During his Coronavirus Task Force Briefing today, Gov. Phil Murphy paid tribute to Darlene Mae Andes, the Public Health Emergency Notification System Coordinator for the Mercer County Division of Public Health, who died April 5. She is one of 4,753 New Jersey residents reported to have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

Gov. Murphy made the following remarks about Ms. Andes:

“Darlene Mae Andes was a health educator and risk communicator responsible for planning, organizing and conducting various emergency management operations right here for the Mercer County Division of Public Health. Before that, she had worked for the Hunterdon County team. In fact, she helped craft the health education materials and tools that Mercer County is using, as we speak, in its current COVID-19 emergency response.

“Well known, well respected and loved by her colleagues and peers, Darlene is being remembered for her patience and kindness, for her innovative thinking, and for her love of family and her faith. And she was only 54 years old. I spoke yesterday with her sister Barbara, who lives in the Shenandoah Valley In Virginia, and as you could imagine, like all these conversations, it was emotional, and God bless and God speed the precious life of her sister Darlene.”

County partners with City, agencies to open emergency shelter

Contracting COVID-19 is unsettling no matter who you are, but people who are homeless and test positive face even greater hurdles. Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced today the county’s partnership with the City Trenton, Capital Health System, the Trenton Health Team, Henry J. Austin Health Center, the Mercer County Human Services Department and the Mercer County Board of Social Services to collaborate with the Rescue Mission, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) and HomeFront to bring to fruition an emergency shelter for COVID-positive homeless persons.

“This population needs an opportunity to isolate and not put others at risk of infection, and the shelter will accomplish that,” Mr. Hughes. “Creating this facility took a great deal of coordination, and I thank Mayor Gusciora, and our health care and social service partners for their roles in what is truly a collaborative effort.”

The shelter, which can accommodate up to 16 people, is being established at the City’s Coordinated Entry Assessment System (CEAS) Center on Perry Street.

Mr. Hughes said the County has provided guidance and support throughout the process, and worked with Henry J. Austin (HJA) representatives to develop the policies and procedures for managing the shelter. The County also helped screen and interview staff, provided cots as well as electronics for telehealth visits with HJA providers, and will be involved in admission and discharge decision-making.

Mercer County testing sites — Quaker Bridge Mall and Trenton

Mercer County, in collaboration with health care and municipal partners, is operating an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence, and appointment-only pop-up testing sites in Trenton for individuals who lack transportation to the mall location. The Trenton sites are now open in each city ward one day a week.

Testing will be provided for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have an appointment. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your primary health care practitioner. If a test is needed, your doctor will fax a prescription to the Mercer County health call center at 609-630-4031, and the center will contact you to schedule an appointment. If you voice an inability to get to Quaker Bridge Mall, you will be offered an appointment at a Trenton pop-up site along with instructions on when and where to go. If you do not have a doctor, call an urgent care facility or call the Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton (609-278-5900) to arrange for screening.

For the health, safety and security of staff at the Quaker Bridge Mall testing site, patients will not be permitted to leave their vehicles. Walk-ups are not permitted at that testing location.

You must have an appointment to be tested. Those who show up at a testing site without an appointment will not be able to be tested.

If you have questions about the testing process, call 609-337-4081 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The testing sites are collaborative efforts between the County of Mercer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health System, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, the Trenton Health TeamHenry J. Austin Health Center, the City of Trenton, Lawrence Township and Quaker Bridge Mall management.

If you believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub provides a self-assessment tool that will help you determine whether you should be tested. Visit

Reminder: County parks closed under governor’s order

By executive order of Gov. Phil Murphyall state and county parks are closed for public use. This includes all park trails, entrances, parking lots, dog parks, lakes, docks and walkways. All parks, facilities and programming will remain closed until further notice.

Municipal parks are permitted to be open. Contact the municipality for information on whether its parks are open or closed.

For inquiries regarding Mercer County Park Commission facilities during the closure, please contact:


To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey’s health care system for the state’s most vulnerable, all residents are under a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy. Executive Order No. 107 provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities. It also directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public. Find more information at


The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the public on COVID-19:
Call: 2-1-1
Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
Visit or for additional information


An executive order by Gov. Phil Murphy requires workers and customers at essential retail businesses to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under 2 years of age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on the use of cloth face coverings.


You haven’t missed your chance to participate in the 2020 Census! If your home hasn’t responded, a paper form is on the way. Check your mailbox this week for your opportunity to bring education, health care, housing, and political power to your community.

If a paper form doesn’t work for you, you can respond online or by phone. There are so many ways to count yourself in the 2020 Census — don’t wait!

People across America are keeping their families and communities safe and healthy by staying home, or serving the public by providing essential services. Responding to the Census yourself — is another way to do your part and help keep your community strong.

To respond online, visit; to respond by phone, call 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).


Did you lose your job or have your hours reduced as a result of COVID-19? Businesses across New Jersey need thousands of workers for immediate hire. Learn more about who is hiring in your community at The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development has prepared a frequently asked questions document for workers affected by the coronavirus emergency.


For information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses – including resources, assistance and regulations — visit the State of New Jersey business portal and the Mercer County Office of Economic Development.


New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub provides answers to frequently asked questions the public may have about coronavirus disease.


The New Jersey Department of Health on April 21 announced 3,643 new positive cases, bringing the total of positive cases in the state to 92,387 with 4,753 deaths. The most positive cases are in Bergen County, which has 13,356; Mercer County has 2,753, with 133 deaths. To view Mercer County data by municipality, please visit the Mercer County COVID-19 Dashboard at Please note that municipal data lags behind the state data and will update as information becomes available. Visit the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard  for more statewide information.

The CDC on April 21 announced a total of 776,093 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and a total of 41,758 deaths, with 55 locations (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, North Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands) reporting cases. Total cases includes 3,396 probable cases and total deaths includes 5,352 probable deaths. For more information, visit

(Visited 374 times, 1 visits today)

Comments are closed.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape