Thirty-seven long-term care residents in Monroe have passed away from the coronavirus

MONROE – Thirty-seven long-term care residents in the township have passed away from the coronavirus, according to new state released statistics on nursing homes and health care facilities.

Mayor Gerald Tamburro said he speaks for the entire Monroe community in sharing “our sympathy and our deep sense of loss and pain.”

“The families of these residents tragically join so many others across the country who are unable to gather to grieve their losses,” he said. “As a community, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Additionally, the state reported 137 residents of the long-term care facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 in Monroe.

Since early March when the township’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) began to prepare for the pandemic, one of the primary focuses was how this would impact the privately-owned long-term care facilities, Tamburro said, adding officials met with the directors from the facilities, coordinating efforts and reviewing the precautions that each location would be instituting.

“Rates of infection and COVID 19-related deaths are alarming within the long-term care industry across the country,” he said. “It is important that we as a Monroe community, a county, a state, and a country recognize the magnitude of the challenges at these facilities. We have delivered thousands of gowns, masks, gloves, and sanitizers to these private facilities.”

In early April, Tamburro reached out to state officials and chief executive officers of the facilities to demand private facilities get the resources they need and share real-time information with their residents, family members and staff.

Any family members who have questions about COVID-19 activity at any facility should call the facility directly to obtain information. There is also a Long-Term Care Facilities Hotline managed by the New Jersey Department of Health at 1-800-792-9770.

Monroe officials reported 24 new positive COVID-19 cases over the weekend – 11 on April 18 and 13 on April 19, which brings the total number of cases to 315, according to the Monroe Office of Emergency Management on April 20.

The 11 cases on April 18 range in age from 26 to 98. The cases include seven females – a 26 year old, a 31 year old, an 83 year old, a 92 year old, a 95 year old, and two 98 year olds. And three males including a 43 year old, a 60 year old, a 70 year old, and an 86 year old.

The 13 cases on April 19 range in age from 28 to 96. The cases include seven females – a 34 year old, a 71 year old, a 79 year old, an 82 year old, an 84 year old, an 85 year old, and a 96 year old. And six males – a 28 year old, a 31 year old, a 47 year old, a 55 year old, a 60 year old and a 74 year old.

The COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at MyInstaDoc, 298 Applegarth Road, will serve pre-registered patients from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and drive-up patients from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Testing resumes on April 21. Pre-register at www.myinstadocmonroe.com or call 609-207-3220 to speak with a medical professional.

A directory of restaurant, food service and grocery stores are available on the township website, www.monroetwp.com, or call Eileen Biennas at 732-521-4400 ext. 114 or email her at ebiennas@monroetwp.com

For more information visit www.COVID19.nj.gov.

For Middlesex County information on COVID-19 information visit discovermiddlesex.com/covid19/ or www.middlsexcountynj.gov/covid19.