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Woodbridge Township Ambulance and Rescue Squad loses one of its own to COVID-19

WOODBRIDGE – The Woodbridge Township Ambulance and Rescue Squad lost one of its own to COVID-19.

John P. Carrecia was a volunteer for the Woodbridge Township Ambulance and Rescue Squad (WTARS) for 27 year and had served as chief. He passed away on April 17 at the age of 74.

Mayor John McCormac mentioned Carrecia in his daily report on April 18. He said the long-time volunteer may “have caught the virus while on duty.”

“Please pray for him and family and all of our victims.” he said.

Members of the Woodbridge Township Council expressed their thoughts and prayers for Carrecia and his WTARS family on social media.

Carrecia is one of 16 residents who have passed away from the novel coronavirus outbreak. In the last 24 hours, township officials reported 55 new positive COVID-19 cases, which brings the total positive cases to 880, McCormac said.

“The 55 cases is higher than any day in the last week, but lower than the average day in the week before that,” he said. “We started seeing lower numbers for a while there, but now they are creeping back up. We still see no trends in age or geography.”

McCormac said the passing of Carrecia “really reminds us of the dangers that our first responders face every day that they are on duty.”

“Our police, fire, first aid and EMTs (emergency medical technicians) along with doctors and nurses and anyone else working at a facility treating patients with COVID-19 cannot be thanked enough for all that they do,” he said. “You can be sure that when this is all over we will provide a venue for our entire Woodbridge community to show our appreciation to those who risked their own lives to keep the rest of us safe.”

McCormac said they will also provide a way for everyone to pay final respects to all family, friends and neighbors who passed away without wakes, funerals or repasts.

“The families of the deceased need to know that we mourned and grieved with them although there was no possible way for us to show that,” he said. “They need to know that we care and we will certainly find a way to show them that we do.”

The mayor, in his report, said township parks remain open for walking, jogging or exercising, but all playground equipment is out of service. The state and county parks are closed, which include Merrill Park in Iselin, Fords Park in Fords, Williams Park in Sewaren and Warren Park in Woodbridge proper. A complete list of all township parks was added to the township web site and social media pages.

School grounds remain open, including the three high school tracks, but equipment is off limits. Sports and games are not permitted because of the ban on group gatherings.

“Please remember while using the parks that social distancing guidelines remain in place,” McCormac said.

The Township has a bank account called We Feed Woodbridge, which collects monetary donations spread among the 11 township food pantries as they need it. Checks can be made out to We Feed Woodbridge and sent to the township’s Health Department at 1 George Frederick Plaza, Woodbridge, NJ 07095 or to the Mayor’s office at 1 Main Street, Woodbridge, NJ 07095.

The mayor continues to urge neighbors to check on people who live alone and cannot leave their homes.

For more COVID-19 information, visit covid19.nj.gov. Visit www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us for local information.

For Middlesex County information visit discovermiddlesex.com/covid19/ or www.middlsexcountynj.gov/covid19.

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