VIRUS UPDATE: YEAR BEGINS ON DEADLY NOTE

A Walgreens employee prepares to inject a resident of the Wesleyan in Red Bank with her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday. (Photo by Nick Delmar. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County has recorded 115 COVID-19 related deaths since the start of the new year, according to data released by the New Jersey Health Department Friday.

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RED BANK: MORE SPARKS OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center offers a rare vantage for Red Bankers to view the Navesink and Swimming rivers, speakers said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s elected officials got an earful from the public about the borough’s disabled Senior Center Wednesday night.

But even as the all-Democratic council unanimously approved a new lease on interim space, sparks continued to fly between its members over the center’s near-term future.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL BACKS IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

Marchers took to the streets of Red Bank in June, 2018 to protest the Trump Administration’s border policies. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

A virtual parade of speakers, some near tears, pressed the Red Bank council Wednesday night to support a host of protections for undocumented immigrants.

“It is never symbolic to acknowledge the humanity of any one person,” said a young woman who identified herself as Carla, Red Bank Regional senior and officer of the school’s Dreamers organization. “Doing so is, in fact, the most radical of acts,” she said.

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RED BANK: ATRIUM CITED FOR COVID-19 LAPSE

The Atrium at Navesink Harbor on Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

State health officials cited a Red Bank longterm care facility that has been the scene of 10 recent COVID-19 deaths for “deficiencies” in its defense against the virus in November, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: VIRUS CLAIMS SIX MORE AT ATRIUM

The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, the buildings at center and right, as seen from the Navesink River in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

Six more residents of an assisted-living facility in Red Bank have died of COVID-19 in recent days, data released by the New Jersey Health Department Monday indicate.

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RED BANK: DEMS ERUPT OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years following a pipe leak. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTension among Red Bank Democrats over the future of the borough’s Senior Center erupted in public over the weekend.

Joined by Mayor Pasquale Menna, four of the council’s six Democrats lit into the other two, one of whom is the party chairman, as having “placed their own popularity over what’s best for our residents and taxpayers.”

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER STILL ON ICE

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Red Bank’s Senior Center is not for sale, Mayor Pasquale Menna insists.

But two years after extensive damage caused by a burst pipe, multiple questions surround the still-closed Shrewsbury Avenue facility. Among them: will it reopen anytime soon, and will it stay where it is?

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RED BANK: COVID-19 CLAIMS THREE AT ATRIUM

red bank atriumThe Atrium at Navesink Harbor as seen from the Molly Pitcher Inn in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

Three residents of a senior assisted-living facility in Red Bank have died of COVID-19 since mid-December, according to data released by the New Jersey Health Department Monday.

The deaths at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor occurred as pandemic-driven hospitalizations, and the need for critical care, rose across Monmouth County.

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VIRUS UPDATES: DATA, OUTBREAKS & TESTING

An Immediate Care COVID-19 testing tent in Red Bank’s White Street lot Monday night. The company has been offering free tests at the site for weeks. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

COVID-19 pressure on Monmouth County hospitals continued to increase in the past week, according to the latest data from the county government.

At the same time, demand for intensive care and ventilators to treat patients with the virus showed slight signs of easing.

Separately, Red Bank Regional High announced a plan for free COVID-19 testing for staff and students.

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VIRUS: ICU CASES RISING AS VACCINE DEBUTS

Intensive care bed usage in Monmouth County hospitals rose to 60 Monday, the highest level since May, while hospitalizations for COVID-19 declined to 418, from 446 a week earlier, the freeholders reported. (Monmouth County data. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

With an historic rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccine about to begin in New Jersey, “the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter,” Governor Phil Murphy said Monday.

At the same time, hospitals statewide and in Monmouth County are treating rising numbers of patients who need intensive care and ventilators because of the coronavirus, data show.

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VIRUS: HEALTH WORKERS TO GET FIRST SHOTS

Frontline healthcare workers at Riverview Medical Center received cheers from the police, first aid and fire personnel in April. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

A nationwide rollout of America’s first COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin Tuesday with inoculations of frontline healthcare workers.

Among them will be employees of Hackensack Meridian Health, the parent company of Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center, according to chief executive Robert Garrett.

“I truly believe this is going to be the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic,” Garrett said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation‘ Sunday.

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY DELIGHTS A-POPPING

Red Banker Mike Quon, below, is among the visual artists and craftsmakers selling their wares in a pop-up bazaar in the former Alfonso’s Bakery storefront on Broad Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

The holiday season is popping in Red Bank, with a number of organizations applying the retail ‘pop-up‘ concept in coming days, not just to storefronts but also to entertainments.

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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW ‘NOT IMPACTED’

A temporary tent outside Riverview Medical Center’s emergency room entrance in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

The current resurgence in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Jersey is not having an adverse impact on the hospital network that includes Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center, the organization said in a statement Thursday.

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RED BANK: REMOTE LEARNING GETS BOOST

The funding will pay for 500 Chromebooks, according to the announcement. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Press release from the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund 

The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund announced November 20 that it will provide $187,000 to Red Bank Borough Public Schools to help students stay connected via remote learning.

Red Bank is one of nine districts across the state sharing more than $2.6 million from the NJPRF to help bridge the digital divide exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many New Jersey school districts to switch to remote learning.

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VIRUS: MURPHY NOTES HOSPITAL TREND

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to rise in New Jersey, data show. (New Jersey Health Department graphic. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

Though New Jersey’s rate of COVID-19 transmission has been easing in recent weeks, that data conceals a harsh reality, Governor Phil Murphy said at his regular briefing Wednesday.

At 1.08 percent, the rate of COVID-19 transmission is at its lowest point since September 16, but “it still means that each new case is leading to more than one other new case,” he said. “This virus is still spreading.”

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VIRUS: MONMOUTH HOSPITALIZATIONS RISE

hot topic red bank njMonmouth County hospitals were treating 344 COVID-19 patients as of Monday, the county freeholders reported. Of those, 48 patients were in intensive care and 32 were on ventilators.

In its daily news release Tuesday, the county reported an increase of 309 confirmed COVID-19 cases in its 53 municipalities from Monday, for a total 20,626 since the start of the pandemic in March.

Separately, the New Jersey Health Department website indicated that, as of Tuesday, 816 Monmouth County resident deaths had been attributed to COVID-19, up 5 from Monday. Another 92 deaths were considered “probable,” according to the agency’s pandemic dashboard.

Ninety deaths statewide were added to the pandemic’s toll  Tuesday, bringing the total to 15,254, the agency reported.

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RED BANK: LOW-KEY TREE LIGHTING

Red Bank’s official Christmas tree, a blue spruce donated by the Jennings family of Little Silver, was installed in Riverside Gardens Park over the past weekend. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lighting of the tree will be a low-key affair.

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RED BANK: MENNA APOLOGIZES TO MURPHY

Governor Phil Murphy, right, and First Lady Tammy Murphy with Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Red Bank Classic in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said he apologized to Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday for an incident in which Murphy and his family were harassed by louts as they ate dinner downtown Sunday.

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COVID-19 WATCH: HOSPITALIZATIONS CLIMB

Monmouth County hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19 have been rising steeply in recent weeks. (Monmouth County government data. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith COVID-19 hospitalizations rising rapidly, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy implored residents to curtail their traditional Thanksgiving gatherings this week.

“We know that there are those who are so yearning for normalcy that they’re willing to risk their family’s health for a big Thanksgiving,” he said at his regular briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic Monday. But “we urge you to think beyond this holiday,” he said.

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RED BANK: MURPHYS HECKLED AT DINNER

red bank BROAD STREET PHIL TAMMY JOSH MURPHY 061820Governor Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Murphy and their son Josh eating dinner at Char in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicGovernor Phil Murphy took an understanding tone Monday, less than 24 hours after he and his family were harangued by foulmouthed passersby while eating dinner in Red Bank.

Asking critics to “leave my family out of this,” Murphy also used the verbal assault as an indication that New Jerseyans need to seek common ground during “an incredibly stressful time.”

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SHREWSBURY: COAT DRIVE FOR FAMILIES

Andrew Guage Aliperti from the YMCA’s Counseling & Social Services team prepares to deliver warm coats donated by the community to children.

Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

While no one wants to hear the words COVID and Christmas in the same sentence, it looks like the pandemic is going to have a real impact on the holidays and gift drives for needy families in 2020.

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County’s Counseling & Social Services team has kicked off its annual Adopt-A-Family holiday gift drive, and this year it features a different kind of fundraising effort: a “virtual giving tree.”

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RED BANK: COVID-19 CASES EXCEED 500

Hundreds lined up for free virus tests offered by Immediate Care in Red Bank’s White Street parking lot Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations climbing sharply across the United States and around the world, the case total in Red Bank since the start of the pandemic eclipsed 500 Tuesday.

Monmouth County government data show the the latest 100 cases among borough residents were recorded in only 17 days.
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