BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia and Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. hosted a virtual town hall late last week to inform residents of the steps the federal government is taking to combat the effects of COVID-19 and how it impacts Bloomfield.

“This has been a very interesting 12-week period – it looks like here in Bloomfield that everything is going in the right direction as we have had zero new cases for a few days on a row and its out lowest weekly average since this began Match 19,” said Mayor Venezia.

“There is a lot going on in Washington DC, we have the first CARES act that passed, and we received thousands of dollars in aid from the government and we also received money from the county,” Venezia continued.  “Bloomfield will be opening up testing starting (this Thursday) at Watsessing School and at Vassar Field.  We will test 50 Bloomfield residents per day.  Also, the HEROS act passed by the house of representatives is very generous to our municipalities, as it allows us to use that money for the revenue losses we are suffering.”

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Congressman Payne has virtually attended multiple Bloomfield Council meetings over the last several months to provide updates for residents.

Payne, one of Bloomfield’s congressional district representatives, said, “we have two congresspeople representing this district and we have a great Bloomfield friend in Mikie Sherrill.  We follow each other throughout these local communities, and we are proud to be your local reps.”

“The CARES act isn’t very easy to get implemented, as it usually takes months,” Payne explained.  “But for once, Congress acted quickly and decisively.  We are all in the same boat, so there was not a lot of wrangling.  I commend my colleagues in congress for that.  There have been four iterations of stimulus packages in congress, the CARES act 1 and 2, the stimulus package and the HEREOS act.  The HEROS act revolves around hazard pay for essential workers.”

Payne stated that the bulk of workers during the shutdown are able to do their job duties virtually, but for the people who had to physically go in to work to take care of their families should be compensated for $13 an hour over their normal salary.

“I was proud to see my colleagues support this bill,” Payne added.  “That money can really impact people in a positive way.”