At Cherry Hill Township Council’s March 9 public session, Mayor Susan Shin Angulo declared all events geared toward senior citizens would be postponed indefinitely due to concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus strain, COVID-19, as this population is particularly susceptible.
“The risk to the general public remains low, but, according to new guidance from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), seniors should take extra precaution and avoid unnecessary exposure to public spaces. And in light of this, I ask our Recreation Department to indefinitely postpone all senior events, which include the Senior Information Fair on March 11, and the Ensemble Series on March 15,” Angulo stated.
According to the CDC’s website, older adults, and those with chronic conditions such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk of contracting coronavirus.
“Additionally, I have asked our maintenance staff to ramp up its disinfecting efforts within Town Hall, prioritizing public-facing point-of-service locations, and I am asking all residents with township business to utilize — to the greatest extent possible — online services, such as reporting concerns or paying a bill.”
Angulo’s message arrived hours after Governor Murphy declared a State of Emergency in New Jersey.
Murphy’s declaration, per messages on his official Twitter account as well as at nj.gov/governor/, will allow for streamlining the procurement of goods and services to ensure public health and safety professionals have the required resources to perform their duties; trigger the strongest protections against price gouging, while providing state, county and local governments and Garden State schools the flexibility to take proactive steps to prepare for any impacts from the current public health threat.
Angulo also preached preparation by municipal entities to protect against possible ways in which infection or transmission might occur.
“I direct department heads to draw plans in (the) event that Cherry Hill Town Hall experiences diminished workforce capacity, and as a result of potential widespread exposure, and to look into any and all actions to protect the public and municipal employees,” she continued.
“Our top priority is protecting the health and safety of Cherry Hill residents. Cherry Hill Township Police and Fire Departments, as well as our schools, are actively coordinating with state and county officials. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.”
On Friday, March 6, Camden County identified its first presumptive positive case of coronavirus, a man in his 60s from Cherry Hill, who was hospitalized in stable condition. It was the third such identified case in New Jersey. As of Tuesday morning, a total of 10 presumptive cases have been identified, according to www.nj.gov/health/.
“We are in uncharted waters, but I am confident that this is what we train for; this is the reason why we make strategic investments over time. Because you never quite know when the difficult time comes,” said Council President David Fleisher.
Residents with questions or concerns regarding the Coronavirus can contact the New Jersey Coronavirus and Poison Center Hotline at (800) 222-1222. Older adults in the township with questions can contact Gaye Pino, senior services program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news:
- The boys and girls swim teams from Cherry Hill High School East were recognized by Angulo as well as council, and issued proclamations for winning their respective state championships. The girls’ squad won its first Public Group A crown since 1999, while the boys claimed back-to-back titles for the first time in more than 40 years.
- Council approved a resolution for the Cherry Hill Police Department to enter into an agreement with the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles to provide security at its township location during its operating hours. The contract goes into effect immediately, according to CHPD Chief William “Bud” Monaghan, and lasts for one year.
- The governmental body additionally passed a resolution authorizing the rejection of all bids and re-bids for the construction of Croft Farm Dog Park, as well as related work in the township.