FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County officials held a press conference today to request donations for desperately needed supplies and announce a donation drop off site. Officials also discussed County operations and the upcoming elections.
“At the County, all of our employees have been instructed to practice social distancing and many are following alternative work plans,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “With that said, it is also important to note that the County is open and operational. While physical public access has been restricted, there are several ways for the public to access the County. Phone calls and emails are being answered and steps have been taken, such as livestreaming, to make sure that we are still reachable.”
The Monmouth County Health Department hotline, 732-845-2070, is open to answer general questions about COVID-19 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“We are here today to provide information, but we are also here to ask for your help,” added Freeholder Director Arnone. “We are asking for help from nurses to volunteer with the Monmouth County Health Department to do case management or help in any capacity. There is a lot of work to be done and we are asking for help from trained professionals who may be available to assist us in our efforts.”
“People who are overwhelmed with uncertainty and experiencing anxiety may feel uncomfortable calling the Monmouth County Health Department hotline because they do not want anyone to think they are in a crisis situation,” said Freeholder Susan M. Kiley. “Currently, Monmouth ACTS is working on a phone number for anyone who needs emotional assistance to call to discuss this challenging time.”
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden spoke about Monmouth County’s healthcare workers and first responders and their desperate need of personal protective equipment which has become increasingly scarce due to the ongoing battle against COVID-19.
“Healthcare professionals and first responders remain at the forefront when battling COVID-19 and are in dire need of this personal protective equipment to continue to respond to this unprecedented demand for services,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “We invite you to assist us by donating items from the list of personal protective equipment, in order for those on the front lines to protect themselves while protecting the public.”
Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon informed Monmouth County voters and candidates that the Governor signed Executive Order No. 105 to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that all voters can exercise their right to vote without risking their health and safety.
The Executive Order mandates that municipal elections on May 12, which in Monmouth County exclusively affects Allenhurst, Deal, Keansburg and Loch Arbour, be conducted solely via mail-in ballots. The Executive Order also changed the process for candidate petition filing for the June 2 primary election by permitting primary election candidates to obtain signatures electronically on a nominating petition.
“We will be working hand in hand with our municipal officials in these four towns to ensure that every voter in Allenhurst, Deal, Keansburg, and Loch Arbour receives a ballot,” said Clerk Hanlon. “I encourage primary election candidates to visit my elections website for more information or to call our elections office at 732-431-7790 with any questions.”
Personal Protective Equipment needed includes: nitrile examination gloves, surgical or N95 masks, protective gowns, protective face shields, multi-function no-contact infrared thermometers, hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes.
Donations of these items are being accepted at Thompson Park, 805 Newman Springs Road, in Lincroft, beginning Wednesday, March 25, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. For additional information, or to arrange the drop-off of personal protective equipment, please call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312. The phone number is staffed every day, including weekends.