WOODBRIDGE – Woodbridge officials reported nine new positive COVID-19 cases, which bring the total number of cases to 1,527, according to Mayor John McCormac in his daily report on May 29.
“When we look at the bigger picture, with two days left in May we have 258 cases this month while in April we had 1,169,” he said. “From that perspective, a day with the number of new cases in single digits is a day we should be thankful for.”
The number of COVID-19 cases include East Jersey State Prison and related state facilities in the Avenel section of the township. The state facilities have a total number of 111 cases.
The total number of cases at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility is 55. The residents at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home devastated by COVID-19 were initially counted in the township’s statistics before residents were moved to another facility out of town on March 25. On April 16, residents started moving back home after a massive cleaning effort. On May 4, the last resident has moved back to the facility.
The township is reporting statistics from the state facilities and nursing home separately. McCormac said tracking the numbers separately – general population, state facilities and health facilities – gives the township a better indication of the real impact on its everyday residents.
The township has lost two more residents to COVID-19 in the general population, which bring the total to 63 deaths, one more resident in the state facilities, which bring the total to seven and 24 residents from St. Joseph’s Nursing Home.
“Let’s keep all those who passed and all those who are still ill in our thoughts and prayers,” he said.
McCormac, in his report, recognized the entire community of businesses and residents who answered the township’s call to help the township’s We Feed Woodbridge coalition of 11 food pantries and a soup kitchen.
We Feed Woodbridge surpassed its donation goal with more than $102,000 in monetary donations plus thousands of pounds of food in six weeks.
National reports indicate that as many as one in five children suffer from food deprivation and township officials report a 33% increase in utilization of the township’s food pantries.
Donations can be made by check payable to We Feed Woodbridge and sent to the township Health Center at 2 George Frederick Plaza or Town Hall at 1 Main Street, both Woodbridge, NJ 07095.
McCormac also recognized the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Presidents’ Council of Woodbridge for providing $4,000 in scholarships to high school seniors with funds raised from the Woodbridge Township Education Association, local PTO groups, the Board of Education and private citizens and businesses.
The Woodbridge Cares effort from Woodbridge High School students has reopened their store for sale of shirts and lawn signs. All the proceeds are turned into gift cards from local stores and restaurants, which are then donated to local food banks as well as Woodbridge Social Services. For more information visit www.woodbridgecares.org.
The township is taking steps toward reopening Town Hall. Most interaction with local government can be done by phone, mail or on-line. Township officials are also accepting appointments if a person needs to meet with someone to conduct business. Phone numbers are on the township’s website or call 732-634-4500.
Hematology and Oncology Associates at 540 Green St. in Iselin and Excel Urgent Care at 740 Route 1 north in Iselin are offering antibody testing. For more information call Hematology and Oncology Associates at 732-913-8500 and for Excel Urgent Care call 732-874-5507.
With Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement of more businesses able to open up for curbside pickup, the township wants to generate a list of all businesses in town with the option. To be on the list call 732-726-6261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A list generated so far is on the township’s website and Facebook pages.
The state has added automobile, motorcycle dealerships and bicycle shops to list, which reopened on May 22.
The Skyline Mini golf course and batting cages behind the Woodbridge Community Center are expected to open this week.
Summerfest 2020 has been moved from June 6 to Sept. 5 in Merrill Park, Iselin. McCormac said they hope to have a ceremony during the festival to recognize the residents who passed from COVID-19 and bring together family and loved ones to celebrate their lives as well as to celebrate hero first responders and health care professionals who put their lives on the line to protect and save others.
The township’s annual fireworks display has been moved from July 2 to Sept. 6 in Alvin P. Williams Park in Sewaren.
As of now, the township expects to hold its complete summer concert series. Some locations might move around to larger venues to allow for proper social distancing.
The soup kitchen at Trinity Episcopal Church, 650 Rahway Ave., in Woodbridge is open again from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday for a hot lunch to go.
Keep Middlesex Moving, a non-profit transportation management association, challenges people to ride their bike during the month of May and they will donate food to the We Feed Woodbridge food banks. For more information visit the township’s website or www.kmm.org.
The township has extended the grace period for the May 1 property tax bills from May 10 to May 31.
Calls for bulk pickups will be accepted starting June 1 at 732-738-1311 ext. 3600.
The mayor continues to urge social distancing at parks. Playground equipment is off limits and organized games or practices are not allowed. He also urges neighbors to check on people who live alone and cannot leave their homes and to continue to follow the rules and guidelines for social distancing, good personal hygiene, proper disposal of trash and avoiding non-essential travel. He also continues to warn residents of potential fundraising scams for COVID-19.
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.middlesexcountynj.gov/covid19.