Editor’s note: Community News has compiled information from governments and facilities in the Trenton region regarding their preparations and precautions for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. Information is listed after the bolded name of the institution. Updates will be posted as new information becomes available.
UPDATE March 20 4:04 p.m. Bordentown Township has announced its first positive case of Covid-19.
UPDATE March 20 3:53 p.m. West Windsor Township reports 3 additional positive cases of Covid-19 in the township, including one person whose pre-test itinerary included three visits to the New Jersey Athletic Club in Lawrence.
UPDATE March 20 11:58 a.m. The Hamilton Township Health Department reports that Hamilton has one new positive COVID-19 case, bringing the total cases to three. Additionally, there are eight residents who have test results pending.
The new positive case is a 63-year-old male who is currently in the hospital, but reported to be doing well. The other two residents that have tested positive for COVID-19 are self-isolating at home, and reported to be recovering well.
UPDATE 4:05 p.m. A fifth positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in Princeton. The individual is connected to an individual who attended the Feb. 29 house party. The individual was self-isolating before developing symptoms.
UPDATE: 3:30 p.m. The Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance meeting scheduled for March 26 has been canceled, and the Hopewell Valley Parenting Conference scheduled for March 28 has been postponed to the fall.
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 28 at 7:45 a.m. For more information and updates, visit the HVMA website.
UPDATE: 11:50 a.m. A family in Hopewell Township has tested positive for COVID-19. One of the individuals is an employee of Timberlane Middle School.
UPDATE: March 19 9:20 a.m. The Hamilton Township Board of Education has moved its Wednesday, March 25 regular meeting to teleconference, as part of social distancing measures.
The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. To participate, call (609) 896-3442 and enter password 0136. The board has asked that public participants mute their phones during the non-public portion of the meeting.
Members of the public who would like to comment must sign up with the board secretary in advance, either by calling the district business office at (609) 631-4100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who sign up will be recognized during the public participation portion when it is time to state their comments.
UPDATE: March 18 6:30 p.m. Hamilton Township has confirmed that two residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The 48-year-old man and 28-year-old woman are both self-isolating at home.
A number of area grocery stores have altered their hours to accommodate those most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, including Acme Markets, Foley’s Family Market, McCaffrey’s Food Market and Stop and Shop.
Bordentown City Hall is closed to the public. City government will continue to operate with essential personnel and focus on conducting business through the phone, email and city website. Residents are encouraged to utilize online payment services or drop payments through the secure mail slot at City Hall.
Garbage and trash collection will continue as scheduled, as well as leaf and brush collection on Wednesdays. The recycling center will remain open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
All scheduled events at the Carslake Community Center through March 31 have been cancelled. All city committee meetings and city-sponsored events are cancelled through April 20.
City commission meetings will be held as scheduled. Residents are welcome to attend, though questions or concerns can be sent to the city clerk at email@example.com. Social distancing will be enforced. Mayor James Lynch asks that residents “use discretion” when deciding whether or not to attend.
The Bordentown Township municipal building is closed to the public. Residents are asked to conduct any township business by phone, email or mail.
Officials intend to hold the scheduled March 23 committee meeting on a virtual platform, Mayor Steve Benowitz said. Public participation and comments are welcome. More information can be found on the township’s website. All other public meetings are cancelled through the month of March. Additionally, municipal court sessions for the next two weeks are cancelled.
The senior center is closed indefinitely, and all scheduled activities have been cancelled. The facility will be thoroughly cleaned during this period. The Easter egg hunt scheduled for April 11 is also cancelled.
The Hamilton Township Board of Education will hold its agenda session tonight, March 18, as scheduled in-person at its Park Avenue office.
Hopewell Borough declared a state of emergency March 17, stating in a notice that it is necessary to implement “procedures whereby essential essential operational needs are met while at the same time reducing or eliminating unnecessary gatherings and contact that might further adversely affect the health, safety and welfare of Hopewell Borough’s residents and visitors.”
In accordance with the state of emergency, all scheduled municipal board, committee and commission meetings are canceled through April 30 unless arrangements have been made to conduct meetings over conference call to enable public participation. All borough council meetings are cancelled through April 30. Emergency meetings, such as those needed to approve the payment of bills and claims, will be held via conference call. All municipally-scheduled events are also canceled through April 30.
State code officials will continue with inspections, permit processing and other services. However, all consultations will be by telephone only. Interior inspections will be rescheduled if your home or building is currently occupied by an ill or contagious person.
All programs and regular hours at the Hopewell Public Library are cancelled. Information regarding modified library services, if available, will be posted on the borough website and the Hopewell Public Library website.
Healthy staff will work normal hours at Borough Hall, though the building will remain locked, and visitors will not be permitted inside the building. Regular daytime hours at 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Residents are asked to utilize online payment options, U.S. mail or drop box services at Borough Hall for property taxes, utilities, licenses, permits and other local government business. Services will be provided by request or appointment only. If you have arranged to deliver or pick up a document or item, please utilize the doorbell to alert staff of your arrival. Staff will respond to requests via email, hand-delivery, U.S. mail, curbside service or other means that can be arranged. Most messages and requests will be accommodated during regular business hours.
Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler announce March 18 that the Mercer County Sheriff’s App will now offer broadcasts and rebroadcasts of Center for Disease Control COVID-19 alerts. The app and the upgrade are available free for Android and iPhones. The Mercer County Sheriff’s App is the first sheriff’s office in the state to roll out the added COVID-19 information feature.
To download the app, search for “Mercer County Sheriff’s Office” on the Apple App Store or through Google Play. Once downloaded, go to the “Additional Resources” tab and click COVID-19.
“The upgraded app will help the public receive fast breaking news and credible information from the CDC,” Kemler said. “Please share the app with your family, friends, and neighbors so they too can receive reliable news and alerts.”
Pennington Borough announced a number of changes to its business practices March 13. The municipal building is currently closed to all visitors until further notice. Health borough staff will be working 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can respond to questions and requests via email or by phone.
Tax and utility payments can be deposited in the new secure drop box outside the front door of borough hall, paid by mail or paid online (there is a fee for this service). If you need a receipt for payment, please include a note with your address.
All public meetings for the remainder of March will be cancelled. The Pennington Public Library has also cancelled all programs and regular hours. Information regarding modified library services, if available, will be posted on the borough website and the Pennington Public Library website.
The following non-essential requests for borough services will be temporarily suspended until further notice: bulk trash collection, request for rental of a borough dump truck, non-essential construction inspections and non-emergency water meter replacements.
Commercial and exterior residential inspections will continue as usual. Consultations will be managed by telephone. Call Regina Taylor (609) 737-0276 Monday through Friday between 1:30 and 4:30 for further instruction. Elective interior residential renovation projects should be postponed until further notice.
Municipal garbage collection and yard waste collection will continue as usual, and final readings of water meters and house inspections will be scheduled by appointment only. Call Rick Smith, Public Works Superintendent, at (609) 737-9440 with any questions related to public works.
Court sessions scheduled for Thursday, March 19 and Thursday, April 2 have been cancelled and all cases will be adjourned. For more information, call court administrator Meg Umbro at (609) 737-2016 or send a fax to (609) 737-9780. Consulations can also be scheduled with the court administrator Tuesdays or Thursdays between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
All tax assessor consultations will be by phone or email only. Call Marianne Busher during regular office hours between 5:30 p.m. 7 p.m. on Mondays. She can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
All zoning consultations will be by phone or email. Call John Flemming during his Wednesday office hours between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. He can also be reached at email@example.com.
Montgomery Township provides health services for Pennington residents. Links to important health information from the Health Department can be found on the borough website. Additional questions can be directed to Borough Administrator Eileen Heinzel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Pennington Police Department is available 24/7. If you need assistance, call (609) 737-2020. Dial 911 for emergencies.
The Municipality of Princeton, along with the Princeton Public Library and Princeton Public Schools, has established a website to use as a single source for all information related to COVID-19. Mayor Liz Lempert will post daily updates to the website, which also includes a number of links and resources regarding local businesses, employment, openings and closings and more.
Princeton has four positive laboratory confirmed coronavirus cases, seven negative cases and four pending cases. Six individuals are currently under investigation and quaratined due to travel or close contact to a confirmed case. Three people are isolated due to symptoms but have not yet received testing.
Twenty individuals under investigation have been cleared from quarantine or monitoring. This number includes the seven people who were asymptomatic and not tested from the party where the first cases were found.
Princeton officials also said that the number of confirmed cases statewide will continue to rise as more people gain access to testing throughout the region.
“This is expected and is not an indicator that social distancing does not work,” said a Princeton press release. “Social distancing has only been in effect for three days.
Childcare centers and daycare centers are still in operation. Senior living sites are encouraged to reduce or end non-essential visitation and increase health screenings of workers and other essential visitors.
Police Chief Nicholas Sutter said that residents who want to report gatherings of 50 or more people and other COVID-19 curfew and social distancing infractions should not dial 911. Instead, they are asked to call the non-emergency police department phone line at (609) 921-2100 for rules violations.
The Robbinsville Township office of emergency management issued a proclamation of local disaster emergency March 17. The proclamation states that all township businesses and individuals should comply with any executive orders issued by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. It will remain in effect until it is rescinded.
Rob Anthes contributed reporting to this story.