SOMERVILLE, NJ - Efforts to control and push back against the COVID-19 pandemic have been described as a "battle" or "war" with health care workers and first responders likened to :"warriors" on the "front lines."

From governors and lawmakers to clergy and CEOs, health officials, first responders and others, the words associated with epic confrontations between nations are used to draw comparisons with the loss of life on the battlefields of history.

y sermon with these words - "We are soldiers in a war we chose not to enter."

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During the celebration of mass at Mry Mother of God Church in Hillsborough Monday morning, Deacon Chris Conroy, who served in the Air Forced during the  Vietnam conflict,  ... closed his Memorial Day sermon with these words - "We are soldiers in a war we chose not to enter." 

The worldwide death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic as of Memorial Day, May 25, is 345,886, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention; the death toll in the United States is 97,850, with 11,144 deaths in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

In less than one year, more American lives have been lost in the pandemic than the combined loss of the US military in the Vietnam and Korean wars.

According to statistics compiled by the US Veterans Administration, the total number of combat deaths from 85 armed conflicts involving the US military - including the Civil War and several battles between US Cavalry and Native Americans during the 19th century - totals 666,441.

The most lives were lost in World War II - 291,557, followed by the Civil War, 214, 908; World War I, 53,402; Vietnam War, 47,424; Korean War, 33,686; the American Revolution, 8,000; Iraq War (2003-2011), 3,836; War of 1812, 2,260; war in Afghanistan (2001-present) 1,833 and the Mexican-American War, 1,733.

Memorial Day statistics from the Somerset County Department of Health on Monday show 3,916 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 9 overnight, with a total of 397 deaths. There were no new deaths reported overnight.

There are 131 cases in Somerville and 5 deaths.

Statewide, there is a total of 155,092 cases, an increase of 938 overnight, with 11,144 deaths reported, an increase of 11 since Sunday, according to the State Department of Health.

There are 1,651,254 cases in the United States, with 97,850 deaths; worldwide, there are 5.453,784 cases and 345,886 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The SCDOH has confirmed the deaths of 110 Franklin Township residents; 61 in Bridgewater; 49 in Hillsborough; 41 in Bernards Township; 32 in North Plainfield; 30 in Green Brook; 14 in Watchung; 13 in Warren; 11 in Bound Brook; 8 in Raritan; 6 in Montgomery; 5 in Somerville; 5 in Manville; 4 in Bedminster; 3 in South Bound Brook; 2 in Bernardsville; 2 in Branchburg and one in Peapack-Gladstone.

No COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Far Hills, Millstone or Rocky Hill.

Here is the latest breakdown of confirmed cases by town: Bedminster, 38, Bernardsville Borough, 61; Bernards Township, 239; Branchburg, 80; Bridgewater, 450; Bound Brook, 299: Far Hills, 3; Franklin, 1,198; Green Brook, 123; Hillsborough, 342; Manville, 146; Millstone, 2; Montgomery, 101; North Plainfield, 306; Peapack-Gladstone, 38; Raritan, 102; Rocky Hill, 5; Somerville, 131; South Bound Brook, 59; Warren, 114; Watchung, 78. 

Somerset County residents who are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus are encouraged to get tested. The test site is at Raritan Valley Community College, located at 118 Lamington Road. in Branchburg The site will be open again from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 and again on June 2 and June 4.

Testing, which is free of charge, is available to Hunterdon and Somerset County residents, age five (5) and older. Because priority is being given to those who are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus, residents must have a valid doctor’s prescription, ID and an appointment to receive testing.

Patients are required to provide a copy of their prescription, either by bringing it with them to the testing site, or by sending it via email in advance of the appointment.  Patients or their physicians can send the written authorization to the Somerset County Department of Health at coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us, with the word “Prescription” in the subject line. Faxes can be sent to 908-704-8042.

Patients must schedule an appointment for testing at https://somerset-hunterdon.adlabscovidtest.com or by calling 908-237-7150.