith added.  “I am very thankful that Englishtown Councilman Greg Wojyn connected me with this company, Ansell, which brought this matter to my attention.”

   Ansell, a leading PPE provider with a corporate hub in NJ, asked Congressman Smith for help in moving the massive shipment of gloves that were being held up by CBP.  Smith explained that in total, 32.5 million gloves are being held at the port in Baltimore, MD, and 8.8 million more gloves are in Oakland, Calif. After getting word of the release Tuesday night, the medical gloves were expected to start to be shipped immediately.

   Renae Leary, Ansell’s Chief Commercial Officer Americas, was grateful CBP released the gloves at a time when they are badly needed.

   “Ansell is thankful for the efforts of Congressman Chris Smith and others to expedite the release of 40 million medical gloves into the United States,” Leary said. “During this pandemic, the lack of personal protective equipment for front-line medical workers is putting their lives and the lives of patients at risk. As a world leader in providing superior health and safety solutions, Ansell is pleased that the US Customs and Border Protection agency has made the decision to release this supply to healthcare facilities across the United States where it is needed most.”

   “In light of that fact that New Jersey has the second highest number of cases of any state in the country, Ansell has assured me that many of these will be put to use here in New Jersey,” Smith said.

   “In light of that fact that New Jersey has the second highest number of cases of any state in the country, Ansell has assured me that many of these will be put to use here in New Jersey,” Smith said.

   For questions about coronavirus in New Jersey, residents are encouraged to dial 2-1-1, or text NJCOVID to 898-211. To reach Rep. Smith’s NJ District offices dial 732-780-3035 for Freehold; and 609-585-7878 for Hamilton.

Millions of gloves sit in a warehouse in Baltimore(Ansell Photo)

USA Closing In On Italy With 79,785 Cases Set To Go Over 80k Today, NJ 6,876 Cases

March 26, 2020

As of 3:21 pm the United States of America was set to pass Italy in the number of COVID-19 cases. According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker. Currently in the USA it is just shy of 80k at 79,785 and will continue to climb as more are confirmed today. Italy is at 80,589 and is currently #2 in the World with number of cases. Unfortunately as test results come in the USA will move up to the # 2 rank later today.

Please practice safe distancing as recommended by the CDC and almost every government agency and health care professional out there. We need to “flatten the curve” so as people catch the virus our health care system will not be so overloaded people will not be able to get treatment. Take this seriously, you may luck out and not get the virus, or have light symptoms but your loved ones could end up with serious health issues or even death. Don’t chance it keep the 6 feet distance and do not go out unless you have to.

We have 2,492 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 6,876.
• Atlantic: 10
• Bergen: 1,206
• Burlington: 64
• Camden: 73
• Cumberland: 4
• Cape May: 6
• Essex: 609
• Gloucester: 33
• Hudson: 441
• Hunterdon: 39
• Mercer: 111
• Middlesex: 505
• Monmouth: 501
• Morris: 315
• Ocean: 389
• Passaic: 399
• Salem: 2
• Somerset: 179
• Sussex: 49
• Union: 432
• Warren: 31
• Under Investigation: 1,478

As of 1:30 PM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 6,876
• Deaths: 81

For updates:

Ocean County 3/16/2020 Update:

Covid-19 Total Cases (468) In Ocean County:

Total as of Thursday 3/26/2020 at 2:00pm

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat Light1
Bay Head1
Beach Haven0
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights1
Little Egg Harbor4
Long Beach Township2
Ocean Gate1
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)2
Pine Beach0
Point Pleasant Beach2
Point Pleasant Borough18
Seaside Heights0
Seaside Park1
Ship Bottom2
South Toms River3
Surf City1
Toms River60
Total Positive Cases: 468

Monmouth County Man Charged with Producing and Distributing Child Pornography

March 26, 2020

NEWARK, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man is scheduled to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge today for allegedly producing and distributing images of himself sexually assaulting a child, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Christian Importuna, 24, of Englishtown, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. He will make his initial appearance today by telephone conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor. Importuna was arrested at his home this morning by special agents of the FBI.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Importuna produced at least two videos that showed him sexually assaulting a child. The videos came to the attention of law enforcement officials on March 24, 2020, when Importuna attempted to trade images of child pornography with an undercover law enforcement officer on an internet-based application. Law enforcement initially linked the videos to Importuna through business records indicating that they were sent from his Englishtown residence. The investigation further linked Importuna to the production of the images through physical identifiers that were visible in the subject videos.

The charge of production of child pornography, carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of distribution of child pornography, carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited FBI Newark’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to these charges. He also thanked the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Lab, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and Englishtown Police Department, for their assistance with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Read full complaint at this link