Month: March 2020

NJEDA Announces New Initiatives to Support Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

March 26, 2020

TRENTON – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  The package of initiatives includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Taken together, they will provide more than $75 million of State and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State, and federal resources become available. The initiatives will support between 3,000 and 5,000 small and midsize enterprises and are meant to complement recently announced federal economic recovery initiatives. More information about the programs will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov. “The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in New Jersey has sent us into uncharted territory, and the economic impacts will be significant and far-reaching, especially on Main Street. The scope and scale of this new challenge requires immediate action to support New Jersey workers and businesses,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The new NJEDA programs announced today are a critical step that will mitigate the economic impacts of this unprecedented challenge and help workers and businesses to weather the storm and come out stronger when things return to normal.” Development of the grant program, support for CDFIs, and flexibility for current NJEDA borrowers was enabled by the legislature through A3845. Primary sponsors of the legislation include Assemblymembers Roy Freiman, Louis D. Greenwald, Ronald S. Dancer, and Senators Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Brian Stack. The new NJEDA initiatives focus on businesses that have been hit hardest by the novel coronavirus outbreak: local small businesses, mid-size businesses that have had to close or drastically reconfigure operations, and new businesses who were just getting on their feet before the crisis hit. The programs provide a suite of compatible offerings that address these businesses’ varied needs and include mechanisms to provide funding and assistance as quickly as possible.  Many of the resources are designed to be scalable with the addition of federal and philanthropic resources if they become available. Philanthropic partners interested in donating to support the NJEDA’s small business grant program should reach out to donations@njeda.com. “Small- and medium-sized enterprises are the heartbeat of New Jersey’s economy and it is crucial that we do what we can to provide the resources and assistance they need to withstand the outbreak of novel coronavirus,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “In coordination with our partners throughout State government, we are undertaking an unprecedented effort to support these businesses and the New Jersey residents who rely on them for their livelihoods. These are challenging times, but New Jerseyans are resilient, and together we will get through this and rebuild our economy.”  The suite of new initiatives includes: 

  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.
  • Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak.
  • CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak.
  • NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.   
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.
  • Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.

Additional details on the NJEDA’s new programs, including eligibility requirements will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov. Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak is available here: https://covid19.nj.gov/.

Gov. Murphy Announced President Donald J. Trump Has Issued Major Disaster Declaration for NJ

March 26, 2020

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that President Donald J. Trump has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey. The declaration will provide federal assistance to supplement statewide recovery efforts affected by the COVID-19 pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020.“With our major disaster declaration approved, New Jersey will now have access to greater essential federal support to help our residents through this emergency,” said Governor Murphy. “This declaration will allow us to lift remaining bureaucratic barriers to assistance and enhance our statewide response to COVID-19. I am grateful to the Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their collaboration and coordination in supporting our response and recovery efforts to COVID-19 in New Jersey.”In his request dated March 23, 2020, Governor Murphy requested two types of statewide assistance, including individual assistance, which provides assistance to individuals and households, and public assistance, which includes assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.To view Governor Murphy’s request for a major disaster declaration, click here.

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AG Grewal Renews Warning That Those Who Violate Emergency Orders Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Will Face Criminal Charges

March 25, 2020

Cites 3 incidents where police charged persons for illegal gatherings

TRENTON—Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today reiterated his message that law enforcement agencies across New Jersey are strictly enforcing  the Governor’s Executive Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who refuse to comply will face criminal charges. Attorney General Grewal cited three recent examples where police charged individuals for holding prohibited gatherings, including a house party in Penns Grove and two large gatherings yesterday in Lakewood, one of which was a wedding reception. “Our first responders should not be expending their limited personal protective equipment and putting themselves at risk by breaking up large gatherings like they did twice yesterday in Lakewood and over the weekend in Salem County,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “That’s why we’ve charged these three individuals and will charge anyone else who threatens public health by holding large gatherings during this emergency. Our message is clear: stay home!” Late Saturday night, police responded to a noise complaint on Lanning Avenue in Penns Grove, where more than 30 people were attending a house party.  Officers of the Penns Grove Police Department broke up the party and charged the man who was hosting the party, Jacquon Jones, 37, with a disorderly persons offense for violating Governor Murphy’s order prohibiting large gatherings.  Party guests were making videos of the party to post on YouTube. In Lakewood, police responded at approximately 2:30 p.m. yesterday to a large group of people gathered at a tent for a wedding outside a home. As police units responded to disperse the gathering, the homeowner continued the wedding.  Lakewood Police issued a summons to the homeowner, Meir T. Gruskin, 37, charging him with a disorderly persons offense for violating the emergency order.  After the summons was issued, the wedding ended and the crowd dispersed. The second incident in Lakewood took place at a school located on Main Street. Police responded at approximately 5:52 p.m. yesterday and discovered a gathering of approximately 25 teenage and adult males. Upon conclusion of the gathering, officers advised the school’s headmaster, Abraham Bursztyn, 48, that he was violating the emergency order and issued him a summons, charging him with maintaining a nuisance, a disorderly persons offense. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Requiring Child Care Centers Close on April 1 Unless Serving Children of Essential Workers

March 25, 2020

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 110, directing all child care centers in New Jersey to certify by Friday, March 27, that they will solely serve as emergency child care centers for the children of essential workers. Child care centers that do not certify that they can and will exclusively care for these children of essential workers must close by Wednesday, April 1.  “Essential personnel are a vital part of our response and limiting child care to solely these individuals will assist in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases, as well as provide our front-line workers with the critical services they need to get through this emergency,” said Governor Murphy. “A lack of child care cannot be a barrier for our essential employees, and while these workers commit themselves to our New Jersey family, we will commit ourselves to protecting their families.”  “Safe, dependable childcare has always been a necessity for working families,” said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “It is even more crucial now for parents working in professions deemed essential during this public health crisis.  The state’s response to, and recovery from, the Novel Coronavirus really hinges on the skills and ability of our dedicated first responders and essential personnel. We need to do all we can to help them do their jobs without the worry and distraction of losing safe childcare options.”  “In this ongoing emergency, child care providers and staff who care for the children of essential workers are vitally important to our children and to the State’s response,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “We thank the entire child care workforce for their dedication and commitment every day, and especially during this difficult time.”  
Among the directives, the Governor’s executive order directs:

  • The Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, in consultation with the Commissioners of the Departments of Education, Human Services, and Health, shall implement a plan permitting access to emergency child care services for the children of “essential persons.” 
  • In order to be designated as an Emergency Child Care Center, any person or organization, requesting permission to stay open or resume operations on or after April 1, 2020, shall submit the certification form to the Commissioner of Children and Families for approval by Friday, March 27, 2020.  If the certification form demonstrates that it will provide child care services exclusively to “essential persons” during the school closure period, and that it will follow all applicable emergency child care standards, the Commissioner shall authorize it to remain open or resume operations as an emergency child care center.
  • Any child care centers, including those as defined in this executive order, that fail to timely certify shall be closed to the public as of Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and remain closed through the school closure period. Centers shall receive notice of the Commissioner of Children and Families’ certification decision by Monday, March 30, 2020.   
  • Child care centers, for purposes of this order, include entities providing care on a regular basis for children aged 0-13, including licensed child care centers. 
  • For purposes of this order, essential persons shall include, but not be limited to: 1) Health care workers, including staff working in health care facilities and in community-based services including home health and behavioral health; 2) law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency services personnel, and staff at correctional facilities; 3) individuals employed at emergency child care centers operating on or after April 1, 2020; 4) staff working for entities that provide essential social services, including, but not limited to, group home and shelter staff; 5) essential government employees who are unable to work from home, including child protection services workers, child welfare workers, foster care workers, unemployment compensation processing staff, and public health employees; and 6) certain critical workers, as defined by the Commissioner of DCF, at essential retail businesses, as defined in Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent Administrative Orders. The Commissioner of DCF shall have the authority to make changes to this list. 

The order will take effect immediately.  For a copy of Executive Order No. 110, click here.To access the form for Child Care Centers, click here.

USA 62,086 Cases With 869 Deaths, NJ 4,402 Cases and 62 Deaths, Lakewood, NJ 141 Cases

March 25, 2020

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker

We have 736 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 4,402.
• Atlantic: 9
• Bergen: 819
• Burlington: 48
• Camden: 61
• Cumberland: 3
• Cape May: 4
• Essex: 381
• Gloucester: 23
• Hudson: 260
• Hunterdon: 25
• Mercer: 82
• Middlesex: 316
• Monmouth: 313
• Morris: 223
• Ocean: 222
• Passaic: 255
• Salem: 1
• Somerset: 117
• Sussex: 27
• Union: 262
• Warren: 18
• Under Investigation: 933

As of 1:30 PM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 4,402
• Deaths: 62

For updates: covid19.nj.gov

Covid-19 Total Cases (321) In Ocean County:

Total as of Wednesday 3/25/2020 at 2:00pm

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat10
Barnegat Light1
Bay Head1
Beach Haven0
Beachwood0
Berkeley17
Brick22
Eagleswood0
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights1
Jackson35
Lacey10
Lakehurst0
Lakewood141
Lavallette0
Little Egg Harbor3
Long Beach Township2
Manchester11
Mantoloking0
Ocean Gate1
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)0
Pine Beach0
Plumsted3
Point Pleasant Beach1
Point Pleasant Borough13
Seaside Heights0
Seaside Park1
Ship Bottom1
South Toms River1
Surf City1
Stafford5
Toms River40
Tuckerton0
Total Positive Cases: 321

Hamilton Township Provides COVID-19 Update

March 25, 2020

Hamilton, NJ –The Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) alerted the Hamilton Township Health Department that we have a total of 12 (twelve) positive COVID-19 cases in town.  The residents range in age from 22-years-old to 91-years-old. All are either at home self-isolating or admitted to the hospital.

As a reminder to the public, confidentiality laws (HIPAA) prevent the Township from releasing certain details to the public.  Please know that our Health Department has been diligently working to conduct comprehensive investigations for each positive case. Anyone who was in close or direct contact with the individuals who have tested positive is contacted by the Health Department to inform them that they have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Over the weekend, Governor Murphy announced a stay at home order for all residents of New Jersey. We ask Hamilton Township residents that when venturing outside of your home to please cooperate with social distancing guidelines.  Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. 

We know that staying at home and limiting physical interaction is difficult, especially with the warming weather, but is a critical part in doing everything we can now to flatten the curve to keep people safe and save lives. We know that COVID-19 can have very serious consequences for our vulnerable populations, especially our seniors, and ask that you keep them in mind.

For general questions about COVID-19 please dial 2-1-1, text “NJCOVID” to 898-211, or visit covid19.nj.gov.

Governor Murphy Announces Additions to Essential Retail Businesses Permitted to Operate

March 24, 2020

Clarifies Municipal Discretion for Beaches, Boardwalks

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan today announced an Administrative Order, permitting additional retail businesses to operate during their normal business hours. Effective immediately, the following businesses are considered essential in accordance with Executive Order No. 107:

  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops;
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair;
  • Livestock feed stores;
  • Nurseries and garden centers;
  • Farming equipment stores.

Businesses that remain operational must comply with social distancing.“While we understand that this an unprecedented time for our state, I thank each and every New Jerseyan for using their common sense and staying home as much as possible,” said Governor Murphy.The Administrative Order also clarifies that municipalities may impose additional restrictions on beaches and boardwalks.A copy of the Administrative Order can be found here.

Man Charged With Terroristic Threats For Allegedly Coughing On Food Store Employee And Telling Her He Has Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that criminal charges were filed today against a man who allegedly coughed on a food store employee in Manalapan, N.J., and told the woman that he has the coronavirus.

George Falcone, 50, of Freehold, N.J., was charged today by complaint-summons with the following criminal offenses:

  • Terroristic Threats (3rd Degree)
  • Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function (4th degree)
  • Harassment (Petty Disorderly Persons Offense)

The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, at the Wegmans on US Highway 9. The employee was concerned that Falcone was standing too close to her and an open display of prepared foods, so she requested that he step back as she covered the food. Instead, Falcone allegedly stepped forward to within 3 feet of her, leaned toward her, and purposely coughed. He allegedly laughed and said he was infected with the coronavirus. Falcone subsequently told two other employees they are lucky to have jobs.

A detective of the Manalapan Police Department was working a security detail at the store and approached Falcone, who allegedly refused to cooperate or provide his name or driver’s license. After approximately 40 minutes, Falcone identified himself and was permitted to leave. Following additional investigation, summonses were issued today which will require Falcone to appear in court at a later date.

The case will be prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice within the Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Manalapan Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for their strong response to the incident and investigation leading to today’s charges.

“These are extremely difficult times in which all of us are called upon to be considerate of each other— not to engage in intimidation and spread fear, as alleged in this case,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We must do everything we can to deter this type of conduct and any similar conduct that harms others during this emergency. Just as we are cracking down on bias offenses and those who use the pandemic to fuel hatred and prejudice, we vow to respond swiftly and strongly whenever someone commits a criminal offense that uses the coronavirus to generate panic or discord.”

“Exploiting people’s fears and creating panic during a pandemic emergency is reprehensible. In times like these, we need to find ways to pull together as a community instead of committing acts that further divide us,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

“I commend the officers and detectives involved in this case for bringing criminal charges against the individual responsible for causing additional stress to the employees and patrons of Wegmans during these unprecedented times,” said Manalapan Police Chief Michael Fountain. “It sickens me to think an individual would lower their basic human standards during a time of crisis such as we are experiencing. As evident by these charges, law enforcement will not tolerate individuals breaking the law and placing others in fear during an already tense situation.”

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Petty disorderly persons offenses carry a sentence of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Defense Attorney: Undetermined.

George Falcone, 50, of Freehold, N.J., was charged today by complaint-summons with the following criminal offenses: Terroristic Threats (3rd Degree)
Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function (4th degree)
Harassment (Petty Disorderly Persons Offense)

Cash Toll Collections Suspended On The Turnpike And The Parkway Starting 10 pm. Tonight

March 24, 2020

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will suspend cash collections at all toll locations on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway as of 10:00 p.m. March 24th as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. All tolls will be collected electronically.

If you have an E-ZPass tag in your vehicle, the process will not change. The equipment in the lane will read your E-ZPass tag, and the cost of the toll will be deducted from the balance in your account, as usual.

If you do not have an E-ZPass tag, the equipment in the lane will capture a photograph of the license plate on the vehicle you are driving, and an invoice for the cost of the toll will be mailed to the registered owner. You will be billed at the cash toll rate; no additional administrative fees will be charged.

Cash customers who do not want to be billed can open an E-ZPass account by calling the New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 888-AUTO-TOLL (888-288-6865) or by visiting http://www.ezpassnj.com.

Congressman Smith Working to Bring Home Americans Trapped in Peru

March 24, 2020

In an urgent phone conversation Saturday, March 21st with U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Krishna Urs, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Ambassador to reach out to U.S. citizens and reassure those spread-out across Peru that they have not been forgotten nor abandoned.

There are reportedly 5,000 Americans trapped in Peru needing the immediate assistance of the U.S. government in order to get home,” said Smith, who has been contacted by more than a dozen travelers with New Jersey roots.

The Administration has been working on some limited options, but we are asking the State Department to raise the bar and expand their efforts to include chartering planes or using military aircraft.”

Seven hundred Americans, including some from my district, are stuck in parts of Peru, such as Cusco, which is 11,000 feet above sea level where air quality is thin and a strict curfew is enforced.  It’s time to let these Americans and their worried families in the U.S. know that their country will employ more resources to bring them home safely,” Smith said.

In addition to speaking with the Ambassador, Smith has been working with State Department officials for several days. A human rights leader in the Congress, Smith has written three letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlining the location and needs of the New Jersey residents and others desperate for assistance to come home.

 “I ask your assistance in prioritizing the evacuation from Peru of these and other Americans by any appropriate, practicable and timely manner, including the chartering of private or commercial aircraft or the utilization of military planes,” Smith said in his March 20th letter in which he named specific Americans needing assistance.

Smith also led a letter cosigned by two additional members of the Foreign Affairs Committee which said in part “Amid the press of so many concerns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, we appreciate the efforts undertaken thus far on behalf of our citizens abroad, but nonetheless ask that you reassure trapped Americans and their families that their needs are being prioritized.”

Americans in Peru and elsewhere around the globe should know that we are doing everything we can to reunite them with their loved ones,” he said.

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.

USA Passes 50k+ Cases of COVID-19 – Johns Hopkins Reporting 51,542+ Cases and 3,675 in NJ

March 24, 2020

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker is reporting 51,542 with 674 deaths nation wide.

NJ Updates:

We have 846 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 3,675.
• Atlantic: 6
• Bergen: 701
• Burlington: 42
• Camden: 51
• Cumberland: 2
• Cape May: 3
• Essex: 342
• Gloucester: 19
• Hudson: 234
• Hunterdon: 25
• Mercer: 58
• Middlesex: 277
• Monmouth: 288
• Morris: 204
• Ocean: 180
• Passaic: 216
• Salem: 1
• Somerset: 102
• Sussex: 18
• Union: 246
• Warren: 15
• Under Investigation: 645

As of 1:30 PM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 3,675
• Deaths: 44

For updates: covid19.nj.gov


Covid-19 Total Cases (200) In Ocean County:

Total as of Tuesday 3/24/2020 at 2:00pm

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat6
Barnegat Light1
Bay Head1
Beach Haven0
Beachwood0
Berkeley6
Brick14
Eagleswood0
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights0
Jackson23
Lacey4 *
Lakehurst0
Lakewood84
Lavallette0
Little Egg Harbor2
Long Beach Township2
Manchester6
Mantoloking0
Ocean Gate1
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)0
Pine Beach0
Plumsted2
Point Pleasant Beach1
Point Pleasant Borough11
Seaside Heights0
Seaside Park1
Ship Bottom1
South Toms River1
Surf City1
Stafford4
Toms River28
Tuckerton0
* Lacey (corrected from being reported as 5 cases)Total Positive Cases: 200

New Jersey Launches Job Portal to Connect Out-of-Work Residents to Opportunities in Critical Industries

March 24, 2020

TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the launch of a new online portal to connect New Jersey residents with jobs in critical industries responding to COVID-19. The jobs portal is available here: https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov. Employers in critical industries should submit information about openings with urgent hiring needs related to COVID19 here: https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake. “My Administration’s top priority is helping New Jersey residents and businesses overcome the unprecedented disruptions COVID-19 is causing while staying healthy and safe,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The jobs portal will give residents who have lost their jobs or seen their hours reduced an opportunity to get back to work while also providing crucial support to the industries that are on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic.”The jobs portal already has more than 12,000 openings and more are being added every day. These openings are in industries that are critical to New Jersey’s COVID-19 response, such as grocery stores, shipping and logistics, healthcare, janitorial services, human services, and warehousing. By connecting workers to these new openings, the tool will allow New Jersey residents to get back to work while increasing these key industries’ capacity to perform their essential duties. “Helping workers who have seen their jobs disappear or had their hours reduced because of COVID-19 is one of our most pressing responsibilities,” said Department of Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “The jobs portal is a central component of our efforts to help these New Jersey residents get back to work and connecting them with openings in industries that play a vital role in fighting this virus will contribute to keeping us all healthy and safe.”The State has created a special intake tool for employers seeking to have openings posted on the portal. Employers can access the intake tool directly via https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake. “COVID-19 presents a variety of new challenges for businesses throughout the state, but our employers are stepping up, and we’re doing everything we can to support their efforts to go above and beyond for our safety,” said New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer Beth Simone Noveck. “Providing an easily-accessible online resource that will help essential businesses fill staffing shortages benefits everyone and contributes to a safe, effective response to the virus”Job openings currently available through the portal are primarily in industries that are central to the State’s COVID-19 response, but going forward the portal will expand to include any businesses that need to tap into New Jersey’s talent resources. “COVID-19 is directly impacting New Jersey’s physical and economic health in ways we have never seen before, but we are up to the challenge,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The new jobs portal launched today takes on three of our most pressing challenges at once: putting residents who lost jobs or had hours reduced back to work, supporting businesses that provide crucial services, and ensuring we can all stay safe and healthy through this challenging time.” Additional information about New Jersey’s COVID-19 response is available at https://cv.business.nj.gov.

Landscape Equipment Theft Ring Busted

March 23, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On March 19, 2020 Hamilton Detective executed a search warrant of a residential/farm property located on the 3800 block of Crosswicks Hamilton Square Road regarding stolen landscaping equipment being stored at that location. Hamilton Detectives working out of the Major Crimes Section have been working on a major theft ring involving two individuals identified as 39 year old Trenton resident Clint Riley and 24 year old Trenton resident Kevin Cedeno-Ruiz. Detectives have investigated thefts that began occurring early into 2019, which involved stolen landscaping equipment in excess of $380,000. Most of these thefts occurred in Hamilton, although several investigations from this theft ring led detectives into additional jurisdictions.

Detectives determined that arrestees, Clint Riley and Kevin Cedeno-Ruiz conspired together to steal local landscaping equipment from storage yards located throughout Hamilton Township, which was then stored in a pole barn located on the property belonging to Clint Riley on Crosswicks Hamilton Square Road. The stolen property was then sold off to buyers through Facebook Marketplace or though street buyers. The stolen merchandise consisted of large ticket items such as X-Mark, Toro and Bobcat industrial lawnmowers that are priced as high as $30,000. Each. Many of the stolen mowers were then stored at multiple locations on Genesee Street in Trenton and the property located on Crosswicks Hamilton Square Road belonging to Clint Riley.

Many times the stolen merchandise was off loaded from mobile storage trailers and then those trailers were dumped empty at various locations in Hamilton Township. Those trailers also contained smaller items such as weed -whackers, edgers and leaf blowers.

As a result of the warrant execution, Hamilton Detectives are still working to identify additional victims for some of the large ticket items recovered as a result of the search warrant.

The Hamilton Police Division would like to thank detectives Schulte, Inman, MacArthur, Ialacci and T. Clugsten for their investigative work involving this investigation. Additionally, the Hamilton Police Anti- Crime Unit and the Lawrence Police Detective Unit assisted in this investigation.

Hamilton Detectives would like to ask the public to contact our Major Crimes Unit at (609) 581-4009 if believe they have been a victim of these landscape burglary/thefts. A list of the stolen landscaping equipment has been compiled for victim purposes. Serial and model numbers will be essential for recovery of these items.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Nicholas Schulte at (609) 689-5825 or via email at nschulte@hamiltonpd.org or Detective Daniel Inman at (609) 581-4035 or via email at dinman@hamiltonpd.org The public can also leave a message on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

41,708 Cases of COVID-19 In USA and 2,844 In NJ –Hamilton Closes Dog Park and Playground Equipment

March 23, 2020

The coronavirus COVID-19 is all over follow the CDC guidelines and official government information.

NJ COVID-19 Information Hub

NJ COVID-19 Dashboard

Johns Hopkins University Tracker reporting 41,708 cases in USA as of 2:55 pm update.

We have 935 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 2,844.
• Atlantic: 6
• Bergen: 609
• Burlington: 36
• Camden: 33
• Cumberland: 1
• Cape May: 2
• Essex: 273
• Gloucester: 13
• Hudson: 190
• Hunterdon: 18
• Mercer: 50
• Middlesex: 210
• Monmouth: 238
• Morris: 177
• Ocean: 144
• Passaic: 141
• Salem: 1
• Somerset: 67
• Sussex: 15
• Union: 189
• Warren: 12
• Under Investigation: 419

As of 11:30 AM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 2,844
• Deaths: 27

For updates: covid19.nj.gov


Monmouth County has 207 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 reported to the Monmouth County Health Department on March 23, there are 207 positive cases of COVID-19 in Monmouth County.

“As we see these numbers climb, while anticipated, it reminds us why social distancing is so important,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “It is critical for everyone to practice social distancing so that we can slow the spread.”

The breakdown by municipality is as follows:

  • Aberdeen: 7
  • Asbury Park: 4
  • Atlantic Highlands: 1
  • Belmar: 1
  • Bradley Beach: 1
  • Brielle: 2
  • Colts Neck: 8
  • Eatontown: 11
  • Englishtown: 2
  • Farmingdale: 1
  • Freehold Borough: 1
  • Freehold Township: 28
  • Hazlet: 15
  • Holmdel: 5
  • Howell: 17
  • Keansburg: 2
  • Keyport: 1
  • Lake Como: 1
  • Little Silver: 3
  • Manalapan: 22
  • Manasquan: 3
  • Marlboro: 21
  • Matawan: 2
  • Middletown: 7
  • Millstone: 1
  • Monmouth Beach: 1
  • Neptune: 10
  • Neptune City: 1
  • Ocean: 4
  • Oceanport: 4
  • Ocean Grove: 1
  • Red Bank: 2
  • Rumson: 1
  • Sea Girt: 1
  • Shrewsbury: 2
  • Tinton Falls: 4
  • Wall: 4
  • Upper Freehold: 4
  • West Long Branch: 1

The Freeholders also announced that they have been notified that NY Waterway has suspended all ferry service to the Belford Ferry Terminal. More information can be found on nywaterway.com.

Monmouth County Parks remain open, but with no access to any buildings or modern restrooms. Port-a-johns are provided at most locations. Golf courses and playgrounds are closed and all programs are cancelled through at least April 3. As always, Park Rangers are on duty to provide assistance as needed.

As more information becomes available, it will be shared with the public and the media. News updates and information regarding County events and programs affected by the COVID-19 situation are posted at www.visitmonmouth.com.


Monmouth 288 positive cases of CORONA-19 waiting for today’s town list to be released.


Hamilton Township Reports New Case of COVID-19

Hamilton, NJ –The Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) alerted the Hamilton Township Health Department that we have one (1) new positive COVID-19 case, bringing the total cases to six (6) in town. Three out of the six patients are hospitalized while the other three are self-isolating at home. The new positive case is a 58-year-old female.

As a reminder to the public, confidentiality laws (HIPAA) prevent the Township from releasing certain details to the public.  Please know that our Health Department has been diligently working to conduct comprehensive investigations for each positive case. Anyone who was in close or direct contact with the individuals who have tested positive is contacted by the Health Department to inform them that they have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Hamilton Township Ecological Facility reopened to Hamilton Township residents this morning. Until further notice, residents may drop off household recycling and brush ONLY. At this time, contractors will not be allowed to enter the Facility. Upon arrival, a form of identification will be required. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Effective Tuesday, March 24th all playground equipment and dog parks will be closed to the public.  We ask that residents please cooperate with physical distancing guidelines.  We know that staying at home and limited physical interaction is difficult, but is a critical part in doing everything we can now to flatten the curve to keep people safe and save lives. We know that COVID-19 can have very serious consequences for our vulnerable populations, especially our seniors, and ask that you keep them in mind in the coming days and weeks. We will get through this together and we will be stronger for it. 

For general questions about COVID-19 please dial 2-1-1, text “NJCOVID” to 898-211, or visit covid19.nj.gov.

Township Facilities Update

HAMILTON– Effective Tuesday, March 24th the following Township Facilities will be closed to the public: 

* All Playground Equipment
* Dog Parks 

We ask that residents please cooperate with physical distancing guidelines.  We know that staying at home and limited physical interaction is difficult, but is a critical part in doing everything we can now to flatten the curve to keep people safe and save lives. We know that COVID-19 can have very serious consequences for our vulnerable populations, especially our seniors, and ask that you keep them in mind in the coming days and weeks. We will get through this together and we will be stronger for it.   


Covid-19 Total Cases (149) In Ocean County:

Total as of Monday 3/23/2020 at 2:00pm

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat3
Barnegat Light0
Bay Head1
Beach Haven0
Beachwood0
Berkeley3
Brick5
Eagleswood0
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights0
Jackson18
Lacey4 *
Lakehurst0
Lakewood69
Lavallette0
Little Egg Harbor2
Long Beach Township2
Manchester6
Mantoloking0
Ocean Gate0
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)0
Pine Beach0
Plumsted1
Point Pleasant Beach0
Point Pleasant Borough7
Seaside Heights0
Seaside Park1
Ship Bottom1
South Toms River0
Surf City1
Stafford4
Toms River21
Tuckerton0
* Lacey (corrected from being reported as 5 cases)Total Positive Cases: 149

AG Grewal, DOH Commissioner Persichilli Announce Guidance for Healthcare Providers on Safely Evaluating Patients for COVID-19

March 23, 2020

NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli announced today their Departments have issued guidance to thousands of health care professionals statewide on how to safely evaluate patients who may have COVID-19 and to care for patients who have COVID-19 in an outpatient office setting.Doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists are advised to follow best practices set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health when treating patients for COVID-19-related concerns or symptoms.Those practices include using telephone consults to triage patients prior to scheduling office vis-its, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment when evaluating symptomatic patients during in-person visits, and maximizing the delivery of health care services through telemedicine and other alternative methods.“As gatekeepers to the health care system, office-based health care professionals are vital to re-sponding to the threat posed by COVID-19 and helping to flatten the curve of infections,” said Attorney General Grewal. “By providing guidance to New Jersey practitioners, we are acting to ensure they follow best practices for evaluating and treating patients during this worldwide pan-demic.”“It is essential that practitioners are mindful of the critical need to avoid overwhelming the health care system by recommending inappropriate referrals or testing,” said State Health Commissioner Persichilli. “Practitioners’ clinical judgement will be of the greatest value to patients and will help to best conserve our health resources at this critical time.” The guidance was developed by the Communicable Disease Service within the Department of Health and the Division of Consumer Affairs within the Department of Law & Public Safety.In guidance emailed to all health care professionals licensed by the Division’s Board Medical Examiners, Board of Nursing, and Board of Respiratory Care, practitioners received information on the types and availability of tests that look for the COVID-19 virus.They were also provided with step-by-step guidance on how to address concerns of asympto-matic patients, how to assess the severity of symptomatic patients, and how to determine treat-ment based on those assessments, in accordance with CDC best practices.“Our health care professionals are facing new and unfamiliar challenges every day as they seek to evaluate and treat their patients, while minimizing the risk of exposure to themselves, their colleagues and staff, and their other patients,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The Division and its professional boards are working to provide guidance and support to those on the front lines of this pandemic response in every way that we can.”The learn more about what the Division is doing to help consumers and licensees stay safe amid the COVID-19 emergency, visit the Division’s Covid-19 Resources Page at

 https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/COVID19/Pages/default.aspx.

Guidance: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/COVID-19-Outpatient-Provider-Guidance.pdf

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Message From Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried

March 22, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Please see post from Robbinsville’s Mayor Dave Fried reposed from Facebook.

As we move into the second week of these unprecedented and unpredictable times, Robbinsville Township is doing everything possible to anticipate your needs.
With the status of employment and everyday necessities changing daily, please know we have a wealth of volunteers at the ready to help. Township government is functioning very well despite closing its physical doors to the public, and we will continue to provide our basic services via other means, including drop boxes/bins, telecommunications and online tools.
We want people out there exercising – walking, biking and fishing. However, we must reiterate the importance of speaking to your children about proper social distancing. We have received several discouraging reports of our young people outside engaging in various recreational and social activities while not conforming to the new global guidelines on social distancing. Please, if your kids are out and about playing with one or more children, ask them to be smart. Understandably, as the weeks move forward and the weather gets warmer, enforcing and reinforcing these new social interaction rules will become increasingly difficult. I want to keep our parks open (although the playgrounds are closed), so please work with us. It is imperative to the health and safety of our entire community … and beyond.
We absolutely understand the unprecedented stress and frustration these events have caused.
Please share and be kind to your neighbors, and try to count to five before answering anyone you disagree with either in person, or online.
The Township – as well as Mercer County – are very low on masks for first responders as well as COVID-19 test kits for the public. This has been very frustrating for us in government, but we are working every hour of the day to help improve each of those situations. I hope and pray we have learned some very valuable lessons from this and will never cede the manufacturing of our most important healthcare items to other countries ever again. I will be speaking out about this more and more.
We can’t emphasize this part enough: Our staff cares deeply about your well-being, and we want to do all we can to partner with you. Let us know what you or family may need and we will do our very best to help.
Email us at mayor@robbinsville.net and we will try to help as quickly as we possibly can.
Through adversity can emerge abundance. Join me in believing in the art of what is possible.
This too shall pass. Thank you for your support and continued advocacy. Stay safe and continue looking out for your family and friends as we work through these daunting challenges together.
Last if you feel these messages are helpful please drop a like or a keep them coming. If there things I could ass to make them more helpful let me know.

God bless you all.

USA at 32,346 and NJ Reporting 1,914 Cases of COVID-19

March 22, 2020 — Tracker numbers updated as of 4:25 pm 3/22/2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Govenor Phil Murphy announced that NJ currently has 1,914 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Nationally the Coronavirus COVID-19 Dashboard is currently reporting a total of 32,346* cases in the United States of America. Click link for current statistics. **Adjusted numbers after a higher number was reported earlier the final number for day they will report at midnight.

John Hopkins University Tracker is reporting 32,057 cases in the United States.

We have 590 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 1,914.
• Atlantic: 5
• Bergen: 457
• Burlington: 26
• Camden: 22
• Cumberland: 1
• Cape May: 2
• Essex: 172
• Gloucester: 8
• Hudson: 126
• Hunterdon: 16
• Mercer: 40
• Middlesex: 147
• Monmouth: 158
• Morris: 119
• Ocean: 102
• Passaic: 95
• Salem: 1
• Somerset: 51
• Sussex: 12
• Union: 124
• Warren: 9
• Under Investigation: 211

As of 1:30 PM, #COVID19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 1,914
• Deaths: 20

For updates: covid19.nj.gov

Driver Lucky To Be Alive After Vehicle Drives Off Roadway And Catches Fire

March 21, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–A pick up truck driver is lucky to be alive tonight, his after vehicle lost control crashing into the woods, then burst into flames.

The Robbinsville Township Fire Department was dispatched to a vehicle fire on I-195 West Bound between Exits 7 and 8 on March 21, 2020 at 9:19 pm. Robbinsville Township Police and NJ State Police arrived and found a pickup truck had run off the roadway, into the woods and was well involved in fire. The police found the driver in the vicinity and was reported over the radio as ok but was later transported to RWJ at Hamilton Hospital for treatment. Hamilton Township Fire Department Station 19 was called to the scene and provided additional assistance.

No further information was available at the time of this report.

1,327 Cases In NJ and 24,148 In the USA

March 21, 2020

Nationally we are closing in on 25,000 cases and currently stand at 24,148. at the 4:13 pm update of the John Hopkins University tracker. As expected with increased testing the number will go higher quickly with confirmed cases. John Hopkins University Tracker Here

In New Jersey specific here is what we have:

We have 442 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 1,327.
• Atlantic: 4
• Bergen: 363
• Burlington: 21
• Camden: 15
• Cumberland: 1
• Cape May: 2
• Essex: 107
• Gloucester: 6
• Hudson: 97
• Hunterdon: 14
• Mercer: 30
• Middlesex: 116
• Monmouth: 92
• Morris: 64
• Ocean: 62
• Passaic: 67
• Somerset: 34
• Sussex: 6
• Union: 81
• Warren: 5
• Under Investigation: 140

As of 12:30 PM, COVID-19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 1,327
• Deaths: 16

For updates: covid19.nj.gov

Hamilton Township Reports Two New Cases of COVID-19

March 21, 2020

Hamilton, NJ –The Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) alerted the Hamilton Township Health Department that we have two (2) new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases to five (5) in town.  Two out of the five patients are hospitalized while the other three are self-isolating at home. Additionally, the Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) has ceased reporting of pending cases. The new positive cases are a 48-year-old female and a 30-year-old male.

While many members of the public have questioned where the individuals who have tested positive work and locations they have frequented, this information is protected by confidentiality laws (HIPAA) and prevent the Township from releasing certain details to the public.  Please know that our Health Department has been diligently working to conduct comprehensive investigations for each positive case. Anyone who was in close or direct contact with the individuals who have tested positive is contacted by the Health Department to inform them that they have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, Governor Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 107, directing all residents to stay home until further notice.  We know that staying at home and limited physical interaction is difficult, but is a critical part in doing everything we can now to flatten the curve to keep people safe and save lives. We know that COVID-19 can have very serious consequences for our vulnerable populations, especially our seniors, and ask that you keep them in mind in the coming days and weeks. We will get through this together and we will be stronger for it. 

For general questions about COVID-19 please dial 2-1-1, text “NJCOVID” to 898-211, or visit covid19.nj.gov.

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New Jersey Launches New COVID-19 Website

March 21, 2020

NEWARK –Governor Phil Murphy today announced the launch of the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub, a new, visitor-friendly website available at covid19.nj.gov. The New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub provides New Jerseyans with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the State’s response, including information about services such as food assistance and small business assistance.
“We want to make it easier for New Jersey residents to access the critical resources they need as the State responds to COVID-19,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This innovative new site, equipped with expert knowledge and vital information, is an essential resource for New Jerseyans during this time.”The New Jersey Office of Innovation, the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and other state agencies have partnered with Yext, which has volunteered its time and resources to help build the website, and the Federation of American Scientists’ “Ask a Scientist” project, which sources hundreds of scientific experts to address general questions about COVID-19.“This user-friendly website allows the public to find information by topic, such as COVID-19 illness, employment benefits, education resources, and much more,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “This website reflects the whole-of government response that Governor Murphy is leading.””The site is fully searchable, and allows the public to submit their questions about COVID-19 and get a reliable response,” said Beth Simone Noveck, the State of New Jersey’s Chief Innovation Officer. “At a time when access to accurate and fast-changing information is of utmost importance, we’re pleased to provide this service to the people of New Jersey.”The New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub includes a COVID-19 Symptom Checker, so New Jerseyans can receive tailored advice depending on their symptoms, including information about testing. It will also increase the State’s ability to analyze the spread of COVID-19.The New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub is accessible via mobile phone and for those with disabilities. All the content is easily searchable via Google and other search engines so the information can be found widely and consistently.Visit the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub at https://covid19.nj.gov.

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Governor Murphy Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order, Closure of All Non-Essential Retail Businesses

Order Also Prohibits All Social Gatherings, Mandates Work From Home Arrangements for Employees When Possible, and Invalidates Any Conflicting Local and County Regulations

March 21, 2020

NEWARK – To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey’s health care system for the state’s most vulnerable, Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 107, directing all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities. “From day one, we’ve made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey’s nine million residents,” said Governor Murphy. “We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes. This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow – and eventually halt – the spread of coronavirus.”In effort to strengthen the existing social distancing measures in place, the order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized by the Order. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.Governor Murphy’s Executive Order further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:

  • Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
  • Medical supply stores;
  • Gas stations;
  • Convenience stores;
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
  • Hardware and home improvement stores;
  • Banks and other financial institutions;
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
  • Pet stores;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
  • Printing and office supply shops;
  • Mail and delivery stores.

Nothing in the Order shall limit 1) the provision of health care or medical services; 2) access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; 3) the operations of the media; 4) law enforcement agencies, or 5) the operations of the federal government.Additionally, the order mandates that all businesses or non-profits, wherever practicable, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements. To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue. Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, other first responders, cashiers or store clerks, construction workers, utility workers, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, IT maintenance workers, janitorial and custodial staff, and certain administrative staff.The Order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, requirements that all restaurants operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education cease in-person instruction.Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order No. 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restriction that in any way will or might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107.  Municipalities or counties cannot 1) make any additions to or deletions from the list of essential retail businesses; 2) impose any additional limitations on businesses beyond the Governor’s Order; 3) impose any additional density or social distancing requirements; or 4) impose any additional restrictions on freedom of movement.  The only exceptions are two categories over which municipalities or counties may impose any additional restrictions: 1) online marketplaces for arranging or offering lodging and 2) municipal or county parks.All additional county and municipality restrictions, subject to the provisions above, are not only invalidated, but, going forward, municipalities or counties may not enact or enforce any rule or ordinance which will or might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107.For a copy of Executive Order No. 107, click here.For a copy of Executive Order No. 108, click here.The orders shall take effect on Saturday, March 21 at 9:00 p.m.

Robbinsville Office of Emergency Management Report First Case of COVID-19 Of a Robbinsville Township Resident

March 20, 2020

Robbinsville, NJ – (March 20, 2020) – The Robbinsville Township Office of Emergency Management and the West Windsor Health Department are announcing the first case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in a Robbinsville resident.

The health department received notification of the test results on the evening of March 20 and has notified close contacts of this individual residing in town. The health investigation is ongoing, and contacts outside the jurisdiction also are being notified by public health officials. The patient has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating at home. Individuals who came in close contact are being informed to take preventative measures to stop further spread of the virus. Close contacts is defined as those persons in the community who had prolonged or close personal interaction with a positive COVID-19 case. Persons identified as close contacts must remain home for 14 days following exposure and self-monitor for symptoms. Public health officials will monitor these persons via telephone.

As we continue to see more cases identified throughout New Jersey, the public is reminded of the importance of adhering to social distancing precautions. This will help slow the spread of illness. Please follow public health preventative practices every day. Stay home when you are ill and avoid others with symptoms. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or sleeve. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces often. If you become ill, call the doctor or hospital and wear a mask, if available.

Mayor Dave Fried and Health Officer Jill Swanson strongly encourage the public to reach out to family members and neighbors at highest risk for COVID-19 illness. The elderly and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions are the most vulnerable to serious health outcomes. Please identify the people in your life who are at-risk and take immediate steps to help them remain in their homes and away from crowded stores and venues. Check-in by telephone on a regular basis to ensure that they have adequate supplies and remain healthy. Working together, we can help lessen the impact of this outbreak in the community by doing our part to flatten the curve.

For more information, visit the West Windsor Township website at www.westwindsornj.org, the New Jersey Department of Health website at www.nj.gov/health, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

3/20/2020 Stats Update From Gov. Phil Murphy

March 20, 2020

We have 155 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 890.
• Atlantic: 3
• Bergen: 249
• Burlington: 17
• Camden: 11

• Cape May: 1
• Cumberland: 1
• Essex: 73
• Gloucester: 3
• Hudson: 66
• Hunterdon: 11
• Mercer: 22
• Middlesex: 76
• Monmouth: 53
• Morris: 35
• Ocean: 49
• Passaic: 49
• Somerset: 28

• Sussex: 3
• Union: 43
• Warren: 3
• Under Investigation: 98

As of 11:30 AM, #COVID19 statewide stats:
• Positive Tests: 890
• Deaths: 11

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Hankins Road Closed Due To MVA With Wires Down

March 20, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hankins Road is closed due to a motor vehicle accident where a car struck a utility pole. The Road is closed between Woodland Drive, East Windsor Township and South Lane West Windsor Township. The accident is reported in front of 121 Hankins Road.

Be prepared for the road to be closed for an extended time until the utility pole can be replaced.

The Robbinsville Township Police Department is on scene and the East Windsor Fire Company and Robbinsville Township Fire Departments responded to the scene.

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Upper Freehold Regional School Buildings Closed Until After Spring Break April 20th, Online Learning Continues

March 20, 2020

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–See letter sent out to families of Upper Freehold Regional School District:

March 20, 2020
Dear UFRSD Family,
I hope this letter finds you well. It is remarkable to think about how different things are in such
a short amount of time. In these times, we are seeing our schools, our staff, our students, our
community, our state and country rise up to battle this moment in our history. I continue to be
proud of the work that everyone is doing to make this moment meaningful for kids. We are all a part
of this team of Redbirds, and I couldn’t be prouder of the entire UFRSD community.
As you may remember, the UFRSD and Millstone Township School District made the decision last week
to close our schools through March 27, 2020. We made this decision to support the recommendation of
social distancing to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) virus. This past week, the
Governor closed all schools in New Jersey “until further notice.” All indications point to a much
longer closure for our schools. Therefore, Dr. Huss and I made the decision to close schools
through spring break. Spring break begins on Thursday, April 9th (early dismissal schedule) and has
our schools reopening on Monday, April 20, 2020. There will be no remote learning during the week
of spring break (April 10 – April 19), because, more than ever, we recognize the real need for a
mental break this year..
We are fully aware that this date may need to continue to be adjusted. We will monitor all
information and continually consult with the Department of Health and the Department of Education
to determine if the April 20th date is a realistic one.
I am an eternal optimist, and I know we will get through this challenging time together. We have
always been a great district, and this extraordinary community just continues to show how amazing
people do amazing things.
Stay healthy, and I will continue to look forward to our return to school at some point in the
future. I miss everyone.
My best,
Mark Guterl
Mark Guterl
Superintendent of Schools

Regional Coalition Requests a Direct Cash Assistance Program of At Least $100 Billion in Response to Financial Impact of COVID-19

March 20, 2020

TRENTON – As part of a coordinated regional effort to combat COVID-19, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today urged the federal government to consider a fiscal stimulus in the form of a direct cash assistance program to provide an immediate financial infusion to all four states to help cover costs related to COVID-19 response operations. The four governors – whose states collectively represent 16 percent of the United States economy – made the request in a letter issued to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.The Governors emphasized that the financial impact of the aggressive mitigation efforts implemented this week will result in billions of dollars in lost revenue and unprecedented budgetary hardships without direct federal intervention. The letter estimates that for the four states alone, the direct cash assistance must total at least $100 billion to account for the fiscal challenges ahead of state budget deadlines.‘We owe an enormous debt to the relief efforts and resources that our federal partners have already provided,” wrote Governors Murphy, Cuomo, Lamont, and Wolf. “But our challenges are expanding daily and just beginning. Our states have all stepped up to take unprecedented action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and do all we can to flatten the curve. We implore you to consider the devastating impact these efforts will have on our states – and millions of our residents – both in the immediate term and the months to come.”A copy of the coalition’s letter can be found here.

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West Windsor Township Health Department COVID-19 Investigation Update

March 20, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–West Windsor Health Department is reporting 3 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the Township’s total to 4 residents. Public health investigations are actively underway and potential contacts will be notified. Our investigations have found that a symptomatic person positive for the illness attended a local gym. The facility has been notified by the Lawrence Township Health Department and management is in the process of contacting the membership directly. The individual attended the New Jersey Athletic Club located at 4152 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 between the hours of 4 pm and 7:30 pm on March 9th, 11th, and 12th .

The purpose of this notification is to increase awareness to potential contacts, to encourage selfmonitoring for symptoms and isolation from those most at risk to serious health outcomes. This report reinforces the importance for those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and the elderly to stay at home. As more cases are observed in New Jersey, we are urging all people to practice social distancing.

The public is advised to practice social distancing, avoid crowds and take every day preventative steps to protect themselves and others. It is very important to stay home when you are ill and avoid others with symptoms. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or sleeve. If you become ill, you must call the doctor or hospital before you go. Wear a mask, if available.

Everyone and every organization must do their part to help prevent the spread of this virus. Working together as a team we can help lessen the impact of this outbreak on our local community.

For more information, visit the West Windsor Township website at http://www.westwindsornj.org or the New Jersey Department of Health website at http://www.nj.gov/health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov .

Reminder Of Possible Coronavirus Scams

March 20, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Police have put a notice out to remind people of potential scams in relation the COVID-19 situation.

The Center of Disease Control, CDC is not going door to door testing people, be aware of e-mail and phone call scams, do not give personal information, the government will not be calling you about your personal relief check for $1,000 and they do not need your bank account number or anything related. Do not allow strangers in your home unless they have official ID and if you are unsure notify the police department right away.

This is similar advice as given per Robbinsville Township Police when it was reported that around March 9, 2020 someone was going door to door posing as the CDC. See previous article here

Don’t forget report any suspicious activity to the police department right away do not wait.

Murphy Administration Announces Waiver of Fees for COVID-19 Testing Services For Uninsured

March 20, 2020

TRENTON – To ensure that individuals who are uninsured have access to testing for COVID-19, the Murphy Administration today required hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to waive patient fees for testing and related diagnostic services for those who lack health insurance.
In communication to the New Jersey Hospital Association and the New Jersey Primary Care Association, which includes 23 FQHCs with more than 120 satellite locations, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that the cost for testing and diagnosis should not be a barrier for any of New Jersey’s residents.
“Every single New Jerseyan with symptoms must have access to COVID-19 testing if we are going to end this crisis,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Waiving testing fees for the uninsured is a critical step in allowing us to prevent more New Jerseyans from being infected and to identify those who already have been infected so they can get the care they need.”
“In order to remove barriers to testing for COVID-19, the Department of Health is issuing guidance today to hospitals and FQHCS to provide testing for COVID-19 to any resident of New Jersey who is not currently insured and who is not eligible for Medicaid. The hospitals and the FQHCs should instead charge the State for these costs through existing Charity Care programs” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
In the memo to the New Jersey Hospital Association, Commissioner Persichilli said hospitals will be able to submit claims for reimbursement to the charity care program, which provides subsidies to hospitals for care they provide to the uninsured. The FQHCs will be able to submit claims to the Uncompensated Care Fund.  

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