March 28: COVID-19 Update

Dear All:

Since I wrote to you last week, the news about COVID-19 continues to evolve and has even more of an impact on us, our families, our neighbors, our friends, and our businesses. 

Information is coming at us from many directions and it can be overwhelming.  Here is my updated list of the resources I turn to for information about health concerns, testing, and where people and businesses can turn to during this extraordinary time.

Please do everything you can to take care of those around you, including yourself. 

As we are all seeing, in times of crisis, people do remarkable things for each other and that continues to fill me with optimism.  Hats off to our first responders and medical professionals, our essential employees, our caring neighbors and family members who continually check on the welfare of others, businesses stepping forward with major donations of vital equipment, and non-profits ramping up their efforts to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable.

If you have any questions about this Resource List or any suggestions for how we could be helpful to you, my staff and I are available and more than happy to assist.  I will be keeping copies of all my lists including this one at: https://www.andrewzwicker.com/covid_19_resources

 

Stay safe,

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker

16th Legislative District

AsmZwicker@njleg.org

732-823-1684

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If you do not feel well or believe you or a family member has been exposed to COVID-19:

  • NJ COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-222-1222
    Staffed by medical professionals, this hotline is open 24hr/7days a week to answer any and all COVID-19 related questions and concerns.

  • NJ 211
    https://www.nj211.org/
    If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 and the resources available call 2-1-1.  You can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed.  To receive live text assistance, text your zip code to 898-211.

  • Testing Site Locator
    https://covid19.nj.gov/search.html?query=Testing+Centers+in+NJ
    This website provides information on COVID-19 testing locations across the state.  However, please note that testing is currently only available for those individuals experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness and are New Jersey residents.  This website also includes a link to check your symptoms if you are unsure if you meet the criteria. 

 

 GENERAL COVID-19 INFORMATION

  • https://covid19.nj.gov
    This website is the centralized location for most of New Jersey’s COVID-19 related resources or guidance.  Many COVID-19 related questions can be answered using this site, however, if there is a concern not adequately addressed by this site, please contact my office for assistance.

 

ECONOMIC RESOURCES

  • Economic Assistance for Businesses
    cv.business.nj.gov 
    Information about grants, loans, and other assistance can be found at this site.

  • COVID-19 Jobs Portal
    https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/index.html
    Businesses across New Jersey need thousands of workers for immediate hire.  Learn more on this site about who is hiring and how to find a job that's a good fit for you.  Employers can also use this site to post available positions.

  • New Jersey Department of Labor
    https://www.nj.gov/labor/employer-services/business/covid.shtml
    The Department of Labor continues to update its website to address COVID-19 related concerns for employers who are looking for guidance.

  • Employee Protections under COVID-19
    https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covid.shtml
    The Department of Labor continues to update its website to address COVID-19 related concerns for employees who are looking for guidance.

  • Unemployment Benefits
    https://myunemployment.nj.gov/
    If you are unable to access the internet, please call: 
    North Jersey:  201-601-4100
    Central Jersey:  732-761-2020
    Southern Jersey:  856-507-2340

  • Earned Sick Leave or Temporary Disability
    https://myleavebenefits.nj.gov/
    This is a resource for anyone who may have questions about how COVID-19 impacts their leave benefits.

  • Executive Order 107 Violations:
    https://covid19.nj.gov/violation
    NJ Executive Order 107 (details can be found here) requires all non-essential retail businesses to close, mandates that all businesses and non-profits in the State, whether closed or open to the public, must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements and cancels all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events.

    If you are aware of a possible violation of Executive Order 107, you can report it at
    : https://covid19.nj.gov/violation or by calling 2-1-1. 

 

HUMAN SERVICES AND SOCIAL SERVICES

  • Department of Human Services
    https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/news/press/2020/approved/20200318b.html
    You can use this website if you have any general questions about childcare, cash shelter and food assistance, NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid, individuals with disabilities, mental health and substance abuse, and/or support for older residents.

  • NJ Family Care (Medicaid)
    www.njfamilycare.org
    If you have no health insurance, you may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through NJ FamilyCare.  You can submit a new application for NJ FamilyCare or any other Medicaid programs through the website.  To check the status of an application please call 1-800-701-0710.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/General Assistance
    www.NJHelps.org
    If you believe you may be eligible for SNAP and general assistance, you can use this website to apply. 

  • Telehealth Medicine
    https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200322b.shtml
    The Governor has expanded access to telehealth and telemental health resources.  For full details, please use this link to see how each department has responded to make these services available across the state.

  • Health Insurance Resources
    https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/faq.html
    The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) has created a website to answer frequently asked questions related to health insurance and COVID-19.

    www.getcovered.nj.gov
    If you have experienced a life-changing event, such as the loss of health coverage or the loss of job-based coverage, assistance with obtaining health insurance can be found here.  Individuals who have lost qualifying health coverage in the past 60 days or expect to lose coverage in the next 60 days you can use this site to apply for health coverage.

 

Essential Businesses That Are Open Include:

  • Grocery stores, farmer's markets, and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists as a grocery store
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Medical supply stores
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
  • Hardware and home improvement stores
  • Vehicle rental locations
  • Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics
  • Printing and office supply shops
  • Mail and delivery stores
  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair
  • Livestock feed stores
  • Nurseries and garden centers
  • Farming equipment stores
  • All restaurants, cafeterias, dining establishments, and food courts, with or without a liquor license, all bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges, are permitted to operate their normal business hours, but are limited to offering only food delivery and/or take-out services in accordance with their existing liquor licenses.

 

Food Banks

Flemington Area Food Pantry
http://flemingtonfoodpantry.org
(908) 788-5568

ArmInArm (formerly Crisis Ministry of Mercer County)
https://arminarm.org
(609) 396-9355

Food Bank Network of Somerset
https://www.somersetfoodbank.org
732-560-1813

South Brunswick Township Food Pantry
https://www.southbrunswicknj.gov/food-pantry
732-329-4000 x7674

Trenton Area Soup Kitchen
http://www.trentonsoupkitchen.org
609-695-5456

 

PUBLIC UTILITIES

  • New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
    https://www.nj.gov/bpu/newsroom/reports/covid19.html
    If you’re experiencing a utility service shut-off or have another issue with your utility, contact the company first.  If your utility company doesn’t resolve your issue, this website can offer assistance.  For help paying your utility bills during this difficult time, you can find a list of programs at this website.

 

TRANSPORTATION

  • Motor Vehicle Commission:
    The Motor Vehicle Commission
    has created a page here to answer questions related to COVID-19 and it will be updated frequently.

  • New Jersey Turnpike Authority
    www.njta.com
    As of March 24, New Jersey's biggest toll roads (the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike) the Garden State Parkway stopped accepting cash payments.  Tolls will still be collected via EZ Pass and a mail by plate system.

 

RECENT LAWS PASSED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Governor Phil Murphy has signed into law a package of bills from the NJ Legislature in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, the General Assembly held a voting session remotely, a first in our Legislature’s history. 

  • A-3095/S-1982 – Provides county clerks an additional week to prepare for the 2020 Primary Election.
  • A-3840/S-2281 – Requires school districts to provide school meals or meal vouchers for students eligible for free and reduced-price meals.
  • A-3843/S-2283 – Requires health insurance and Medicaid coverage for testing of the virus and for telemedicine and tele-health.
  • A-3845/S-2284 – Authorizes the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to make grants during a state of emergency and grant certain deadline extensions for grant submissions.
  • A-3848/S-2301 – Prohibits an employer from firing or refusing to rehire an employee who has an infectious disease that causes the employee to miss work.
  • A-3849/S-2302 – Modifies deadline for a public agency’s response to a request for government records.
  • A-3850/S-2294 – Allows public bodies to conduct meetings and provide notice of those meetings virtually.
  • A-3851/S-2295 – Permits extension of deadlines for adoption of county and municipal budgets.
  • A-3854/S-2286 – Expands COVID-19 testing capabilities by authorizing all licensed health care facilities and laboratories to collect specimens to test for the disease; allows waiver of staffing ratio requirements.
  • A-3855/S-2287 – Requires food access information be displayed on websites of 2-1-1 system and executive branch departments. 
  • A-3861/S-2290 – Permits corporations to hold shareholders’ meetings virtually.
  • A-3865/S-2291 – Limits returning items purchased from retail food stores.
  • A-3900/S-2304 – Expands the State’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Family Leave Insurance (FLI) programs to provide more workers with access to paid-leave benefits.