FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County officials held a press conference today to provide updates on COVID-19, County operations and the upcoming elections.
Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone began the press conference by giving an overview of the COVID-19 situation in Monmouth County and the trend of the daily numbers of new cases.
“While we are beginning to see the curve flattening, it is important to remember that we are not out of the woods yet and still need to be diligent about practicing social distancing,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “County employees are adhering to social distancing guidelines and are all being given face coverings this week as an added safety measure.”
The Freeholder Director spoke about County initiatives that are forthcoming and currently in place to aide residents of Monmouth County.
“The County is actively working on a number of resources and initiatives to help our residents, especially those who are among the most vulnerable: our senior citizens,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “One example is the Monmouth County Division of Transportation’s SCAT program, which offering early morning transportation for seniors to take advantage of the designated shopping hours offered by many grocery stores and other essential retail locations.”
For more information about the Monmouth County SCAT transportation services, go to www.visitmonmouth.com or call 732-431-6480.
Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley announced that, in collaboration with the Board of Chosen Freeholders and Monmouth ACTS, the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Monmouth County will soon be able to connect individuals with licensed clinicians.
“Beginning Monday, April 20, the MHA of Monmouth County will open phone lines to connect residents in need of emotional support to pro bono licensed professionals,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley. “So far, 51 incredible clinicians have come forward to volunteer their time and skillset, but more volunteers, specifically bilingual professionals, are needed to bolster this effort. The Monmouth County Health Department hotline will direct callers inquiring about emotional assistance to MHA support services.”
The Deputy Director also discussed the release of the COVID-19 Community Resource Guide, created by the County’s Office on Aging in cooperation with the 53 municipalities.
“This resource guide for seniors offers a wide range of information and contacts for food delivery, pharmacies, caregiver support, financial assistance and so much more,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley. “The guide will continue to be updated by municipality as changes occur during this unprecedented time.”
The COVID-10 Community Resource Guide is available on www.MonmouthACTS.org/covid19.
“Another great initiative that is becoming increasingly successful is our ‘Take Out in Monmouth’ program, which has been used by more than 10,500 people already,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “This week we added a new subgroup of businesses open for business—garden centers, many of whom are our own Made in Monmouth members. We have added over 30 garden centers to our list who are practicing social distancing and offering pick-up and delivery.”
“As the weather continues to improve, I encourage residents to get outside in their own yards. Fixing up their gardens is one way they can do that in a safe way,” added Freeholder Director Arnone.
Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon advised residents that Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 120 last week, which postponed the 2020 Primary Election on June 2 to July 7, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Executive Order includes the postponement of primaries for President, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and county and municipal elections, as well as county committee elections in Monmouth County.
“Based on the new Primary Election date of July 7, the voter registration deadline for the election will be moved to June 16 and the deadline to apply for a Mail-In Ballot by mail will now be June 30,” said Clerk Hanlon. “If you have any questions, I encourage you to visit my Elections website at MonmouthCountyVotes.com or to call my Elections Office at 732-431-7790.”