June 26 – A message from Mayor Manzo regarding COVID-19

From the Desk of the Mayor
Harrison Township, New Jersey

June 26, 2020

As we enter the weekend, please take a minute to think about those most affected by the virus in the most horrid way imaginable. We all have become numb to the simple numbers I include in these updates and I struggle with that. It’s so clinical and impersonal. But these are all real people with families and friends who become ill; some very ill; and too many have left us forever. Their families will never be the same, regardless of what age they are as they fall victim to the COVID virus. As we are all focused on the transition away from the grip of the virus, some families have permanent scars. Let’s think about them for a minute as we give thanks that we aren’t one of them.

Since my last update on Tuesday, there have been an additional 850 positive tests statewide. The total number of positive cases since the outbreak began has reached 170,584. The statewide positive test rate is now 12.7% and we lost 111 more New Jersey residents, bringing that total to 13,060.

There have been 45 more positive tests registered in Gloucester County since Tuesday, bringing that total to 2,529. The negative test count has reached 18,282 in the county, for a positive test rate of 12.2%. One more county resident has died since Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths in Gloucester County to 173.

Two more Harrison residents have tested positive since Tuesday, for a total of 62 since the outbreak and 1 local resident died from the virus.
All Gloucester County residents can call to schedule a COVID-19 or Antibody Test with no prerequisites. Simply call the COVID-19 Hotline 856-218-4142 between 9 AM and 4 PM, Monday thru Friday to schedule an appointment. You must have an appointment to be administered either test.
As you may recall, early on in this COVID-19 crisis, we instituted a support mechanism for members our Senior community and those residents with disabilities or vulnerabilities. Though we are currently transitioning toward a new norm by opening businesses and easing restrictions put in place by various Governor Orders, we recognize the need to maintain a support system for these members of our community.
You can still call our Harrison Township Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for assistance with groceries or anything else at 856-478-6839 Ext.1606. For any and all direction or questions related to COIVD, go to our OEM Page on the township website.

The long-awaited announcement from the Governor concerning plans and parameters for our schools in September came earlier today. I was invited by Harrison School District Superintendent, Dr. Missy Peretti, to attend a gathering to watch the Governor’s announcement together this afternoon.

The details of the broad announcement today will now be reviewed by each district to determine how they will implement their individual plan. But, in a nutshell, the Governor announced that schools will be permitted to conduct in-school, in-person education once again in September. A list of capacity and distancing requirements, as well as safety and disinfecting protocols is included in the details.

Both Harrison and Clearview School Districts have been way ahead of the curve on every front in dealing with the instantaneous shift thrusted upon them in mid-March. They transitioned to a virtual teaching program as seamlessly as possible. With that same level of preparedness, they are now positioned to take the details of this announcement and put together a solid plan for our community.

We have pledged our support in any manner required as they work through the specific framework of their plan, now that Trenton has granted them the authority to do so. We are blessed to have great educators in Harrison, along with proven Administrative leadership teams (in both districts) to guide and implement policies that maximize that talent in shaping our children. Parents can begin their Summer with a sense of confidence and pride.

There is no doubt that our local team will formulate a plan that will maintain our place among the best school districts in the state. This has always been a foundational pillar in what makes us Harrison Strong!

Together for Harrison Township,
Lou Manzo
Your Mayor


A message from Mayor Manzo regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19. Learn more