Life has changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a few months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to keep up with latest news, recommendations and guidelines. Checking these resources periodically can help you ensure that you have the information you need to navigate these uncertain times.
The State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub offers information on:
- Steps you can take to protect yourself from the virus
- Which businesses are considered essential or non-essential
- Applying for unemployment benefits
- Rental and mortgage assistance
- Resources for businesses
You’ll also find information on testing center locations throughout the state. Be sure to read the requirements for each site before you arrive for testing. Some sites only accept patients from a particular county, while others offer priority to healthcare workers. Many sites require an appointment and a referral from a doctor.
If you aren’t sure if you need to seek treatment for your symptoms, take a look at the COVID-19 symptom checker. Although the checker can’t take the place of a visit with a doctor, it does provide helpful information that can help you decide if you need to call your physician or go to the emergency room.
For answers to COVID-19 questions, call 211 for general questions and 1 (800) 962-1253 for medical questions. If you would like to receive text alerts, text NJCOVID to 898-211.
Governor Phil Murphy’s YouTube channel offers the latest information on the pandemic. The channel features updates and daily coronavirus briefings.
You can find local updates on the Somerset County and Franklin Township websites. The Somerset Count site offers information about local testing sites and provides a daily automated reading of the current case count in Somerset County. (Call 908-231-7111 to listen to the reading.) If you have a question about the coronavirus, email the Somerset County Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local stores and businesses depend on the support of the community to stay in business during this crisis. When you order takeout from your favorite Somerset restaurant or schedule curbside pickup at the hardware store, you’re helping these businesses survive.
Some non-essential businesses have temporarily switched to a web-only presence and are still filling orders. Call your favorite business or check its website to check if it’s still open for business. Franklin Township offers a convenient listing of restaurants that are open for take-out or delivery.
Tracking the Virus
NJ.com’s Coronavirus Tracker offers daily updates on COVID-19 cases and breaks down the numbers by county. You can also sign up to receive text updates on the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers both national and state coronavirus updates. Simply click on New Jersey or another state on the map to see the latest virus numbers.
Parents, teachers and children have had to do a little adapting to adjust to virtual schooling. Fortunately, Franklin Township Public Schools offer several ways students can submit assignments while at home, including via email or Google classroom or by taking a photograph of an assignment. Although school is not in session, families in need can pick up meals in bulk once a week at several locations.
Staying Fit and Healthy
Whether you’re going to work as an essential employee or working from home, staying healthy is priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC’s website offers information on things you can do to avoid getting sick and also provides guidance on cleaning and disinfecting your home.
With state and county parks closed and fitness facilities closed, it’s definitely a little more challenging to get the exercise you need to stay healthy. Fortunately, Franklin Township’s Parks and Recreation offers a few suggestions on its Virtual Recreation page.
As COVID-19 cases decline in New Jersey, life will gradually get back to normal. Until it does, we’ll make the best of the situation and look for ways to make life a little more enjoyable. Whether you enjoy a daily walk through the neighborhood, catching up on the latest blockbusters or enjoying virtual trips to far-off places or visiting real estate and apartment community websites, it’s important to make time for fun in your life.