How to volunteer and donate in New Jersey during the coronavirus outbreak (04/03/20)

Posted Apr 03, 2020

As the coronavirus causes real disruption to the lives of New Jerseyans, some residents will be disproportionately affected and many service agencies will be critically impacted.

At Meals on Wheels of Ocean County, clients are being cared for now and their future needs are being considered as well.

According to executive director Jim Sigurdson, “In addition to the daily meals delivered, we have delivered 15,000 emergency shelf stable meals.” He said clients are told emergency shelf stable meals -- food that does not require refrigeration -- are to be eaten in the event Meals on Wheels is "unable to deliver.”

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NJ Goes All Out to Prepare for COVID-19 Surge That’s About to Hi

LILO H. STAINTON | APRIL 3, 2020 

NJ Spotlight

A field medical station is being set up at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus by State Police, Office of Emergency Management, and National Guard.

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After weeks of planning and preparations, New Jersey is now ready to activate its hospital-capacity contingency plans, as facilities in the northern counties are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by a surge of patients with COVID-19.

State officials are preparing to shift patients with more limited clinical needs from existing hospitals to the new “field medical station” set up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Meadowlands in order to make room for individuals who need critical care; the field station, in Secaucus, is expected to start accepting patients Monday. Newark’s University Hospital, the region’s Level 1 trauma center, will oversee the field station and transport the patients by ambulance or air, if needed.

“As we see the number of cases increasing across the state and the pressure on our hospital systems building, we are preparing to release that valve by standing up alternative care sites,” New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Thursday during the state’s daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 25,600 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, the resulting disease, and 537 have died.

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Here’s how much N.J. counties and towns will get in coronavirus stimulus money

Posted Apr 02, 2020

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

 

New Jersey and its municipalities on Thursday received their first share of the $2 trillion stimulus package.

The money was provided less than a week after President Donald Trump signed the stimulus bill into law. The numbers were provided by U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, D-N.J.

The money was awarded under three programs: community development block grants, which go for infrastructure, economic development and housing; emergency solutions grants, designed to help renters and fund programs designed to protect homelessness; and grants to provide housing for low-income individuals with AIDS.

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Church group to donate $70k worth of food to pantry that lost founder to coronavirus

Posted Apr 02, 2020

A food bank that recently lost its leader to complications from COVID-19 will be getting a major helping hand from a local religious group.

In partnership with the Convoy of Hope, The Life Christian Church of New Jersey is set to donate $70,000 worth of food and supplies to the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Teaneck.

The delivery is expected to arrive Saturday.

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Business Groups, State and Federal Programs Try to Help NJ’s Small Businesses Stay Afloat

JOHN REITMEYER | APRIL 3, 2020

NJ Spotlight

One suggestion is that small businesses be given more time to turn over the sales-tax revenue they collect for the state.

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The month of March started out fairly normal for Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC in Allentown, Monmouth County, but by the middle of the month, things took a major turn.

Cancellations soared amid concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and as Gov. Phil Murphy began urging people to stay home to prevent further spread of the disease, said business owner Olivia Caruso.

Fast forward a few more weeks, and Caruso said she is now concerned about the viability of her 10-employee business, even as it has remained open, unlike many other small businesses deemed “nonessential” by the governor that have been forced to close altogether under a social-distancing executive order Murphy issued last month.

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Booker: Here’s where all the stimulus checks will be going in New Jersey

Posted Apr 01, 2020

By Cory Booker

Senator Cory Booker

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Here in New Jersey and across the country, we are facing a public health and economic crisis without precedent in our history.

Families across our state are understandably anxious and afraid. Each day, more New Jerseyans are getting sick, and more doctors, nurses, first responders and other health care workers are preparing for the worst, which they know is yet to come. Schools and many daycares have closed, countless businesses have shut down and 150,000 people in the last week alone in New Jersey have applied for unemployment benefits.

Fortunately, some help is finally on the way. Working together, and after hard-fought negotiations, Democrats and Republicans passed into law a $2 trillion emergency relief bill. Importantly, this law includes direct support for the New Jerseyans who need it the most: hospitals, frontline medical professionals, first responders, small business owners, workers and those who have lost their jobs or will soon because of this crisis.

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Meeting Remotely, State BOE OKs Remote Learning for Special-Needs Students

JOHN MOONEY | APRIL 2, 2020

NJ Spotlight

Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet at Friday briefing on state response to COVID-19 outbreak

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The connections may have been spotty at times, but yesterday the State Board of Education convened online to take care of business both routine and extraordinary.

It was its first meeting since schools statewide were shuttered due to the COVID-19 outbreak — and the first using Skype. Members patched in via phone or video. Another 300 people listened in, at least double the usual in-person audience.

Most of the hour-long call was board members and state officials expressing their appreciation to the state’s schools, teachers, students and families as they venture into uncharted territory.

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Trump and Murphy are saying nice things about each other during coronavirus crisis. Here’s why.

Posted Mar 31, 2020

President Donald Trump hasn’t been shy about blasting away at governors who have criticized his performance or said the federal government isn’t doing enough to help their states during the coronavirus crisis. He’s even suggested they show gratitude to get help.

But when it comes to Gov. Phil Murphy, the president has been downright effusive, calling New Jersey’s Democratic governor “a terrific guy.”

With his state showing the second-largest outbreak of COVID-19, behind only New York, Murphy has steadfastly refrained from bashing a Republican president he frequently criticized before the outbreak. He’s publicly thanked Trump for the federal aid while lobbying for more.

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When America catches a cold, the Black community catches the flu. What issues will coronavirus bring?

Posted Mar 31, 2020

By Charles F. Boyer

The rising concern is that in the midst of this pandemic, not only will the most pressing racial justice issues take a back seat but that even more problematic racial justice issues will emerge, the Rev. Charles Boyer says.

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Salvation and Social Justice is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works with the Black faith, civil rights, and urban communities to advocate for racial justice in Trenton. In these extraordinary times, we are determined to efficiently and effectively work in the community to achieve shared goals and equity. It has been that determination that put us in the midst of various serious conversations with our constituency.

The rising concern is that in the midst of this pandemic, not only will the most pressing racial justice issues take a back seat but that even more problematic racial justice issues will emerge. The paramount question is, “What will be the racial impact of the pandemic?” Racial justice advocates must be present to force the state to deal with even more difficult questions in the midst of the ones they are already facing.

It is often said that when America catches a cold the Black community catches the flu or pneumonia. Think about that. Black America, for instance, is always nearly double the unemployment rate as white Americans even when unemployment is low. Now that America, and most specifically New Jersey, has caught COVID-19 what has the Black community caught? As we pondered these questions, we began to understand certain priorities the state must be dealing with.

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Confusion Reigns over NJ Income Tax Filing Deadline

JOHN REITMEYER | APRIL 1, 2020 

NJ Spotlight

Gov. Phil Murphy at one of the daily briefings he and state officials have been giving on the coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey

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The month of April has begun with New Jersey standing as the only state in the country not to relax its deadline for filing state income-tax returns in response to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

While Gov. Phil Murphy continues to suggest publicly that an announcement from his administration is imminent — as he did again Tuesday during his daily media briefing on the crisis — his signaling hasn’t stopped a groundswell of confusion from erupting on social-media pages and in other forums.

The federal government and most other states have already taken action to give taxpayers a break.

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