Emotional well-being -- coping during COVID-19 (Part 3)

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Mercer County New Jersey COVID 19 Update


Mental Health Month

In these unprecedented times, we can expect to have a lot of mixed feelings. While it’s true that we may experience many strong and some unpleasant emotional responses to the current health situation, there are many things we can do to help ourselves feel safer and in control of ourselves. May is Mental Health Month, and Mercer County will present information weekly to help people cope. The topics of the first two installments were Owning Your Feelings and Create New Healthy Routines. The following information is provided by the Mercer County Division of Mental Health and Mental Health America.

Supporting Others

In addition to being extra kind to ourselves, we can look for ways to be a compassionate presence for others. We are all experiencing similar challenges associated with COVID-19 and we can emerge with a renewed sense of interconnectedness. Helping others is both critical to get through this well, and also creates more purpose to our days and well-being.

Practice active listening. Active listening requires us to put everything aside and give full attention to the person who is talking. An active listener asks open-ended questions and takes moments throughout the conversation to summarize what they’ve been told.

Don’t compare. If a friend or loved one is going through a tough situation, you might feel tempted to tell them about something that happened to you and how you dealt with it. It’s OK to share a similar experience but be careful not to compare because it can make someone feel that their pain isn’t valid.

Ask what you can do. It can be tempting to assume what would be helpful to someone who is struggling but it’s always better to ask them what they need from you.

Don’t judge. To be truly supportive, you need to put your personal opinions and biases aside. We will never know exactly how someone feels in the moment and criticism is not helpful.

Know when more serious help is needed. Sometimes the support that you can offer will not be quite enough. If you notice that your friend or loved one continues to struggle, they may need professional help. If someone you care about is in immediate danger of taking suicidal action, seek help by calling 911, or going to the closest emergency room. Trained counselors are available by calling 1-800-273-8255.

Library Update 5-21-20


Mercer COVID-19 testing now open to symptom-free residents

South Broad Street test site

Mercer County has expanded its free COVID-19 testing to include any resident who has a doctor’s prescription and schedules an appointment, even those who are asymptomatic. Previously, testing was open only to individuals who presented COVID-19 symptoms.

The County, in collaboration with health care and municipal partners, is operating an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 in the parking lot across from 640 South Broad St., Trenton, where the County Administration Building is located, two-tenths of a mile south of CURE Insurance Arena. The County also operates appointment-only, walk-up testing sites in Trenton and Hightstown.

Testing will be provided for Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have an appointment. If you 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 the Henry J. Austin Health Center at 609-278-5900 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.

Mask Up campaign

As part of New Jersey's efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Environmental protection created "MASK UP!" posters to remind people to wear face masks at parks, beaches and other public areas, especially where it is difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. https://nj.gov/dep/maskup/


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 https://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.


Did you lose your job or have your hours reduced as a result of COVID-19? The State of New Jersey has created a resource page to help you connect to benefits and resources you need while you are trying to safely get back to work, as well as some tips for coping with the stress of losing a job. covid19.nj.gov/work


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).


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 May 21 announced 1,304 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases in the state to 151,472 with 10,843 deaths. Mercer County has had 6,205 positive cases, with 438 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 May 21 announced 22,860 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of  positive cases in the United States to 1,551,095 with 93,061 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.