CHSofNJ Alert: COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

For Children & Families We Serve or Those in Need of Services

As of March 24, 2020, CHSofNJ facilities/programs will be offering most of our services in redesigned ways from remote sites, provided to the best of our ability by phone and other IT platforms (due to COVID-19). Please note that the State of New Jersey, County of Mercer, and the City of Trenton have declared a State of Emergency. In accordance with those directives, CHSofNJ is limiting person-to-person contact and providing for social distancing. Our Mercer County WIC office (416 Bellevue Ave, Trenton, NJ), will remain open with limited and adjusted services and schedules. Our Child Care Resource and Referral Program (CCR&R) (1433 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ), in Ocean County is open, but has suspended all face to face interaction.

Many area school districts are closed, including Trenton Public Schools. CHSofNJ Head Start/Early Head Start centers, which follow the Trenton school calendar, will be closed for child care. Head Start staff have emailed individualized teaching strategies to enrolled families, and staff will continue to provide content area services. Head Start Teachers and Family Advocates will telephone families regularly to provide teaching support and answer questions or concerns parents may have. During and after school programming in Trenton schools will be closed as well. Head Start/Early Head Start and school-based staff are available for supportive services and
assistance.

CHSofNJ’s Mercer County WIC program will mail food vouchers to the mailing address provided by enrolled participants to ensure low-income pregnant and postpartum women and their infants and children up to age five in Mercer County continue to receive nutritious foods. The office will have limited staff, but will remain open at 416 Bellevue Avenue, Trenton NJ. WIC will be operating between the hours of 8:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday through Friday. WIC will be utilizing a “drive-thru/walk-thru” option when picking-up benefits only. All clients, regardless of which clinic they normally go to, can use the “drive-thru/walk-thru” when reloading their benefits. Initial Certification is limited to newborn 8 weeks old or less and
other categories on a case-by-case basis.

We are closely monitoring the situation, and assure you that our staff is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of those we serve. Should you or anyone in your household feel sick (fever, cough, shortness of breath), or have contact with someone who is symptomatic for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, we ask that you please contact your doctor immediately and contact us to cancel any existing CHSofNJ appointments in our office or your home. As much as possible, our staff is working to accommodate appointments via telephone to ensure your child still receives the services he or she needs.

We will provide updates via our website, social media, and direct contact to staff and participants should the provision of services be adjusted.

We encourage you to adhere to recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding symptom recognition; proper handwashing; disinfection; avoiding close contact with others; and more. Please visit https://www.who.int/ or https://www.cdc.gov/ to learn more about how you can protect yourself and your family.

Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to keep our community healthy.

For immediate assistance or other questions find contact information for specific programs below:

● Kinship Services: 800-396-4518
● Adoption and Birth Parent Counseling Services: Call or Text (609) 802-1865
● Family Success Centers and Maternal Child Health: (609) 477-9955
● CHSofNJ Mercer WIC: Schedule an appointment (609) 498-7755
● Ocean Child Care Resource and Referral Program: (732) 557-9633

Everyone stay well.

SUPPORT US

– Food Pantry (Updated as of March 23, 2020)
 Food Finder-Food Finder gives food insecure children and their families a way to find free food assistance programs quickly. 
– Drive Through Testing Sites(coming soon)
– Ship (Medicare Message)
– Ship: Our certified SHIP councilors are available to help anytime between Monday – Friday. Call 609.273.0588 to schedule your appointment today!
– Comcast: Comcast Resource(Free internet): Comcast, through its Internet Essentials program, is offering 2 free months of internet service for new customers who are low-income. After 2 months, internet service will be $9.95 per month. To be eligible, families must have at least 1 child who receives free or reduced price school lunch or be a family that receives HUD housing assistance.

Families must apply by April 30. There is high demand so applications could be slowed.

Apply here: https://apply.internetessentials.com

– NJ  Pharmacies Offering Local Delivery: List by County click here
– WIC- New Jersey WIC Program Services Now Provided Without Physical Presence

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all current New Jersey WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) participants will continue to receive benefits, and new applicants will be assessed, certified, and issued benefits remotely. WIC services include providing supplemental food benefits, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and social services. Typically, WIC participants and applicants must be physically present to receive services. However, USDA has temporarily waived this requirement. The waiver applies to areas impacted by WIC clinic closures and stay-at-home orders as well as to people under quarantine. The New Jersey WIC program provides services to an average of 133,000 program participants each month.

New Jersey WIC Services Now Available by Phone

Call Your Local Agency:  https://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/participants/find-wic/

During the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Current participants will continue to receive benefits
  • New participants can call your local WIC clinic to apply.

COVID 19 Info Hub:  https://covid19.nj.gov/

Mercer County in collaboration with health care partners, is now operating an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence. Your doctor must fax your prescription to the site’s appointment makers.  Those who show up and who do not have an appointment will not able to be tested.

The testing center is by appointment only for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a prescription from their primary health care provider (PCP). If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your PCP.

The testing center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is a collaborative effort between the County of Mercer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health System, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton and the Trenton Health Team.

Mercer County has contracted with Bio-Reference Laboratories, which will provide testing for individuals who are symptomatic and have been scheduled through their PCP.

To be eligible for testing, an individual must be examined by a PCP. The PCP will determine the need for the test based on symptoms. No one should be tested without being symptomatic. If the PCP deems a test is necessary, they will fax a prescription to the Mercer County call center with the patient’s phone number. Staff will then call the patient, take registration information and schedule an appointment, providing testing site instructions.

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

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 self.covid19.nj.gov.