Woodbridge new COVID-19 cases as high as cases in April, township seeking donations for We Feed Woodbridge

PHOTO COURTESY OF WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP

WOODBRIDGE – The township reported 365 new COVID-19 cases over a seven-day period, which brings the total number of cases to 3,693, according to Mayor John McCormac in his coronavirus report on Nov. 30.

Sixty-six new cases of COVID-19 were reported for Nov. 23, 67 new cases were reported for Nov. 24, 31 new cases were reported for Nov. 25, 23 new cases were reported for Nov. 26, 61 new cases were reported for Nov. 27, 82 new cases were reported for Nov. 28 and 35 new cases were reported for Nov. 29.

“This is our highest weekly total since the week ending April 11,” McCormac said. “The count of 82 is our second highest daily count ever after April 10 when we had 87.”

McCormac said the township can no longer say the new COVID-19 cases are not as bad as the spring.

“There are certainly more tests being done in November than in April,” he said. “The average age of cases this past week was 41 and over 40% of the cases were people under 30 years of age.”

The number of COVID-19 cases include East Jersey State Prison and a number of related state facilities in the Avenel section of the township. The state reported zero new cases from their facilities over the seven-day period. The total number of cases at the facilities remain at 823.

There are 68 COVID-19 cases reported from St. Joseph’s Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility. 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 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 – a 66-year-old female and an 88-year-old female – which bring the total number of residents lost to 108 in the general population, 22 residents lost from state facilities and 28 residents lost from the St. Joseph’s Nursing Home.

The Woodbridge Senior Billiards Club is collecting toys for children in need. Unwrapped toys for boys and girls between ages 2-14 can be dropped in the box in the lobby of the Woodbridge Community Center until Dec. 11.

David’s Touch Foundation is collecting gift cards from 6-10 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Curtains Restaurant in Avenel.

Health and fitness centers reopened on Sept. 1 with a number of restrictions. McCormac said the Woodbridge Community Center and The Club at Woodbridge buildings have been sanitized and equipment have been moved around. Employees have been trained to ensure the personal safety of the members.

A list generated of local businesses and restaurants offering outside dining are on the township’s website and Facebook pages. Indoor dining at 25% capacity began on Sept. 4. On Nov. 9, the state imposed new restrictions on all bars and restaurants to close indoor dining by 10 p.m. This does not affect outdoor dining or takeout.

Indoor limits are capped at 10. On Dec. 7, outdoor gatherings including sports, concerts, parades and holiday events will be reduced to 25. Social distancing and mask wearing is mandatory at all outdoor gatherings and these guidelines should be followed at all indoor events.

Senior centers Colonia, Hickory in Fords, Sycamore in Port Reading and Five Branches in Iselin, reopened on June 22, on a limited basis. There will be no luncheons or large gatherings, but seniors can call in advance to schedule times to visit for crafts, games or other recreational activities, McCormac said.

Woodbridge Center and all indoor malls reopened on June 29. Woodbridge Center will open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information visit www.woodbridgecenter.com.

The Woodbridge Main Library has eliminated Sunday hours and is the only library open during the week. The other library branches – Fords, Colonia and Iselin – will continue curbside pickup and drop-off. For more information visit woodbridgelibrary.org or call 732-634-4450.

We Feed Woodbridge, a coalition of 11 food pantries and a soup kitchen, surpassed its donation goal with more than $102,000 in monetary donations plus thousands of pounds of food in six weeks.

With national reports indicating that as many as one in five children suffer from food deprivation and township officials reporting a 33% increase in utilization of the township’s food pantries, community efforts to collect food and money really never ends, McCormac said.

McCormac recognized the Colonia Elks for their donation of $2,000 to We Feed Woodbridge. With the holidays approaching, the township is starting a big push for donations of food, gift cards and checks for the food banks.

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.

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.

For hours of operation for the Skyline Mini golf course and batting cages behind the Woodbridge Community Center call 732-596-4000.

The Avenel Performing Arts Center reopened on Oct. 1 with a full schedule, but limited capacity.

Bulk pickups have restarted. To schedule a bulk pickup call 732-738-1311 ext. 3600.

Basketball hoops and playground equipment at municipal parks are now open for use.
Township officials remind the public organized games are not permitted and encourage people to be careful and diligent about cleaning equipment before and after usage. The township will continue to also diligently clean the equipment. Non-contact organized sports began on June 22.

Playgrounds at county parks – Merrill Park in Iselin, Alvin P. Williams Park in Sewaren,
Warren Park in Woodbridge, and Fords Park in Fords – reopened July 2.

The mayor continues to urge 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 as well as contact tracing scams for COVID-19.

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