NJ Labor Dept. to begin making PUA payments

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Mercer County New Jersey COVID 19 Update


The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced that recipients of federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) -- the self-employed, independent contractors and others who are not usually eligible for unemployment insurance benefits -- will start being notified of their PUA eligibility today, and the Department will begin making payments Friday.

PUA is a new program authorized by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide unemployment benefits to workers not eligible for regular unemployment. In addition to people who are self-employed or independent contractors, this includes those who do not have enough recent earnings to receive regular unemployment benefits.

Workers in this group, who have applied for regular unemployment and been denied, do not have to do anything further. The Department will start reaching out today, and will start processing payments this week.

Here is what New Jersey’s self-employed workers, independent contractors and others who may be eligible for PUA need to know:

• The first step to receiving PUA is to apply for state unemployment benefits and be denied.
• If you have already applied for state unemployment, you do not need to do anything else right now.
• If you have not applied for state unemployment benefits yet, instructions for self-employed, independent contractors and others not eligible for regular unemployment can be found here.
• If you already applied, but did not follow the instructions outlined above, don’t worry. Your application will still be reviewed for PUA eligibility.
• If you have not heard from the Department of Labor, there is no reason to call or email.
• Look for more information in your mail or email inbox.
• PUA claims will be backdated to the date you first became eligible, so you won’t lose any benefits. The first week of potential eligibility is the week ending February 8, 2020.
• You may be required to produce income records for 2018 and 2019.
• Additional information, including answers to many frequently asked questions, can be found here.

Learn More

Mercer County testing sites -- Quaker Bridge Mall and Trenton

COVID-19 testing site

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 Team, Henry 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 self.covid19.nj.gov.


Through the COVID-19 crisis, the Mercer County Clerk’s Office is still offering several key services. Timely recording of documents can continue online via njcountyrecording.com. However, due to the office closure, you will need to sign up using an outside vendor. Both Simplifile and CSC are established and responsible vendors. You can contact Simplifile at 1-800-460-5657 or simplifile.com. CSC can be reached at 1-866-652-0111 or erecording@cscglobal.com. If you are a member, you can access the NewVision Search System at records.mercercounty.org/ RecordsNG_Search. You can also search for any property in the county by starting a free account at pip.mercercounty.org.

Flatten the Curve


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 or reporting to work. It also directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public. Find more information at COVID19.nj.gov.


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 covid19.nj.gov or nj.gov/health for additional information

Wash hands


To ensure the lowest chance of obtaining the virus, and spreading the virus to others:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when you have to go out in public; for example, to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Do not use a facemask meant for a health care worker. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands or clean them with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

COVID-19 symptoms-cough


Symptoms can appear between 2-14 days after exposure, though some people may not have any symptoms while still being contagious. It's also important to consider whether you've been in contact with an infected person, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing. In addition to fever, cough and shortness of breath, symptoms can include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

If you believe you've been infected and you are not in immediate danger, you should contact your doctor by phone. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911, and notify the dispatch personnel that you may have COVID-19.

COVID-19 Symptom Checker.


If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed due to COVID-19, please call New Jersey's MentalHealthCares Helpline at 866-202-HELP (4357) or visit njmentalhealthcares.org for emotional support, guidance, and mental health referrals as needed. You also may call the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517).


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.

Census logo-3


It’s not too late to complete your 2020 Census form! It's safe and easy, and it’s your opportunity to bring education, health care, housing and political power to your community.

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. 

If the paper form you received in the mail 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! To respond online, visit https://my2020census.gov/login; 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 jobs.covid19.nj.gov. The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development has prepared a frequently asked questions document for workers affected by the coronavirus emergency.


If you receive a call from a scammer or suspect price gouging, please report it to the Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/.

CDC monitor


The New Jersey Department of Health on April 29 announced 2,481 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases in the state to 116,264 with 6,770 deaths. The most positive cases are in Bergen County, which has 15,446; Mercer County has 3,725, with 220 deaths. To view Mercer County data by municipality, please visit the Mercer County COVID-19 Dashboard at https://arcg.is/1y1eHO. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 29 announced 23,901 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of  positive cases in the United States to 1,005,147 with 57,505 deaths, with 55 locations (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, North Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands) reporting cases. For more information, visit cdc.gov.