From the Desk of the Mayor
Harrison Township, New Jersey
June 30, 2020
I hope you’re enjoying this weather as we enter another week in anticipation of the July 4th Holiday. I know I speak for Deputy Mayor Don Heim, Committee members, Julie DeLaurentis, John Williams and Adam Wingate in wishing you a safe and healthy holiday. It’s a time for family and friends to enjoy each other’s company…….in a safe manner, based on the Coronavirus effect. Though stressful times are upon us, take a minute to both reflect on your blessings and look forward with hope and excitement for our future.
Do so, in recognition of all those who have been impacted by this dreadful virus and especially for those who have fallen to it. Once again, let’s look at these numbers for what they really are: people and families, but for the grace of God, could be me.
Since Friday, there have been an additional 1,083 positive tests statewide. That brings the total number of positive cases in New Jersey to 171,667. There have also been more than 1.4 million negative test results, giving us a statewide positive test rate of 12.1%. We lost 121 more New Jersey residents since Friday, bringing that total to 13,181.
In Gloucester County, we registered only 42 positive tests since Friday, bringing that total to 2,571 since the outset. The negative test count has reached 19,064 in the county, for a positive test rate of 11.9%. We lost two additional residents since Friday, bringing the total number of deaths in Gloucester County to 175.
Two more Harrison residents have tested positive since Friday, for a total of 64 since the outbreak and 1 local resident died from the virus.
GLOUCESTER COUNTY TESTING
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.
THE RESTRICTION ROLLERCOASTER RIDE
It’s easy to become frustrated with things nowadays, considering all that we’ve endured. Most recently, we’ve seen several states record spikes in their positive test numbers, hospitalizations and deaths. However, this isn’t happening everywhere, so various theories exist as to the cause of these spikes. Clearly, we have all worked hard to “flatten the curve” (remember that?) and we felt a sense of relief and accomplishment here as certain restrictions were eased.
However, the Governor is reeling some of those easements back in based on the spike in numbers elsewhere and seeking to avoid that in New Jersey. Limited indoor dining for restaurant and Casino openings slated for this weekend have been postponed. Casinos can still open, but their indoor restaurant operations are still restricted. Some casinos, like the Borgata, have decided to delay their opening until their food and beverage operations are permitted on some level. Locally, our restaurants must remain in delivery/pick-up mode, along with outdoor seating availability for now.
TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR NY/NJ/CT
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have issued an advisory to travelers from a list of sixteen states (and counting) with increasing rates of COVID-19. Individuals travelling or returning to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut from these states are being asked to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days. Only New York has implemented policies with penalties to enforce the self-quarantine.
Dealing with the uncertainties of test results and transmission of the virus can be confusing. That said, there are several clear aspects of the malaise. Social distancing works. And wearing a mask or gloves that you dispose of after every use is another successful preventative practice. Those who have a compromised immune system, weakness or disability are more prone to the virus, along with those age 65 or older. Therefore, we all should be more careful around them. If someone tests positive and goes three straight days without a fever and their other symptoms are fading and they are feeling better and they are 10 days removed from their positive test — they are considered safe to be out in public and can assume they are not contagious. That’s the CDC protocol.
The amount of information available from all angles of this virus situation can make your head spin, so I will not add to that chaos. You can agree with the CDC or any other entity or website or podcast or cable news channel you like. I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit tired of those circular conversations. In the end, you need behave in a manner that is responsible and cognizant of those around you. Don’t violate any of the existing Executive Orders and simply adhere to the facts in the previous paragraph. This transitional phase, with all its ups and downs, may be the biggest challenge to the Harrison Strong spirit. But it will carry us through.
Together for Harrison Township,