Covid NJ: Red Cross Online Grief Counseling; Tattoo Lockdown Lifted

Sources: Cape May Country Herald;

The American Red Cross New Jersey Region (ARCNJ), together with state officials, has formed a completely online Virtual Family Assistance Center to support families struggling with loss and grief due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“These are trying times for us all, but especially difficult for those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19,” said ARCNJ CEO Rosie Taravella. “Not only have these families experienced the unexpected passing of a loved one, but they are also facing additional challenges caused by this public health emergency.”

To help, ARCNJ has set up a virtual team of specially-trained mental health, spiritual care, and health services volunteers who can help with:

– Connecting with families over the phone to offer condolences, support and access to resources that may be available,
– Providing support for virtual memorial services for families, including connecting with local faith-based community partners,
– Sharing information and referrals to state and local agencies as well as other community organizations including legal resources for estate, custody, immigration or other issues,
– Connecting individuals with long-term crisis counseling, and online classes to foster resilience and facilitate coping skills.

New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson adds, “We know this has been a difficult and challenging time, but please know: we are here for you. I urge anyone who is grieving or needing some help to take advantage of the invaluable assistance available through this resource.”

All Family Assistance Center support will be provided virtually and is completely confidential and free. People can visit to connect with Red Cross volunteers who will help guide them through the resources available, or call 833-492-0094.

“Tattoo parlors are set to reopen on the same day as hair salons and barbers,” spokeswoman Alexandra Altman wrote in an email to NJ Advance Media on Wednesday evening.

“We will be releasing guidance on personal care later in the week.”

Last week, NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced barbershops and hair salons are allowed to reopen starting June 22 in the second week of Stage 2 in the state’s multiphase reopening from months of coronavirus lockdown restrictions. He clarified on Tuesday that nail salons are included in the reopening plan on June 22.

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