VIRUS UPDATE: O’SCANLON, MURPHY JOUST

declan o'scanlonState Senator Declan O’Scanlon at an event in Little Silver with Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso and Senator Vin Gopal in early 2018.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03With COVID-19 fatalities and cases dropping, Governor Phil Murphy dismissed a call for “rebellion” against his continued near-lockdown of New Jersey’s economic activity Monday.

Meantime, 13th-district state Senator Declan O’Scanlon of Little Silver said his Saturday-night tweet calling on the public to “defy” Murphy’s “stay-home” and other restrictions said he was being “mostly tongue-in-cheek” with the exhortation.

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VIRUS UPDATE: RED BANK CASES STILL RISING

red bank, fair haven, little silver, covid-19Red Bank’s cumulative  COVID-19 case total has continued to increase while Fair Haven’s and Little Silver’s have remained relatively flat for weeks. (Source: Monmouth County Freeholders. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

New COVID-19 deaths and cases continued a recent slowing trend in New Jersey over the weekend, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration reported Sunday.

At the same time, thousands of new infections were recorded, with Red Bank’s total remaining on stubborn incline.

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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.

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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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 »

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.

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.

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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VIRUS UPDATE: MORE PROGRESS REPORTED

nj ventilators 042520.jpegA crushing need for ventilators envisioned earlier this month under a possible worst-case scenario has not occurred, and demand has begun to ease, officials said. (Source: COVID19.nj.gov. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

New Jersey officials disclosed another day of encouraging data in the war on COVID-19 Saturday.

“It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about a worst-case scenario” of some 36,000 residents needing hospitalization in a short time frame, swamping the healthcare system, Governor Phil Murphy said said at his daily briefing on the pandemic.

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VIRUS UPDATE: CRISIS SHOWS MORE TAPERING

Judy Persichilli by Kevin Sanders 042020Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli warned New Jersey residents that household cleaning products should not be “ingested or injected.” (April 20 pool photo by Kevin Sanders. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

While the deaths of 252 more New Jerseyans were added to the COVID-19 toll Friday, state officials pointed to what they saw as 10 days of encouraging data in the fight to tame the crisis.

“There’s no question things are getting better,” said Governor Phil Murphy, but “we’re not out of the woods yet.”

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VIRUS UPDATE: MORE FLATTENING SEEN

red bank fair haven lake avenue trees 042320Delicate tree blossoms added spritzes of color to the greenery along Lake Avenue on the Red Bank-Fair Haven border Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

New Jersey’s ongoing battle to quell the COVID-19 pandemic “has worked incredibly well,” a top health official at Rutgers University said Thursday.

At the same time, Governor Phil Murphy emphasized the need to ramp up testing for the coronavirus so the infection can be further managed.

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VIRUS UPDATE: DATA POINTS TO IMPROVEMENT

red bank harding road 042120 2A lovely sunset on Harding Road in Red Bank Tuesday evening served up a reminder that springtime continues without regard to the pandemic. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

With many measures showing improvement in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy began laying the groundwork Wednesday for New Jersey’s defense against a second wave in coming months.

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VIRUS UPDATE: RECORD DEATHS REPORTED

fair haven no hoops 041420Though Fair Haven’s parks remain open, the basketball hoops at Sportsman’s Field are wrapped in plastic fencing to prevent usage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Governor Phil Murphy reported the single greatest loss of life in New Jersey’s battle against COVID-19 Tuesday.

At the same time, officials “continue to see a trend emerging” of stabilizing strains on the healthcare system, he said at his daily briefing on the pandemic.

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