June 5 – A message from Mayor Manzo regarding COVID-19

From the Desk of the Mayor
Harrison Township, New Jersey

June 5, 2020

As we enter the weekend, for the first time in a while, our minds may be occupied with things not related to COVID-19. National events over the last 11 days have shifted our focus. Before addressing that, let me provide you with an update on the Coronavirus.

Statewide, there have now been 163,336 positive tests, which is an increase of 1,268 since Wednesday. That lowers the statewide positive test rate to 17.8%. There were 169 additional deaths in the last 48 hours, bringing that total to 12,049.

In Gloucester County, we had 34 more positive tests, bringing that total to 2,306. We’ve also had a total of 12,593 negative test results, translating into a countywide positive test rate of 15.5%. We lost 1 more county resident since Wednesday, bringing that total to 150.
Also, one more

Harrison resident tested positive for the virus since Wednesday. That brings our total to 57 positive tests, with 1 death. Again, after another week of data compiled, we continue to have the lowest positive test rate in the county at .435%.

Another Reminder: Going forward, all Gloucester County residents can call to schedule a COVID-19 or Antibody Test with no pre-requisites. To schedule a test, please call the COVID-19 Hotline 856-218-4142 between 9:00AM and 4:00PM, Monday thru Friday and specify which test you are seeking. You must have an appointment to be administered either test. Keep in mind that when registering for the Antibody Test, you are asked for your Health Insurance information. Therefore, based on your coverage, you may incur a cost.
Applications for the expanded NJ EDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program Phase 2 will be available this coming Tuesday, June 9th, at 9AM. NJEDA staff will process the applications on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no application fee.

To be eligible, you must have 25 employees or less. This program is meant to reimburse revenue lost as a result of a business interruption caused by COVID-19. Funding cannot be used for capital expenses, including construction. Businesses will receive $1,000 per full-time employee, (based on WR-30 filing). Sole proprietorships or other companies with no full-time employees will receive the minimum grant amount ($1,000).

Find out more about this program, including a link to the application.

The Benas Family of Mullica Hill have been a major thread in the fabric of our community for decades. The next generation, Constantine, Alexandra and Michael, have taken the reigns of the family business dedicated to food and they continue the tradition of giving back, established by their parents, George and Andrea. In their own words, I’ll let them tell you about the latest version of that tradition:
“Food is at the heart of what we do. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 children in the United States could face hunger this year due to Covid-19. We want to change that. As a community, it is our responsibility to ensure that our youngest and most vulnerable members eat well, be well, and stay well.”
“We created Eat well. Be well. Stay well.’ t-shirts to spread that theme. We will donate 15% of the proceeds to the No Kid Hungry program) in their effort to make sure these children are fed, both during this crisis and in its aftermath. Through a combination of emergency grants, strategic assistance, advocacy and awareness, No Kid Hungry is equipping communities (including ours!) with the resources they need. Join us on our mission to help end childhood hunger during these trying times. We are in this together.”
The Benas Family
Harrison House Diner, Point 40 Diner and The Cake Boutique

Please note that the Clearview High School campus, including the tennis courts, will be closed this coming Monday and Tuesday, June 8th & 9th. The area will be the scene of individual Graduation Ceremony recordings, with cars lined up throughout the campus all day. Please respect this temporary inconvenience and use the tennis courts at Ella Harris Park, which are also open.

Though tragic, sickening and heartbreaking, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th may very well become the seminal moment in the conversation on race relations in this country. At least I hope it does, so that perhaps Mr. Floyd and others before him, will not have died in vain. Watching that video is painful but I believe every American adult should do so….more than once.

We have been inundated with news reports and interviews in the days since this tragedy, as we’ve watched the reaction and protests nationwide. Locally, there have been several events and the Mullica Hill Sun released an article online today with comments from several local leaders, myself included.

I think it’s important for all of us, especially our leaders, to openly recognize this for the horror that it is. There can be no mincing of words or spinning of the narrative. I did that in my weekly Mayor’s Message in The Mullica Hill Sun, which they released, online, today. I’d appreciate you taking a minute to read it.

In the spirit of community recognition, we were approached by a group of residents seeking to work together to stage an event here in Harrison. I am happy to convey that there will be a Candlelight Vigil  here this coming Monday night at 8PM in the Ella Harris Park parking lot on the Route 77 (ShopRite) side of the park. Township and Police Department leadership will join the resident hosts to exhibit the unified determination that is necessary to bring us together, as we confront that which threatens to tear us apart. We are proud to stand together at this pivotal moment. Join us. There can be no better example of Harrison Strong!


Together for Harrison Township,
Lou Manzo
Your Mayor


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