Monroe mayor agrees National Guard needs to help as 76% of the township’s COVID-19 deaths are in long-term care facilities

PHOTO COURTESY OF MONROE TOWNSHIP

MONROE – Monroe officials reported 28 new positive COVID-19 cases over the weekend, bringing the total number of cases to 551, according to the Monroe Township Office of Emergency Management on May 4.

The new cases include 13 residents in long-term care facilities and 15 community wide.

There were 12 cases reported on May 2. The age range of the cases were from 40 to 100. The cases included 10 females – a 40 year old, a 53 year old, a 63 year old, a 73 year old, 75 year old, an 81 year old, a 94 year old, two 95 year olds, a 100 year old, and two males – a 54 year old and a 71 year old.

There were 16 cases reported on May 3. The age range of the cases were from 16 to 91. The cases included 13 females – a 16 year old, a 56 year old, a 66 year old, a 73 year old, a 75 year old, a 78 year old, an 81 year old, two 82 year olds, an 84 year old, an 87 year old, a 90 year old, and a 91 year old and three males – a 46 year old, 59 year old, and an 82 year old.

Monroe has lost 66 residents to COVID-19, 50 in long-term care facilities, or 76%, and 16 community-wide.

Mayor Gerald Tamburro, in a message to residents on May 4, said he was proud of the Monroe community for protecting each other by staying home.

“It is a real sacrifice. It is painful. And as I have said before, it is the opposite of who we are as social beings,” he said. “But our efforts to stay home are slowing the virus, and right now it’s the only tool we have. Without the sacrifices that we have each made over the past seven weeks, there would have been so many more cases, many more deaths, more crowded hospitals and greater suffering. That is why we must continue our social distancing practices.”

Yet even with community efforts, the virus has taken a significant toll with the loss of 66 residents, Tamburro said.

“Those are the current official numbers, but I think time will show with more testing and confirmations, the real number is sadly much higher,” he said.

Fifty residents, or 76% of the COVID-19 deaths in the community are in private long-term care communities.

“As a township, we have given much of our PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies to these facilities to help fight the coronavirus,” Tamburro said. “I have contacted Gov. [Phil] Murphy and the Commissioner of Health [Judith Persichilli] to provide additional assistance, and I agree the National Guard must be dispatched across the state to help in this specific crisis.”

Tamburro, in his message, recognized the doctors, nurses, medical workers, essential workers, township emergency medical services, grocery store workers, pharmacists, police and firefighters, postal workers, restaurant employees, and all those who are keeping the community going.

Antibody testing is now available along with COVID-19 testing at MyInstaDoc, 298 Applegarth Road. Currently, the antibody testing is offered to health care workers, first responders and public servants who are symptom-free for a period of no less than 14 days.

The service is also offered to symptom-free family members of those who were infected with COVID-19 and who have completed their period of quarantine. The test will assess them for subclinical infection in the past.

The COVID-19 drive-thru testing site serves pre-registered patients from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and drive-up patients from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. Pre-register at www.myinstadocmonroe.com or call 609-207-3220 to speak with a medical professional.

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.