Monroe new COVID-19 cases more than double in a week, mayor urges residents to avoid large indoor gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving

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MONROE – Monroe new COVID-19 cases more than double over seven-day period.

Officials reported 76 new COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of cases to 1,198, according to the Monroe Township Office of Emergency Management on Nov. 19.

The seven-day period was from Nov. 12-18. The new cases community-wide include a nine-month old male, a 10-year-old male, two 11-year-old females, an 11-year-old male, a 12-year-old female, a 15-year-old male, an 18-year-old male, two 19-year-old males, a 22-year-old female, three 22-year-old males, two 23-year-old females, a 25-year-old male, a 27-year-old female, a 27-year-old male, a 29-year-old female, a 29-year-old male, a 34-year-old female, two 35-year-old females, a 36-year-old female, a 37-year-old female, a 39-year-old female, a 43-year-old female, a 44-year-old female, a 45-year-old male, a 47-year-old male, a 48-year-old female, a 48-year-old male, a 49-year-old with undisclosed gender, a 51-year-old female, two 54-year-old females, a 55-year-old male, two 56-year-old males, two 57-year-old females, two 57-year-old males, a 58-year-old female, a 59-year-old female, a 56-year-old male, a 60-year-old male, a 61-year-old female, a 62-year-old male, a 63-year-old female, a 63-year-old male, a 66-year-old female, a 67-year-old female, a 69-year-old male, a 71-year-old male, a 72-year-old female, a 73-year-old male, two 73-year-old females, two 74-year-old females, a 74-year-old female, a 75-year-old female, a 79-year-old male, an 80-year-old female, an 83-year-old female, an 85-year-old male, a 90-year-old female and a 92-year-old female.

One new case – an 86-year-old female – was reported from a long-term care facility.
Four new cases were reported from the New Jersey Training School for Boys – two 17-year-old males and two 19-year-old males – which brings the total number of cases reported at the school to 57.
The township has lost one more resident to COVID-19, which brings the total number of residents lost to 129, 85 in long-term care facilities and 44 community-wide.
Twenty-five additional positive cases were reported community-wide from May through October.
“Today’s report reveals the stark reality that COVID-19 has not released its grip on our lives,” Mayor Gerald Tamburro said. “The summer gave us some reprieve, but those days sadly are now over. We are back to positive-case levels that rival those in the beginning of the pandemic. While death rates aren’t at the same levels as the early spring, we are seeing alarming trends in new positive cases throughout the state, county and municipality. We must not be complacent.”
Tamburro urged residents to avoid indoor gatherings with extended family and friends as they plan Thanksgiving celebrations.
As of Nov. 4, the Monroe Township Public Library is currently closed after a library employee tested positive for COVID-19. Online resources are available 24/7 and most virtual programs will continue as scheduled. For more information email webmaster@monroetwplibrary.org.
The library remains closed, but will resume curbside pickup on Nov. 19 with extended hours. Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The library reopened July 13. The library will offer limited “grab and go” services and will continue the convenient curbside pickup for those who prefer it.

Beginning Nov. 7, the library will offer new hours – Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library will be closed Sunday.

Curbside hours will continue by appointment. Computer use limited to one hour is offered by appointment.

Designated senior library hours are from 9:30-11 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

On Sept. 8, the library’s bookmobile went back on the road making contactless deliveries. Requests, which will be limited to 10 items, must be made in advance via email at bookmobile@monroetwplibrary.org. For more information visit www.monroetwplibrary.org or call the bookmobile office at 732-521-5000 ext. 126.

A number of adult and children events are scheduled at the library in November. The Friends of the Library will present an International Film Festival in a new format. Everyone will be able to see the films on their own computers and at their own convenience. And children 6 and up can learn how to draw their favorite characters at 3 p.m. on Nov. 21. For more information call 732-521-5000 or visit www.monroetwplibrary.org.

The township has resumed medical transportation for seniors and people with disabilities. With retrofitted buses and social distancing in place, medical transportation is available Monday through Friday for township seniors and people with disabilities. To make a reservation call 609-443-0511 between 1-4:15 p.m. Buses are regularly cleaned and masks are required for all riders. Temperature checks will be conducted for all passengers prior to boarding the bus.

Playgrounds in the township reopened on July 10.

The Monroe Township Office of Senior Services began limited outdoor programming on Sept. 15 for current senior center members only. Pre-registration for next set of classes is Oct. 29 – for outdoor door classes beginning on Nov. 2 – community pass or by phone and limit of two programs per senior center member. Limit two programs per senior center members. There will be a 50-person max capacity per program. Masks are required at all times. All programs will take place on the back patio of the senior center. Programs will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather. For more information call 609-448-7140.

The Monroe Township Food Pantry provides assistance for residents, families in need. For more information contact Karen Theer at 609-448-7140. Another resource is the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Services (MCFOODS) Directory, which directs people to an agency in their area that can provide them with emergency food assistance as well as Jewish Family Services. For more information and MCFOODS email ja@mciauth.com or call 732-729-0880 and for Jewish Family Services call 609-395-7979.

Donations to the food pantry can be mailed to Office of Senior Services, 12 Halsey Reed Road, Monroe Township, NJ 08831, Re: Food Pantry. Checks should be made payable to “Friends of the Senior Center” with “Food Bank” written in the memo line of the check.

The Monroe Township Public Library is a drop off site for MCFOODS. A collection cart has been placed in the library’s temporary entrance in the Library Meeting Room. MCFOODS serves more than 140 local food pantries, soup kitchens and social service agencies each week.

The township Recycling Center, which had been closed due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, has reopened with the following hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. For more information contact the township Department of Public Works (DPW) at 732-656-4575.

The DPW resumed previously scheduled bulk pick-ups and leaf collection through the end of November.

Antibody testing is now available along with COVID-19 testing at MyInstaDoc, 298 Applegarth Road for anyone wishing to be tested. The facility will serve pre-registered COVID-19 testing patients from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Antibody blood testing will be conducted in-office by appointment. To be considered, a patient must be free from all COVID-19 symptoms for no less than 14 days. This 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. A person does not have to be symptomatic to be tested.

COVID-19 testing is also available at Hackensack Meridian Urgent Care in Monroe at 215 Applegarth Road. The facility is offering antibody blood testing and COVID-19 nasal swab testing walk-in or by appointment from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekend. For more information call 732-263-7922 to schedule an appointment.

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

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