VIRUS UPDATE: MONMOUTH DEATHS TOP 1,300

More than 90 individuals braved a cold rain for COVID-19 vaccinations at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank February 27. (Photo courtesy of Pilgrim Baptist Church. Click to enlarge.)

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By JOHN T. WARD

New Jersey averaged 65 COVID-19 deaths per day over the past year, Governor Phil Murphy said Wednesday, as he noted the one-year anniversary of the first.

In that time, Monmouth County has lost more than 1,300 residents to a pandemic now being battled with a trio of vaccines. Read More »

RED BANK: LOCAL DEMOCRATS RUPTURE

Then-candidates Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin at the Mayor’s Ball in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Already showing cracks, the Red Bank Democratic party’s facade ruptured Monday night with the announcement that political newcomers will challenge two incumbents for their council seats.

Days after holding a virtual re-election fundraiser attended by Governor Phil Murphy, Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin opted to bypass the local party nomination process controlled by Councilman Ed Zipprich as they seek second terms, saying he’s on a vendetta that “reeks of boss politics.”

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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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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: 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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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

hot topic red bank nj

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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RED BANK: ‘SNO GO FOR WINTER BROADWALK

Empty tables and idle heaters on Broadwalk on a chilly Sunday evening in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s in-street shopping and dining plaza known as ‘Broadwalk’ will go on winter hiatus at the end of November.

Borough council members informally agreed Wednesday night that the prospect of dealing with a snowstorm before winter is over makes keeping the plaza going impractical.

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RED BANK: ‘BROADWALK’ TO GO 24/7

A view down Broad Street last Friday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s ‘Broadwalk’ experiment with in-street dining on Broad Street is going 24/7 for at least the next two months.

The change, from a four-day-a-week schedule, goes into effect Thursday, following a  surprise proposal at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

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VIRUS UPDATE: MONMOUTH TOPS 10K CASES

Case growth in Red Bank, Fair Haven and Little Silver. (Monmouth County data. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMonmouth County has now surpassed 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the freeholder board announced Thursday.

But four months into the pandemic, the county’s caseload and fatalities have slowed dramatically from the worst of the crisis in early April.

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RED BANK: LION IN WAIT… FOR A VACCINE?

A homeowner on River Road in Red Bank found an opportunity for humor in the increasingly politicized debate over masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Unlike the similarly masked lions guarding the New York Public Library’s main branch, these porch lions appear to be less than six feet apart, and thus in compliance with Governor Phil Murphy’s order, issued Wednesday, that masks be worn when social distancing is “not practicable.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

VIRUS UPDATE: ‘MASK UP,’ MURPHY ORDERS

red bank BROAD STREET PHIL TAMMY JOSH MURPHY 061820Governor Phil Murphy donned a mask while dining with his wife, Tammy, and son, Josh, at Char in Red Bank last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNew Jerseyans must wear face coverings outdoors when social distancing is not practicable, Governor Phil Murphy ordered Wednesday.

The mandate marked the latest sign of concern about that Murphy labeled “backsliding” from earlier progress against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RED BANK: MURPHY ‘PAUSES’ INDOOR DINING

Patrons of the Dublin House in Red Bank gather at its outdoor Temple Bar on June 20. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Tapping the brakes on his economic restart effort, Governor Phil Murphy indefinitely postponed a planned resumption of indoor restaurant dining Monday.

The move is “prudent” in the face of rising COVID-19 infection rates in other states, Murphy said at his daily briefing on the pandemic.

He also cited “overcrowding, a complete disregard for social distancing, [and] very few if any face coverings” at some New Jersey bars that he did not name.

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RED BANK: PLAZAS RETURN FOR WEEK TWO

red bank broad street plazared bank broad street plazaAfter a widely praised start last week, pedestrian plaza dining and shopping on Broad Street in Red Bank returns for week two starting Thursday night.

Under the economic restart effort, Broad Street between West Front and Wallace streets is closed to vehicles from 3 p.m to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evenings, and Monmouth Street between Broad and Maple Avenue is closed all day Sunday.

But after daytime sunshine, the weather forecast for Thursday evening is iffy, with evening showers possible, according to the National Weather Service.

What happens if it rains? Does the street reopen to vehicular traffic? No, and merchants make the call for themselves whether open, close or resume operations when passing summer showers threaten, as detailed by redbankgreen here.

Here’s the extended forecast for the Greater Red Bank Green.

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VIRUS UPDATE: MONMOUTH DEATH TOLL AT 700

Monmouth County COVID-19 Fatalities 062320.pngOne hundred of Monmouth County’s fatalities have been reported since June 1. Below, a map shows the number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 population by county; the statewide figure is 147. (New Jersey Health Department data. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

COVID death rate per 100,000 by county 062324.pngOne hundred days after its first reported death from COVID-19, Monmouth County has now seen 700 fatalities in the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration reported Tuesday.

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RED BANK: SALONS REOPEN

With the restoration of some personal-care services after three months, hair growers and stylists in Red Bank were eager to get back together Monday.

Gus Carter, owner of Gus’ Barber Shop on Shrewsbury Avenue, took it down to the scalp for customer Jimmy (last name withheld), above, and Tiffany Colelli at Hair & Co. on Monmouth Street, freshened up the color of Tricia Nelson’s locks.

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RED BANK: PREPPING FOR PLAZAS

With the first of two unprecedented pedestrian plazas set to debut in downtown Red Bank Thursday night, prep work was underway on Broad Street earlier this week.

Above, a crew from Powerhouse Signs, under contract with Red Bank RiverCenter, installed in-tree uplighting that owner Jim Bruno said he hoped will create a “Greenwich Village vibe” for outdoor diners and shoppers. At right, code enforcement official Frank Woods checked  a sidewalk café for its distance from the curb.  

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RED BANK: BACK IN BUSINESS, OUT FRONT

red bank bistro 061520Reopening after almost three months to the day after they were ordered shut down in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank restaurants drew numerous diners to their outdoor tables Monday night.

“It’s like normal – almost,” said Charlie Lyristis, co-owner of Bistro, on Broad Street, above. At right: a note left at tables for customers of Pazzo, on West Front Street.

See additional photos as restaurants resumed with sit-down, outdoor-only service under order of Governor Phil Murphy below.

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ON THE GREEN: RESTAURANTS REOPEN

little silver edie's 061520After a nearly three-month shutdown except for takeout, restaurants on the Greater Red Bank Green began reopening as sit-down, outdoor-only eateries Monday.

Even with the weather a bit on the cool side, “it’s nice to get of the hospital,” said a Riverview Medical Center employee sharing lunch with colleagues at Robinson Ale House in Red Bank, above. Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANTS HUSTLE TO REOPEN

red bank danny murphy 061120Danny Murphy, owner of Danny’s Steakhouse, with the safety guide he prepared for his employees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Their industry battered over the past three months by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s restaurateurs are now scrambling for a toehold on recovery.

With partial reopenings slated to begin Monday, they’re training staff in a host of new hygiene procedures. At the same time, some are also racing to shift operations into two new shopping and dining plazas being created downtown.

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