TRENTON, NJ --  Knowledge is power, or so says the adage, and with factual up-to-date information New Jerseyans will be able to power through the coronavirus public health crisis. That is why Governor Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday that the statewide NJ 211 has been activated to help handle COVID-19 related calls from New Jersey residents. In Mercer County, Sheriff Jack Kemler announced improvements to a mobile device app to provide regional information.

Residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and resources available to them can call 2-1-1. NJ 211 is New Jersey's statewide, comprehensive, information and referral service operated by United Ways of New Jersey.   New Jersey residents call also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed and can text their zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance. 

According to the Governor's Office, these enhancements to 211 will supplement, rather than replace, the existing COVID-19 hotline, operated by the New Jersey Poison Control Center. State residents with questions about COVID-19 illness can continue to call the previously shared numbers for the COVID-19 hotline.

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Kemler announced a "major upgrade" to the Mercer County Sheriff's App to offer broadcasts and rebroadcasts of alerts about the coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The Sheriff's office is the first county in New Jersey to roll out the "innovative response to help the public and local businesses to stay current on COVID-19 information and resources. 

“The upgraded app will help the public receive fast breaking news and credible information from the CDC,” said Kemler. “Please share the app with your family, friends, and neighbors so they too can receive reliable news and alerts."

The app also includes information such as current news on senior citizen program information, emergency alerts, Sheriff’s sale information, crime tips, Trenton-Mercer Airport, and Mercer’s Most Wanted list.

The app is free for Android and iPhone users.   Search for Mercer County Sheriff's Office on App Store or Google Play app, or use the direct link: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a17208608.

A statewide hotline -- 1-800-962-1253  -- also is available 24 hours a day to answers questions about the coronavirus.  Log on to the New Jersey Department of Health for more detailed information on the virus outbreak.  

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