FAIR HAVEN: CHEERING HEALTHCARE HEROES

With the sound of sirens blaring in the distance, residents of Jackson Street joined their neighbors across Fair Haven in giving a noisy, pots-and-pans cheer to healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle Thursday night.

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VIRUS UPDATE: FACILITY DEATH TOLL SOARS

A lone man practiced soccer at Red Bank’s Eastside Park last Saturday, the day borough parks and others across the state reopened after a three-week shutdown. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid a slowdown in COVID-19 fatalities statewide, Monmouth County lost 11 more residents to the pandemic, for a total of 428, the New Jersey Health Department reported Thursday.

At the same time, the death toll in the county’s longterm care facilities shot up by 39 victims, according to state data.

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VIRUS UPDATE: COUNTY DEATHS SURPASS 400

red bank hackensack merdian chapin 042520The state says nine deaths have now been associated with the Hackensack Meridian at Red Bank longterm care facility on Chapin Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County’s death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic is now above 400 victims, the New Jersey Health Department reported Wednesday.

With 19 added in the latest update to the department’s database, 417 county residents have now died in the crisis, two-thirds of them living or working in longterm care facilities, according to state data.

VIRUS UPDATE: ‘PEOPLE STILL GETTING SICK’

New Jersey & Monmouth County COVID-19 Deaths 4.pngThe death toll from the virus continues to rise both in Monmouth County and statewide. (Data source: COVID19.nj.gov. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sixteen more Monmouth County resident deaths were added to the COVID-19 pandemic toll Tuesday, the New Jersey Health Department reported Tuesday.

The county has now lost 398 residents, as the state’s fatality total rose by 334, to 8,244, according to the department’s database.

FAIR HAVEN: HARDWARE SHOP REOPENS

fair haven hardware harvey shoomanStore owner Harvey Shooman speaking with customers Tuesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Testing the waters in the COVID-19 era, Fair Haven Hardware reopened for business Tuesday morning – with some new rules for employees and customers to observe.

“We don’t know how this is going to work out,” co-owner Harvey Schooman told redbankgreen. “So we’ll see how it goes.”

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VIRUS UPDATE: SCHOOLS & PARKS ON AGENDA

red bank kayaks 050320.jpgKayakers navigated the Navesink River railroad bridge near West Front Street in Red Bank Sunday evening. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Governor Phil Murphy said New Jersey schools statewide would not to resume in-person operations for the rest of the current school year Monday.

Also, state resident “passed the test” on social-distancing practices at newly reopened parks up and down the state over the weekend, Murphy said at his daily briefing on the COVID-19 crisis.

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RED BANK: PARKS SEE COMPLIANCE, IT SEEMS

Visitors to Marine Park appeared to be maintaining social distances Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank parks reopened Saturday without any “significant issues,” police Chief Darren McConnell said Sunday night.

But redbankgreen‘s strolls through the facilities over the weekend prompted questions about whether behaviors said to slow the spread of COVID-19 could be realistically judged, let alone enforced.

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VIRUS UPDATE: SIGNS OF EASING IMPACT

Well-spaced customers, all wearing facial coverings, wait for takeout orders at Juanito’s restaurant on Monmouth Street in Red Bank Saturday evening. (Photo by Allan Bass. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Ten more Monmouth deaths attributed to COVID-19 were among 129 statewide added to New Jersey’s toll the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration announced Sunday.

Other key indicators suggested continued slowing of the pandemic’s impact.

 

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VIRUS UPDATE: A ‘TOUGH’ WEEK OF DEATHS

Governor Phil Murphy ended his Saturday briefing by donning a State Police face covering. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

With 1,804 New Jersey residents added to the COVID-19 pandemic toll, Governor Phil Murphy wrapped up what he called “as tough a week as it relates to fatalities as we have had” in the crisis.

At the same time, “all 0f the important metrics in our hospitals continue to show positive trends,” he said at his daily briefing Saturday.

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VIRUS UPDATE: SANDY HOOK REOPENING MAY 9

sandy hookA  pedestrian and biking trail at Sandy Hook. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook will be partially reopened May 9, the National Park Service announced late Friday.

While group gatherings and swimming will be prohibited, visitors can use the park to fish, kayak, run, hike and bike – if they arrive before a 50-percent capacity limit is reached, that is.

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RED BANK: ENFORCEMENT PLANNED IN PARKS

red bank eastside park 043020.jpgBarricades around Eastside Park, seen here on Thursday, had been removed by Friday morning. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

While police plan increased patrols, Red Bank will rely on public cooperation and reporting of violations as it reopens its parks Saturday, Mayor Pasquale Menna said Friday.

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VIRUS UPDATE: PARK OPENINGS TOP AGENDA

Jim Fitzmaurice’s newest seasonal mural at Fair Haven Hardware added a burst of spring color to a gray morning Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Facing a favorable weather forecast and 9 million New Jerseyans with cabin fever, Governor Phil Murphy returned repeatedly to a single topic at his daily briefing on the COVID-19 crisis Friday: the reopening of parks on Saturday.

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RED BANK: ZOOMING IN ON PARKING & MORE

red bank white street lot 040820The White Street parking lot was desolate April 8. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See CORRECTION below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Along with their Netflix and Hulu viewing options during the COVID-19 lockdown, civic-minded Red Bankers will have some Zoom options in coming days.

Among them: a presentation on the redesign of the White Street parking lot.

OK, so it’s not quite ‘Tiger King,’ but hey.

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VIRUS UPDATE: ‘SOBERING’ JUMP IN DEATHS

little silver rbr stands 042820A runner had the grandstand at Red Bank Regional in Little Silver all to herself for some socially distanced stair-climbing Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Four-hundred-sixty more New Jersey residents have died in the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy reported Thursday.

The increase, to 7,228, was by far the single largest jump in fatalities reported since the crisis began seven weeks ago. Read More »

RED BANK: VNA SALIVA TESTING SLATED

Saliva testing for COVID-19 is expected to be available in Red Bank next week, the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey said Thursday.

The test, developed at Rutgers, is expected to help rapidly expand detection of the coronavirus-based illness.

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VIRUS UPDATE: MURPHY REOPENING PARKS

deer hartshorne woodsA deer at Hartshorne Woods in Middletown last October. The park is to reopen Saturday following Murphy’s action. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Governor Phil Murphy rescinded his three-week shutdown of parks Wednesday while threatening to reverse course again if social-distancing guidelines are not maintained.

At his daily briefing on the COVID-19 crisis, Murphy also weighed in on an aborted plan by the Red Bank Regional board of ed to meet in person, saying his orders on public gatherings are the only ones that matter.

LITTLE SILVER: RBR REWORKS HEARING PLAN

Contractors installing a new roof at RBR last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Regional High has rescheduled a planned live, in-person budget hearing previously slated for Wednesday night.

In a note posted on the district website late Wednesday morning, Superintendent Lou Moore said the meeting would be rescheduled for May 6, and will be held electronically “to respect everyone’s right to participate.”

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR SETS IN-PERSON HEARING

RED BANK REGIONAL BOE 032019Members of the public arriving for an RBR budget hearing in March, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Regional High, the first school in New Jersey to shut down over concerns about COVID-19, plans to hold a live, in-person board of ed meeting Wednesday night.

The session at the Little Silver school appears to conflict with Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-home” order issued last month.

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VIRUS UPDATE: MURPHY PICKS ‘RESTART’ TEAM

Governor Phil Murphy unveiling his Restart and Recovery Commission Tuesday. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Governor Phil Murphy spent much of his daily briefing on the COVID-19 crisis Tuesday talking about ways to emerge from it and restart the New Jersey economy.

Still, he steered clear of setting dates, and appointed a 21-member commission to advise him on the matter.

LITTLE SILVER: RESPONDERS GET SPOTLIGHT

little silver ambulance 041020A Little Silver ambulance outside Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

little silver light the night logoLittle Silver plans to salute first-responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle next month with a townwide “Light the Night” celebration.

The event will also serve as a fundraiser for the borough’s all-volunteer fire department and first aid squad.

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VIRUS UPDATE: MURPHY MAPS ‘ROAD BACK’

phil murphy 042720Governor Phil Murphy at Monday’s crisis briefing. Below, a summary of his “Restart and Recovery” plan. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Murphy Restart Recovery plan 042720

Governor Phil Murphy outlined a strategy for releasing New Jersey from the five-week-old COVID-19 near lockdown Monday.

Rather than specific dates, he set loose benchmarks for testing, contact tracing and more to prevent a resurgence of disease before he lifts a “stay home” executive order he issued March 21.

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