September 14 – A message from Mayor Manzo regarding COVID-19 –

From the Desk of the Mayor
Harrison Township, New Jersey

To Our Harrison Family:

Our COVID-frozen world saw two significant changes this past week: Schools reopened and limited indoor dining commenced at restaurants. These monumental events trigger certain expectations or at least they should. The transition to the kids getting back to school in a hybrid option that includes some in-class education and some virtual learning could potentially increase the number of COVID cases in the coming weeks.

We can control that to a point by being diligent in our adherence to the protocols we all know. Wear a mask when in public, wash your hands repeatedly all day, consciously distance yourself when interacting with anyone and avoid touching people or things unnecessarily. Keep your hands away from your own face and mouth too. I feel like I’m channeling my mother when I was a kid since she was constantly telling me “not” to do things! But that mentality applies now, doesn’t it? So, consider it a necessary challenge since these protocols will absolutely limit the spread of the virus, as our lives slowly revert to a sense of normalcy.

THE NUMBERS & TRENDS  
Statewide, there have been 2,578 additional positive tests since last Monday, bringing the statewide total to 196,968. The total number of tests administered in New Jersey now stands at 3,189,970 which translates to a 6.2% cumulative positive test rate. The number of people lost in New Jersey increased by 37 this past week, bringing that total to 14,245.

In Gloucester County, we saw the largest week-over-week increase since May, as 255 people tested positive since last Monday, bringing that total to 4,132. The total negative test count grew to 50,848, translating to a cumulative positive test rate 7.5%. We lost 1 additional county resident in the last week, bringing that total to 217.

As expected, there was also an increase in our Harrison positive test count since last Monday. That number grew by 20, bringing our total to 152 since the outbreak began. We’ve had 1 death.

Medical professionals tell us that this week’s spike is directly attributable to schools and colleges reopening, which prompted my statement above regarding adherence to the safety protocols. If we look at the last 20 cases in Harrison, we see that 12 have been ages 16-22, supporting the theory related to school-age spreading. This also reinforces the need for diligence at home to control further spreading.
  
 
WELCOME TO NEW INSPIRA CEO & NEIGHBOR
In July, Inspira Health Network issued a Press Release that they had completed their nationwide search for a new CEO to succeed John DiAngelo, who had previously announced his retirement. Effective September 1st, Amy B. Mansue officially assumed that role, having spent the last couple months preparing for the transition, including relocating to a new home in Mullica Hill. Welcome to the neighborhood, Amy!

We wish John DiAngelo well in retirement, likely filled with lots of family, travel and a little golf. We place a high value on a strong and connected relationship with the new medical center in our hometown. To that end, I was pleased to have breakfast with John and Amy just this morning and we discussed many things including the focus on maintaining a close relationship through the transition. Suffice to say Amy expressed the same desire and commitment to our relationship, which is so important to our community.

I enjoyed getting acquainted, but we also discussed various potential projects that will impact the facility in the future. Amy shared some details about the COVID effect on providing traditional healthcare services and the fears associated with our kids heading back to school. That was the basis for a video message she recorded just the other day, as she seeks to pull the curtain back on certain fears. Great video!        

As we parted, we agreed to circle back soon and consider recording a zoom interview or two on these topics. We both feel this will strengthen the connection between Inspira’s staff and the community and showcase the facility’s capabilities, while also easy any fears that exist. We look forward to that, so stay tuned.
 
VOTING CONFUSION & GUIDANCE
How confident are you concerning the voting process this year? If you’re like most residents, you’re a bit confused. With that in mind, we will be publishing a Voter Guide that will explain everything, including how the Vote By Mail process works, how to fill out the ballot, how to submit that ballot through the mail or in-person, where the County will place Drop Boxes and what to expect if you decide to vote at a Polling Location on Election Day, instead of using the Vote By Mail ballot you receive. Look for that Voter Guide in the next week. Your Vote By Mail ballot is expected to land in your mailbox in about 3 weeks.

Lastly, our 9/11 ceremony this past Friday night was wonderful. The in-person attendance was limited but I hope you joined us virtually or watched the video of the event as seen on our Harrison Township Facebook Page. We want to thank everyone who participated to make this solemn event take place even in the face of the limiting circumstances. Our Harrison Strong spirit is rooted in our America Strong foundation. And our event showcases that beautifully.

Together for Harrison Township,
Lou Manzo
Your Mayor

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