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$3.3 Million in Financial Aid Rushed to Help Lakewood New Jersey and adjoining areas as Saturday infections rise to a one thousand fifteen. Nearby towns hit hard. 

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NEW JERSEY - Lakewood Township is waiting on a massive financial aid package led by Congressman Chris Smith. It should be there soon and it cannot come fast enough based on new data from the Ocean County Health Department as there is a serious cluster of infection in Lakewood, Toms River and Brick. They are the three top outbreaks of infection in Ocean County.

“Helping community health centers, which are at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak across America, must be a top priority,” Smith said in a statement last week. “The health centers need to be in a strong position as we head into next week and the expected peak of the outbreak in New Jersey."

You can track the data here on the Ocean County Health Department Website. It updates daily.

As of 4/11/20 at 12:00PM, the Ocean County Department of Health lists the top three communities in Ocean County with the highest numbers of COVID-19 positive cases as Lakewood - 1015, Toms River, 541 and Brick - 395. It is nearly 2000 in the three towns alone.

Illegal gatherings add to the problem.

Illegal gatherings have been broken up across the state, including Newark, Rumson and elsewhere. In Lakewood, at least 10 illegal gatherings have been broken up by local police officers, according to Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles. Coles  interviewed recently with News12NJ,

Coles said that Lakewood neighbors are calling police on neighbors to turn them in. Illegal gatherings have also garnered the attention of the NJ State Police, Monmouth County Prosecutor and Monmouth County Sheriff's Office according to Coles. Hotspots across the state have been a focus of Governor Murphy.

Murphy called everyone who is violating the gathering rules "Jackasses" and "Knuckleheads". The illegal actions can result in sickness and death for those exposed.

Watch the Governor Live 1PM News Conference Here:

According to Congressman Chris Smith, Ocean Health Initiatives will receive $1.18 million. Also, the Lakewood Resource and Referral Center will receive $1.28 million. 

The funding was included in the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus bill.

"Helping community health centers, which are at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak across America, must be a top priority." stated Smith.

In addition to $2.46 Million in aid to the health centers in Lakewood, an additional $835,784 will be released by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant 'COVID-19 Recovery' Plan.

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