Even as the COVID-19 virus begins to halt it’s spread across the United State, information about the virus continues to travel at breakneck speeds. According to Information is Beautiful, COVID-19 has been mentioned in the media a total of 2.1 billion times, resulting in an overwhelming amount of information available online. 

In order to simplify the process of finding factual information, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey’s (SCLSNJ) librarians have curated a list of resources to help answer your questions and concerns as we navigate through this uncharted territory together. 

“Americans are inundated with information at all turns,” said Catherine DeBerry, adult services librarian. “Although access to critical information has never been more important,, it can be confusing and overwhelming to know which news sources to trust, what articles to read, and what information is factual and accurate.”

Staying safe and informed can be a challenge with the amount of false information available on the internet. Many trusted sources have created and released general safety suggestions and other pertinent information about COVID-19.

“One of the best ways we can serve our SCLSNJ communities is to make sure that everyone has easy access to useful, factual information, no matter what,” said Lynn Hoffman, director of operations. “Librarians are trained to sort through all of the information that’s out there and to make sense of it. Feel free to rely on us to make that task easier so you can get right to the answers you need.”

“Businesses, both large and small, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chris Edwards, president and CEO of the Somerset County Business Partnership. “According to a recent study from the U.S. Census Bureau, the pandemic has had a negative effect on over 51 percent of businesses throughout the United States. At the Somerset County Business Partnership we will have held over 100 webinars by the end of June to help businesses reinvent themselves during this pandemic. The Somerset County Library has been an invaluable partner as we reach out to the business community.”

If you have questions about your business, health and safety in the workplace, or other concerns, these resources from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), and others might help.

A recent article from NJ.com stated that nearly 1.1 million New Jerseyans are currently unemployed due to COVID-19. Many of these New Jersey residents are still finding themselves with a number of questions about the status of their stimulus checks, unemployment, and how to find work during the pandemic. 

There are many misconceptions about COVID-19 symptoms and testing. The State of New Jersey has a number of test sites including one in Somerset County, located in Branchburg.

“Somerset County consolidated COVID-19 information on our website so residents could find it more easily,” said Freeholder Director Shanel Y. Robinson. “The online resource center, which is updated daily, contains a status map showing the number of cases per municipality, drive-thru testing updates, information about county services and links to a variety of resources. Residents are encouraged to visit our website at: www.co.somerset.nj.us/Covid19Status.”

Many parents have found themselves transitioning into the role of educator while others may be struggling with finding emergency child care, anxious children and teenagers, or other challenges. Explore educational and family resources.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) explains that “fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children” and suggests finding ways to reduce stress. Explore mental health resources.

One of the common stressors that many Americans are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic is finding proper social services and financial assistance. Find answers to some of your questions like where to food banks, how to apply for assistance, and more.

Atlantic Health System offers a variety of information and videos related to coronavirus support, including resources for Spanish speakers. 

#BeSafeatHome and connect with SCLSNJ staff through the virtual reference services for additional information: sclsnj.org/research-learn/ask-a-librarian.