VIRUS UPDATE: ‘FLATTENING’ SIGNS SEEN

murphy mask 040720 1Governor Phil Murphy removes a protective mask at the start of his daily crisis briefing Tuesday. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAfter a two-day lull, the deaths of another 232 New Jersey residents have been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

At the same time, recent data suggest a possible “flattening” of new coronavirus cases, he said.

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VIRUS UPDATE: COUNTY DEATH TOLL EASES

Monmouth County COVID-19 fatalities

Monmouth County’s COVID-19 death toll nearly tripled last week, but has slowed in recent days. (Graph by Voro.com. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicNew Jersey’s losses in the COVID-19 pandemic rose again Sunday, when the monthlong death toll surpassed 1,000, Governor Phil Murphy reported Monday.

He and a top law enforcement official also blasted attendees of a Rumson lawn concert held Saturday for alleged “vile” comments directed at police.

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ON THE GREEN: RED BANK JOINS MOVE ONLINE

Fair Haven remote council meeting 032320Fair Haven’s March 23 council meeting, conducted via Zoom from the office of Forefront Incorporated, drew 68 attendees. (YouTube screen grab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Thanks to a videocamera placed on a conference room table, Fair Haven residents got a close-up view of Mayor Ben Lucarelli’s beard when the town’s governing body held its first-ever online-only public session two weeks ago.

Now, thanks to the limits on public gatherings in the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank is also about to enter the fuzzy world of public sessions at which no members of the public are present.

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RED BANK: LIFE BECOMES A MASK-ERADE

fair haven masks 040320.jpgred bank covid-19 masks 040420 3Mask-wearing workers installed a sign for a law office in in Fair Haven Friday. “It’s not as annoying as I thought it would be,” one said of the mask.

That day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people wear cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in settings where social distancing is difficult.

The suggestion was quickly taken up, as seen in the photos above and below taken on the Greater Red Bank Green Friday and Saturday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SOCIALLY DISTANT LAX PRACTICE

Red Bank Catholic High boys’ lacrosse players, unable to get together to practice, demonstrate an upbeat way to stay connected.

Another week in the COVID-19 era begins Monday with some cheery spring weather, even if social distances still must be observed. Check out the extended National Weather Service forecast below.(Video courtesy of RBC lacrosse. Click to enlarge.)

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VIRUS UPDATE: FEWER DEATHS REPORTED

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicGovernor Phil Murphy’s administration reported 71 new deaths of New Jersey residents in the COVID-19 pandemic Sunday, a sharp drop from the 200 reported a day earlier.

The death toll also continued to ease in Monmouth County, the state reported.

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VIRUS UPDATE: 200 MORE DEATHS REPORTED

red bank lunch break masks 040320Mask-wearers lined up for free meals at Lunch Break in Red Bank Friday. Murphy singled out Lunch Break for praise in the crisis. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Governor Phil Murphy paused for a moment of silence Saturday after announcing another 200 New Jersey deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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VIRUS UPDATE: COVID-19 CARNAGE CONTINUES

little silver surgical mask Surgical masks and improvised face coverings were a common sight Friday, as here on Prospect Avenue in Little Silver. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Flags across New Jersey were ordered lowered “immediately and indefinitely” as the carnage of COVID-19 claimed another 113 state residents, Governor Phil Murphy said Friday.

The symbolic gesture will serve as a “constant memorial” during “one of the greatest tragedies” in the state’s history, Murphy said at his daily briefing on the crisis.

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RED BANK: BASIE FILM FEST GOES VIRTUAL

Wondering how to fill the hours while housebound by the COVID-19 pandemic? You might binge on the 27 bitesized movies in the Count Base Center for the Arts Teen & College Film Fest, which this year is a virtual affair.

Here are three entries, one from each category: middle school (above), high school and college (below).

After you’ve watched these, hop over to the festival page, watch the 24 others, and cast your vote for the your favorites.

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VIRUS UPDATE: NEW JERSEY DEATHS HIT 537

red bank navesink boat 040220A socially-distanced boat heads out onto our beautiful Navesink River off Red Bank Thursday. (Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

New Jersey added 182 more deaths to the COVID-19 toll as the number of state residents known to be infected blew past 25,000, Governor Phil Murphy said Thursday.

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RED BANK: YASSIN GETS POLS TO PONY UP

Councilman Hazim Yassin in February, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Councilman Hazim Yassin tells redbankgreen he has assembled a bipartisan coalition of elected officials from across New Jersey to donate funds from their campaign warchests to the fight against the coronavirus.

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RED BANK: BAGPIPER CLOSES THE DISTANCE

Maintaining a safe distance from passersby, bagpiper Doc Saphire plays a bit of ‘Danny Boy’ outside his Red Bank home Wednesday evening. 

Because they can’t get together to perform and practice under COVID-19 directives, Saphire and his fellow members of the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch have embarked on a 100-day campaign of playing a song each night through the Fourth of July, he said. Wednesday night’s performance was his first from his Prospect Avenue porch.

“Once the crisis is over, anybody who wants to learn, we’re giving free lessons,” Saphire said. “If I can do it, anybody can.”  (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

VIRUS UPDATE: COVID-19 DEATH TOLL SPIKES

red bank navesink river 040120A new month begins with a lovely sunrise over our beautiful Navesink River, as seen from the Route 35 bridge Wednesday morning. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

With COVID-19-related death and infection rates rising faster than ever, “we’re beginning to feel the real strain on the critical care” segment of the healthcare system in the northern part of New Jersey, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Wednesday.

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RED BANK: CRISIS DELAYS FARMERS’ MARKET

Mother’s Day is still five weeks away, but this year’s edition won’t be accompanied by the customary opening of the Red Bank Farmer’s Market.

George Sourlis, whose family-owned Galleria of Red Bank hosts the popular Sunday market, tells redbankgreen that this year’s start has been indefinitely postponed by the COVID-19 crisis. It will open once the pandemic has passed, he said.

The seasonal farmstand typically runs through November.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

VIRUS UPDATE: STATE DEATH TOLL UP SHARPLY

IHME NJ COVID-19 forecast 033120A hospital use projection for New Jersey by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows an anticipated surge in the first half of April. Projections assume continued social distancing and other protective measures. To view the methods used to produce the projection, click here. (Graphic by IHME. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Sixty-nine New Jerseyans died Monday as the global COVID-19 contagion continued its tear through the state, Governor Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

Of 267 resident deaths so far in the crisis, 223 have occurred in the last seven days, with the toll accelerating sharply from Monday’s report of 37 deaths.

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VIRUS UPDATE: NEW JERSEY TOLL SOARS

murphy covid projections 033020Charts used by the Murphy administration Monday show the surge in cases with no social distancing, left, and partial compliance, right. (Graphs by NJ.gov. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicNew Jersey’s daily death toll and COVID-19 caseload had soared since Sunday, Governor Phil Murphy reported Monday.

With 37 more fatalities and 3,347 more patients testing positive for the coronavirus, Murphy continued to hammer home his message that residents need to “stay home” until the crisis eases.

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RED BANK: MENNA BLASTS HEALTH ‘RUMORS’

pasquale menna 031120Mayor Pasquale Menna speaks with school board President Fred Stone at a March 11 ceremony opening the new primary school emergency access road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: Menna tells redbankgreen he has been released from the hospital after treatment as a presumed-positive patient, according to he chart, though he has not received test results yet. He is home and expects to remain self-isolated for the next two weeks, he said. Meantime, the council workshop meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, who said he is hospitalized “as a precaution” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, blasted former councilwoman Cindy Burnham and an online publication Monday for spreading “rumors” about his health in recent days.

Separately, borough Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told redbankgreen that Burnham “should be brought up on charges” for what he called her “blatant lies” about him.

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ON THE GREEN: QUIET STREETS

red bank broad street 032720One week into New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-at-home” order, imposed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, downtown Red Bank was a well-lit ghost burg Friday night. 

In fact, the Greater Red Bank Green maintained a near-empty calm through much of the weekend. See additional photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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VIRUS UPDATE: DEATH TOLL EASES

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAfter a weeklong climb, New Jersey’s daily death toll from the COVID-19 virus eased Saturday, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration reported Sunday.

At the same time, more than 2,300 state residents tested positive for the virus. Read More »

VIRUS UPDATE: ILLNESS, DEATH COUNTS SOAR

Normally bustling, downtown Red Bank was people-free and quiet at 9 p.m. Friday under the governor’s week-old “stay-home” order. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicThirty-two more New Jersey residents died as the the COVID-19 contagion tightened its grip on the state, Governor Phil Murphy said Saturday.

With the state’s death toll now at 140, the pandemic “is a pass/fail test,” Murphy said at his daily pandemic briefing on the crisis. “This is life or death.”

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ON THE GREEN: ESCAPING INTO FRESH AIR

red bank maple avenue joggerIt’s a bit incongruous: beautiful spring weather amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has the Greater Red Bank Green, and parts of the world, on near-lockdown.

Of course, Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-at-home” order issued Saturday allows for socially-distanced outdoor exercise. And a redbankgreen swing through the Greater Green Thursday found plenty of residents taking in the fresh air, including a jogger on Maple Avenue in Red Bank, above. 

Check out more photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: MARQUEE TOUTS OPTIMISM

red-bank-basie-marqueeIts lineup of shows canceled under the near-lockdown we’re living with to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank has repurposed its marquee.

The marquee now displays messages of “optimism from our local heroes,” the Basie said in a press release. They include quotes from part-time borough resident Jon Stewart and other New Jersey stars.

More below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: IS SCHOOL REOPENING IN SIGHT?

red bank middle school 032220Red Bank’s schools have been closed since March 16. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Are Red Bank’s schools going to reopen April 20?

A district posting Thursday afternoon appeared to suggest they might, just an hour or so after Governor Phil Murphy threw cold water on talk that an end to his indefinite school shutdown order might be in sight.

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VIRUS UPDATE: PANDEMIC TOLL CLIMBS

red bank ymca blood drive 032620 2With blood supplies running low because of the pandemic’s impact on regular drives, about 50 people made appointments for well-spaced donations at Red Bank’s YMCA Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicCOVID-19 continued to ravage New Jersey, with 19 more deaths from the global pandemic reported Thursday.

The number of state residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus soared to 6,876, an increase of 2,492 from Wednesday, Governor Phil Murphy said in his daily briefing.

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