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: 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: 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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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW WATER DEAL DETAILED

red bank riverview 032020 2The agreement ends a lawsuit alleging the hospital illegally connected its Blaisdell Pavilion to the borough water system. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njUnder a “confidential” settlement approved by the borough council last week, Riverview Medical Center will pay Red Bank just $850,000 for water and sewer usage the town contended in a lawsuit was worth at least $5.3 million.

The hospital also will get 10 more years to pay off the obligation, some of which dates to 1984.

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RED BANK: TRASH PACT, LEAK REPORT OK’D

DeLisa Demolition won the bidding to haul the borough’s trash and recycling for another five years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicMonths later than expected, Red Bank officials agreed this week to enter a new five-year contract for private trash hauling, one that will increase the frequency of recycling pickups.

They also agreed to hire an outside attorney to look into disputed emails about the bid specifications.

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RED BANK: LOOSE LIPS AT COUNCIL SESSION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, upper left, and Councilman Ed Zipprich, center left, seen on Zoom during Wednesday’s council session Attorney Greg Cannon is in second row, third from left. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe final Red Bank council meeting of 2020 included a couple of apparent cases of loose lips.

In one, Mayor Pasquale Menna revealed more than the borough attorney thought he should about the settlement of a lawsuit over Riverview Medical Center’s water bill.

In another, Councilman Ed Zipprich  questioned the qualifications of a newly hired official.

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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: SCHOOLS DIVERGE ON SCHEDULES

redbankgreen hot topicThe construction fence surrounding an addition at Red Bank Regional High School has come down, in time for a resumption of a hybrid schedule that will bring students back to the Little Silver campus starting Monday, Superintendent Lou Moore announced Thursday.

But in Red Bank borough, RBR’s largest sending district, the primary and middle schools will remain off-limits to students and staff for another month due to the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Jared Rumage said.

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VIRUS UPDATE: COVID-19 CASES ON THE RISE

Red Bank schools, including the middle school, continued on all-remote learning Monday after a planned return to a hybrid schedule was postponed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

Governor Phil Murphy warned of a delayed post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge Monday, while cautioning New Jersey residents against gathering over the coming holiday season.

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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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LITTLE SILVER: ANOTHER REVERSAL FOR RBR

Fewer than 240 of the 653 students who might have attended classes did so Tuesday Moore said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWhipsawed students, parents and teachers at Red Bank Regional High are in for another schedule change starting Thursday.

With COVID-19 cases rising and absenteeism high, the Little Silver school will again suspend in-school instruction at least through December 11, Superintendent Lou Moore announced Wednesday.

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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: ‘PRECAUTION’ CLOSES TOWN HALL

red bank borough hallBorough facilities will reopen Tuesday, Shehady said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s borough hall was closed Monday without public notice.

In response to redbankgreen inquiry Monday afternoon, Business Administrator Ziad Shehady said the shutdown was effective “just today” and imposed “as an added safety precaution after the holidays.”

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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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LITTLE SILVER: IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL FOR RBR

The Red Bank Regional building has been idle since November 2. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenAfter four weeks of all-remote instruction, Red Bank Regional High plans to resume in-person classes Monday, Superintendent Lou Moore said in an announcement Wednesday.

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