Category: Mercer County

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.