CHSofNJ Alert: COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus
For Children & Families We Serve or Those in Need of Services
As of April 13, 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.
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 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Initial Certification is limited to newborn 8 weeks old or less and other categories on a case-by-case basis. NO IN PERSON VISITS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME.
Información en Español. (haga clic aquí)
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
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.
COVID 19 Info Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/
Under the new waivers and rule changes, Medicare will no longer require an order from the treating physician or other practitioner for beneficiaries to get COVID-19 tests and certain laboratory tests required as part of a COVID-19 diagnosis. During the Public Health Emergency, COVID-19 tests may be covered when ordered by any healthcare professional authorized to do so under state law. To help ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have broad access to testing related to COVID-19, a written practitioner’s order is no longer required for the COVID-19 test for Medicare payment purposes.
Pharmacists can work with a physician or other practitioner to provide assessment and specimen collection services, and the physician or other practitioner can bill Medicare for the services. Pharmacists also can perform certain COVID-19 tests if they are enrolled in Medicare as a laboratory, in accordance with a pharmacist’s scope of practice and state law. With these changes, beneficiaries can get tested at “parking lot” test sites operated by pharmacies and other entities consistent with state requirements. Such point-of-care sites are a key component in expanding COVID-19 testing capacity.
- Consumer_Fact_Sheet__How_to_enroll_in_Medicare_during_the_coronavirus_public_health_emergency 2 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!
- Worried about the out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare? Your local SHIP team can help you understand what assistance programs you or your loved one might be eligible for. Contact Mercer County SHIP coordinator on 609-273-0588 or
- ¿ Preocupado por los costos asociados con Medicare? Su oficina local de SHIP ofrece información sobre programas de asistencia del cual usted o su ser querido puede ser elegibles. Comuníquese con nuestra oficina de SHIP para ayuda en español al número 609-306-6767 o por correo electrónico
- WIC Mercer Program participants will no longer be given the option to use our “walk/drive-through” pick up system at 416 Bellevue Avenue.
- All checks will be mailed to program participants once their addresses have been confirmed by a WIC employee during their scheduled appointments.New participants can call your local WIC clinic to apply.
- Remote (Re) Certification: Certification conducted via landline, WIC/agency cell phone or video application when the participant is not present.
- Remote Nutrition or Breastfeeding Assessment/Counseling/Education: Assessment, counseling or education conducted via landline, cellphone or video application when the participant is not present.
- NJ WIC Health Care Referral for Women (Pregnant, Breastfeeding, Non-Breastfeeding Women) https://www.state.nj.us/health/forms/wic-41.pdf
- NJ WIC Health Care Referrals for Medical Documentation for WIC Formula and Approved WIC Foods for Infants, Children, and Women https://www.state.nj.us/health/forms/wic-11.pdf
- NJ WIC Health Care Referral for Infant and Child https://www.state.nj.us/health/forms/wic-42.pdf
Updated October 2020
MERCER MOVING COVID-19 TESTING SITE TO TRENTON
|Mercer County is relocating its appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 from Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence to the parking lot across from the County Administration Building at 640 South Broad St. in Trenton, one block south of CURE Insurance Arena, effective Tuesday, May 19. The change is being made in anticipation of commerce returning to the mall in the near future.
The County, in collaboration with its health care and municipal partners, will continue to operate appointment-only, walk-up testing sites in Trenton and Hightstown.
Testing will be provided for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have an appointment. In addition to fever, cough and shortness of breath, symptoms of COVID-19 can include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste and smell.
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 lack transportation to get to the drive-up testing site, you will be offered an appointment at a walk-up site along with instructions on when and where to go. The Trenton walk-up sites are open in each city ward one day a week. The Hightstown site is open Fridays at 12 noon in the parking lot of St. Anthony of Padua Church, 156 Maxwell Ave.
If you do not have a doctor, call an urgent care center or call the Henry J. Austin Health Center at 609-259-5900 to see if you need testing. They can help you to talk with a doctor by phone or video. Henry J. Austin will serve all patients, including those without health insurance. There is no charge for the test at Mercer County testing sites.
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. Español, call 609-436-5038 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 Team, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the City of Trenton.
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.
COVID Testing in Trenton begins Monday, April 13:
Testing will be offered from four Trenton locations using a walk-through system in the afternoons from 1 pm to 3 pm. There will be one site in each ward, and each site will be open one day per week. Anyone with symptoms should call their doctors. If testing is appropriate, the doctor will issue an order for a test through the Mercer County Call Center. The Call Center will call the patient and arrange the test and test location. If the patient has a car, testing will be arranged for Quakerbridge. If the patient does not have a car, testing will be arranged at the Trenton walk-through location of their choice. There is no fee and insurance is not needed. Henry J. Austin Health Center will serve as a doctor for people without a doctor, even if they are not a current patient.
MERCER TESTING SITE FOR COVID-19 IS BY APPOINTMENT:
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. Walk-ups are not permitted. Test are only done by car drive up.
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.
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.
In an effort to get affordable groceries to New Jersey residents during the current public health emergency, the State of New Jersey has approved the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) online grocery shopping initiative.
If you are a New Jersey resident who is enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you will be able to use your benefits to order groceries online. Online shopping will be available through Amazon and participating Walmarts, Shoprites and The Fresh Grocers.
Starting Wednesday, May 27, 2020 Amazon will begin accepting online orders with SNAP benefits.
Starting Thursday, May 28, 2020 Walmarts, Shoprites and The Fresh Grocers who have online shopping will begin accepting online orders with SNAP benefits.
To learn more, recipients can visit Amazon.com/SNAP to register their EBT card.
Feds Approve NJ Human Services Plan to Provide Nearly 600,000 Children with Extra Food Assistance Benefits
Amid COVID-19, Plan Will Provide $248M in Special Food Assistance to Children Who Normally Receive Free or Reduced-Price School Meals
TRENTON – Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced the federal government has approved the Department’s plan to provide $248 million in special food assistance benefits to nearly 600,000 New Jersey children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals as part of the response to COVID-19 school closures.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure people throughout New Jersey have access to food assistance during this difficult time, especially children,” Commissioner Johnson said. “Children should never go hungry, and approval of our plan is another step forward in our fight against hunger amid COVID-19.”
Under the plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Jersey special Pandemic-EBT benefits will be provided to recipients of the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals.
With federal approval, the Department will begin implementing the plan. The plan will provide each eligible student with $416.10 to help with nutritional support during the time that schools have been closed during the pandemic. No application is necessary to receive this benefit. Human Services is working with schools to identify students who were receiving free or reduced school meals. Eligible students already participating in SNAP will receive the Pandemic-EBT on their household’s existing Families First card. All other Pandemic-EBT eligible households will be mailed a P-EBT card. Human Services expects these benefits to be issued no later than June.
“No child should go hungry, and this program will help ensure New Jersey children will get the nutrition they need,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “We’ve been working hard to boost access to food assistance during this difficult time. This is a crucial step toward meeting that goal.”
NJ SNAP provides money directly to individuals and families who need help affording groceries. Funds are directly loaded onto an electronic benefits card each month, and SNAP is accepted at most grocery stores and bodegas.
Besides receiving approval of the Pandemic-EBT plan, Human Services has:
- Distributed an extra $106 million in additional benefits to SNAP recipients since the start of the emergency.
- Ensured that everyone whose benefits were up for renewal in March and April, or are due in May or June were extended for six months. This means nobody’s SNAP benefits will be ended during these extensions for not completing the renewal.
- Made it easier to apply for SNAP during this emergency by waiving the normally required interview and the hard copy signature on applications, so as to reduce the need for face-to-face interactions.
“We continue to urge residents to visit njhelps.org to learn more and apply for food assistance and other benefits,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who directs the Division of Family Development that oversees NJ SNAP. “We also continue to appreciate the dedicated staff at the County Boards of Social Services who are essential to getting these critical services to New Jersey families.”
Food Access/Pantry List (Updated Daily):
- MERCER COUNTY FOOD PANTRIES / MEAL SERVICES
- HJAHC Now Offering Telemedicine and Pharmacy Delivery
- HJAHC En Espanol
Food Finder– Food Finder gives food insecure children and their families a way to find free food assistance programs quickly.
CJFHC offers the articles below as a way to connect to the growing constellation of resources being made available to support NJ residents in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these tools better position families and providers to make the most informed decisions they can about their wellness and safety.
|County Resource Updates Due to Coronavirus (as of 5/26/2020)|
|Use these links to access updates on testing centers, diaper banks, food banks, clothing banks, employment assistance and other community resources.
· Hunterdon: click here
· Mercer: click here
· Middlesex: click here
· Monmouth: click here
· Mercer: click here
· Ocean: click here
· Somerset: click here
New Jersey Virtual Youth Town Hall-
Join the New Jersey Department of Health for a youth-led Town Hall on COVID-19 from 11am-1pm on June 11th.
All NJ middle and high school students are invited to ask questions, share thoughts and feelings, connect with peers and adult allies and have some fun!
|Strategies to Provide Equitable Care During COVID-19|
|The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) supports the clinical practice of maternal-fetal medicine by providing education, promoting research and engaging in advocacy to optimize the health of high-risk pregnant women and their babies.
This month, SMFM released a new infographic outlining strategies to provide equitable care during COVID-19.
NJ Pharmacies Offering Local Delivery: List by County click here
Henry J. Austin: HJA will serve anyone, regardless of whether they are an HJA patient, via telemedicine. Call 609-278-5900 for medical appointments and 609-278-5931 for pharmacy.
Mental Health/ Self Care Resources:
- Mental Health America has compiled a range of resources and information to aid individuals and communities during this crisis.
- The KonTerra Group are offering free webinars and other resources led by mental health professionals to help navigate the stressors and feelings that accompany the public health crisis we are facing together.
Coronavirus Resources – note that there is an immigration section and a testing for undocumented and uninsured residents.
Julie Andrews reads..more information here-https://www.julieslibraryshow.org/
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: Comcast Resource (Free internet)
Financial-For further assistance, contact your personal credit card providers, montage companies, landlords and health care providers to learn more on waved fees to assist with any financial burdens you are suffering.