TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Township continues to be the new epicenter of the post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 outbreak this past weekend. In total, 1,218 cases were reported countywide with the vast majority of those cases being in Toms River. On Saturday, a record-breaking 495 new cases were reported in Ocean County.
This weekend, Toms River had 238 new cases, including a record-breaking day on Saturday with 117 new cases. Lakewood’s weekend total was 129. Brick Township saw 225 new cases and Jackson saw 99 new cases. 12 people were reported dead from COVID-19 this weekend in the county.
Since Thanksgiving, Toms River outpaces all of Ocean County when it comes to newly reported COVID-19 cases taking the spot as the COVID-19 epicenter of the county, which was had previously belonged to Lakewood Township.
COVID-19 is also taking its toll on the Toms River Township council, insiders said this week.
In Toms River, Democrat Councilman Terrance Turnbach is being blamed for a micro-outbreak of COVID-19 after hosting a party that included other members of the township’s governing body sources say. Turnbach did not respond to an inquiry by Shore News Network to confirm, but Turnbach, along with councilmembers Maria Maruca, Josh Kopp, and Matt Lotano were also reported to be quarantine. None of the township officials responded for comment on the allegations. All four members missed last Tuesday night’s Toms River Township council meeting.
Before last week’s meeting, Lotano and Turnbach both confirmed they were in quarantine after being exposed to an individual that tested positive at Turnbach’s alleged party.
On Wednesday, the Toms River Motor Vehicle Commission shut down after an employee contracted COVID-19. Maruca is the manager of that location. Last week, amid the outbreak, Toms River also shut down its municipal court, but no explanation was given by the township.
Toms River Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill has yet to make any public comments on the COVID-19 outbreak in the community or the quarantines now affecting the township government.