Category: Hamilton

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.

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 self.covid19.nj.gov.

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

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.

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

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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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.

Hamilton Township Reports New Case of COVID-19

March 20. 2020

Hamilton, NJ – This morning, 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 three (3) in town. Additionally, there are eight (8) residents who have test results pending. The new positive case is a 63-year-old male who is currently in the hospital, but doing well.  The other two residents that have tested positive for COVID-19 are self-isolating at home, and recovering well.

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.

Given that certain individuals may not exhibit symptoms within the first few days of having COVID-19, we advise all residents to operate with the assumption that when you leave your home, that anyone could have COVID-19. Because of this, it is absolutely necessary to practice physical distancing at all times.  Remember to maintain a distance of about 6 feet from others, avoided crowded public places, practice every day prevention measures like frequent handwashing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.

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 contact the New Jersey Department of Health’s call center at 1-800-962-1253. The call center is open 24/7 and has multi-language capacity.

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Hamilton Township March 19, 2020 Update

March 19, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–See below for the latest in Hamilton Township.

As of 4PM, Thursday, March 19, 2020, Hamilton Township has two positive cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), a 48 year-old male and a 28 year-old female.  For more information on these two cases and the process which Hamilton Township’s Health Department will follow, please visit http://www.hamiltonnj.com/news/?FeedID=3491Additional InformationWhile our Township Parks remain open, we are strongly encouraging residents to use caution when utilizing playground equipment and continue to practice social distancing, even when outside.Please be advised that as of Thursday March 19, 2020 the Mercer County Board of Elections has postponed all election board worker training classes for the upcoming Primary Election in June until further notice. Please visit the Mercer County Government for future updates.Census 2020The Census 2020 is happening NOW! The census provides critical data that is directly connected to federal funding, the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, and is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.Homes began receiving their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20. These official mailings include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the census online. You can complete your questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. Visit www.my2020census.gov to begin!

Coping with Social Distancing and Isolation During COVID-19 

Dealing with Stress

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

 Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Helpful Contacts

* Residents with questions or concern about COVID-19 can call 2-1-1. This is to supplement, not replace, the existing COVID-19 hotline, 1-800-222-1222* Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive information via text and stay informed through the State* For unemployment, Sick Leave, Family Leave Insurance visit  https://www.nj.gov/labor/ *Additionally, here are phone numbers that may be of assistance at the State level
      * Temporary Disability & Family Leave Insurance 
          Phone: (609) 292-7060     
     * Unemployment       Central NJ Phone: (732) 761-2020 We urge everyone to continue to support our local businesses and merchants, the backbone of our community. Continue to check on the elderly and anyone else you believe might need a helping hand. Stop the spread of germs by remembering to wash your hands and practice social distancing. Together we will prevail, we are #HamiltonProud

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Please visit www.HamiltonNJ.com for further updates on this issue

Update: Two Residents of Hamilton Township Test Positive for COVID-19

March 19, 2020

Link to yesterday’s story here

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)– Yesterday, Hamilton Township was informed through the State’s confidential Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) that two residents have tested positive for COVID-19. A 48-year-old male and a 28-year-old female.  As of this morning, both individuals are in touch with our Health Department, are self-isolating at home, and recovering well. In total, there are approximately 125 residents that have connected with our Health Department due to the fact that they have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Yesterday, the Health Department immediately contacted each individual case to begin the “COVID-19 Confirmed Case Interview Form” process.  In this process the individual was asked when they first became ill and track backwards 3 days from that date to the day they were told to self-isolate in order to determine who their close or direct contacts are.  There are approximately 125 individuals who were in close or direct contact with the individuals who have tested positive.  The Health Department is currently in the process of reaching out to these individuals to inform them that have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, a close or direct contact is anyone who was within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more.  After notification, the Health Department will then screen the close or direct contact for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.  The Health Department will then follow a flow chart established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on guidance for how to progress such as the need for self-isolation.  Depending on whether or not the individual who has tested positive is able to self-isolate determines the amount of time the contact must be quarantined.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.  Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.  Any individual under self-isolation is to monitor their symptoms in case they get worse.  It is recommended that people take their temperature with a thermometer at least two times a day.  If the symptoms become worse, the individual is to inform their healthcare provider.

Our Department of Health would like to remind residents that if you go to a medical facility, be sure to call ahead and wear a face mask.  This information goes for people who are quarantined because they have come in contact with a positive case also.  If you test positive for COVID-19 do not panic.  Many people have mild illness which can be managed at home. 

For general questions about COVID-19 please contact the New Jersey Department of Health’s call center at 1-800-962-1253. The call center is open 24/7 and has multi-language capacity.

Two Residents of Hamilton Township Test Positive for COVID-19

March 18, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–

As of 9:00 this morning, Hamilton Township was informed through the State’s confidential Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) that two residents have tested positive for COVID-19. A 48-year-old male and a 28-year-old female. Both of those cases are individuals who are self-isolating at home per doctor’s orders and are not in the hospital. Additionally, there are a number of individuals who have been tested for COVID-19 and the results are pending.

Our Health Department immediately contacted each individual case to begin the “COVID-19 Confirmed Case Interview Form” process.  In this process the individual is asked when they first became ill and track backwards 3 days from that date to the day they were told to self-isolate in order to determine who their close or direct contacts are.  A close or direct contact is anyone who was within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more.  From there the Health Department begins outreach to the close contacts and informs them that they have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. The Health Department will then screen the close or direct contact for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. The Health Department will then follow a flow chart established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on guidance for how to progress such as the need for self-isolation.  Depending on whether or not the individual who has tested positive is able to self-isolate determines the amount of time the contact must be quarantined.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.  Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.  Any individual under self-isolation is to monitor their symptoms in case they get worse.  It is recommended that people take their temperature with a thermometer at least two times a day.  If the symptoms become worse, the individual is to inform their healthcare provider.

Our Department of Health would like to remind residents that if you go to a medical facility, be sure to call ahead and wear a face mask.  This information goes for people who are quarantined because they have come in contact with a positive case also.  If you test positive for COVID-19 do not panic.  Many people have mild illness which can be managed at home. 

For general questions about COVID-19 please contact the New Jersey Department of Health’s call center at 1-800-962-1253. The call center is open 24/7 and has multi-language capacity.

Lia Fail Pipes and Drums of Mercer County, St. Patrick’s Day 2020 Performance

March 17, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—Lia Fail Pipes and Drums could not let a St. Patrick’s Day go without a performance. The band was scheduled to play in New York City today at the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, but the COVID-19 virus precautions canceled any large gatherings. Today some members of the band decided to have a small performance to honor the day while still practicing save distancing with an outdoor performance and maintaining distances. The performance was at 2 pm in front of the Hamilton Township Fire Department, Station 17 and a small group of people who were out and about in Sayen Gardens watched from a distance across the street. Lia Fail Pipes and Drums were also scheduled to play in the Hamilton Township and Robbinsville Saint Patrick’s parades that hae also been canceled due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!

Lia Fail Pipes and Drums St. Patrick’s Day 2020 Performance

Bank Robber Captured

March 16, 2020

HAMILTON, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Police have arrested 28 year old, Hamilton Township resident Luis R. Estrada from the 500 block of Schiller Avenue. Luis Estrada was taken into custody by the Hamilton Township Police Department on March 14, 2020.

See previous story on the bank robbery here

Despite being captured or charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Lamont Announce Regional Approach to Combatting COVID-19

March 16, 2020

The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight 

Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight

Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight

Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area

PRESS RELEASE FROM GOV. MURPHY’S OFFICE: TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.

These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.

The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 PM tonight.

Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 PM tonight. 

This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. 

Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”

Governor Lamont said, “The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives.” 

Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19 at Mercer Elementary School

March 14, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–From Hamilton Township 10 pm. update:

Just recently we were made aware of a presumptive positive case of an individual associated with Mercer Elementary School, part of the Mercer County Special Services School District. 

The individual lives outside Mercer County and therefore, it is not a Mercer County case. However, the Hamilton Health Department is awaiting a list of Hamilton residents with whom this individual has been in contact. We will begin reaching out to those individuals once we receive their names and contact information.

As always, we will keep you informed of all releasable information as quickly as possible. 

Letter from Mercer County Special Services School District:

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) NOTIFICATION
Dear School Community,

In conjunction with the Mercer County Division of Public Health and the Hamilton Township Health
Department, we are informing you that an individual at Mercer Elementary School, tested presumptive
positive for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 13, 2020. This individual is awaiting
confirmatory test results from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) laboratory.

COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that was first detected in Wuhan
Hubei Province, China. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people
who are in close contact with one another, and through respiratory droplets produced when an
infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the eyes, mouth or nose of people
who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs. People are thought to be most contagious when
they are most symptomatic.

A limited number of students and staff have potentially had close contact with the presumptive
positive individual. As per the New Jersey Department of Health, a close contact is considered to
be a person who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 presumptive positive case for longer than 10
minutes. In coordination with the Administration of the Mercer County Special Services School
District, the Hamilton Township Health Department representatives will be directly contacting those
individuals who have been determined to be a close contact.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding at this time, we will continue to update
you as more information is available.

For more information about COVID-19 and the public health procedures visit
https://www.nj.gov/health and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/. You may also call the New Jersey
Department of Health call center at:
1-800-222-1222. The call center is staffed by trained health care professionals 24 hours a day, 7
days a week, has multi-language capacity, and is free.
Sincerely,

Kimberly J. Schneider, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools


Hamilton Township March 14, 2020 6:30 pm update:

As of 6:30 PM, there are no known cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) reported in Hamilton Township.

Yesterday evening, it was announced that Municipal Courts would be closing for two weeks effective Monday, March 16, 2020. You can find a copy of the notice from the NJ Supreme Court here: Notice to the Bar.

Altice USA (better known to residents as Optimum), announced that for for households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, are being offered Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within their service region.  Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, eligible households interested in this solution can call 866-200-9522 to enroll.