As first responders continue to stand on the front lines of this coronavirus pandemic, they are in dire need of personal protective equipment.

Monmouth County Freeholders and OEM officials held a press conference Wednesday morning to seek help from the community.

Sheriff Shaun Golden says they've provided about 2,500 PPE gear sets to first responders but there is a great need for additional sets.

"Our cases continue to rise here in the county, as it does elsewhere in the state, and so there's a greater need for that PPE gear for our first responders," Sheriff Golden told WOBM News following the press conference. "They practice universal precautions going into a house but now it's that much more critical that they gown up and glove up as they interact with Covid-19 patients."

Following a number of offers to donate PPE gear to the county first responders from certain businesses, Sheriff Golden says they county decided to set up a collection point for any future donations at Thompson Park, 805 Newman Springs Road, in Lincroft, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

They're looking for multi-function no-contact infrared thermometers, nitrile examination gloves, N95 masks, hand sanitizer, protective face shields, protective gowns and Sheriff Golden said antiseptic wipes in particular "because our first responders have to wipe off all their gear when they're done treating somebody and taking them to the hospital."

For additional information, or to arrange the drop-off of personal protective equipment, you can call 732-842-4000, extension 4312. The phone number is staffed every day, including weekends.

As the amount of positive coronavirus cases continue to rise, more restrictions are put in place with the theme of social distancing and proper respiratory hygiene.

Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone says if everyone does their part in staying home and practicing social distancing we'll eventually seek the peak we've been looking to see.

"If everybody just does their part in practicing social distancing and staying away from people, continues to operate under all the directives that are in place...we'll see a spike from all the testing being done at the PNC Bank Arts Center, which is expected, but if we continue forward hopefully we'll hit a peak and then we'll start to see the numbers decline," Arnone told WOBM News following the press conference.

If everyone adheres to the restrictions in place businesses like restaurants will be able to stay open under the governor's current directive.

Governor Murphy has also asked, as have several Jersey Shore towns, that if you have a summer home in Monmouth or Ocean Counties, stay away during this pandemic.

Freeholder Director Arnone says having residents come to the Shore from places like New York City, (which leads the nation in coronavirus cases), it'll have a significant impact on the summer tourism season at the Jersey Shore.

"That's a big concern of mine because as much as I am pro-tourism, I want tourism to be here," Arnone said. "We're going to have to take some commonsense approaches here. So I'm asking everybody, if you do come here to go to your summer residence, you take that 14-day self-quarantine that the Governor (Murphy) has asked you to do."

The Freeholder Director also made an announcement Wednesday that the Monmouth County Health Department is looking for volunteer nurses.

“We are asking for help from nurses to volunteer with the Monmouth County Health Department to do case management or help in any capacity. There is a lot of work to be done and we are asking for help from trained professionals who may be available to assist us in our efforts," Arnone said.

Nurses who are willing to volunteer, can call the COVID-19 hotline at 732-845-2070 or email MonmouthCOVID19@visitmonmouth.com.

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon informed Monmouth County voters on Wednesday morning as well as candidates that the Governor signed Executive Order No. 105 to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that all voters can exercise their right to vote without risking their health and safety.

The Executive Order mandates that municipal elections on May 12, which in Monmouth County exclusively affects Allenhurst, Deal, Keansburg and Loch Arbour, be conducted solely via mail-in ballots.

The Executive Order also changed the process for candidate petition filing for the June 2 primary election by permitting primary election candidates to obtain signatures electronically on a nominating petition.

“We will be working hand in hand with our municipal officials in these four towns to ensure that every voter in Allenhurst, Deal, Keansburg, and Loch Arbour receives a ballot,” Hanlon said. “I encourage primary election candidates to visit my elections website for more information or to call our elections office at 732-431-7790 with any questions.”

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