Home Voorhees News Voorhees Township taking precautionary measures due to COVID-19

Voorhees Township taking precautionary measures due to COVID-19

Planning and zoning board meetings to be rescheduled

As much of the country continues to take added health and safety measures regarding the spread of the coronavirus following the World Health Organization’s announcement that it can now be labeled as a pandemic, municipalities across Camden County are beginning to take similar actions.

Voorhees Township is now joining the list of towns hoping to prevent the potential spread of the disease within its own borders, having postponed the township’s planning and zoning board meetings for Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12, respectively, according to a statement released by the Voorhees Township Office of Emergency Management.

“This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution, especially in view of the large number of residents who have connected electronically with our elected officials in anticipation of attending these public meetings,” read the statement. “Moreover, Voorhees Township officials have also received communications from a number of residents requesting that the township heed the warnings issued by National, State and County health related entities to avoid large gatherings as a measure of protection.”

The township’s planning board meeting originally planned for Wednesday, March 11 was to discuss an application by Affinity Healthcare Group Voorhees for an outpatient opioid treatment center along West Somerdale Road, as well as an application by Dean Development to build the Signal Hill Commons shopping center across from Signal Hill Elementary School.

According to officials, the meeting was anticipated to have high attendance from residents. Following requests from residents that the meetings be postponed due to “personal health concerns that would preclude their attendance” due to the danger of COVID-19, the township agreed to cancel the meetings and reschedule for a later date.

“The occurrence of all future Voorhees Township public meetings will be evaluated on a case by case basis,” says the statement.

According to Emergency Management Coordinator and Chief of Police Louis Bordi, the township does not have a timeline on how long it will evaluate public meetings for moving forward. Additionally, dates for the rescheduled planning and zoning board meetings have not yet been determined.

“This action is not being taken to cause alarm, but rather to be responsible, as well as responsive, to the voices within our community who are urging caution and in the interest of proactively taking the necessary measures to protect residents interested in exercising their freedom of expression and freedom of speech by attending public gatherings to voice their genuine concerns,” read the statement.

Camden County officials are continuing to work on putting plans in place and being prepared to execute in the event more confirmed cases reach Camden County.

“Residents should know that the government of Camden County is ready in the event of any emergency, including a potential viral outbreak,” Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said. “Plans are in place to ensure that we are always prepared to respond to the needs of our citizens whether in the event of a natural disaster, severe storms, or a public health crisis.”

“The risk posed by the coronavirus in our community remains low, but now is the time for residents to begin mentally preparing themselves for the what an outbreak might look like and how the response may affect their daily life,” Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “The most important thing is to practice good hygiene and to develop a plan so that you are prepared in the event of the virus spreading.”

The county urges residents with questions and concerns to call the 24-hour public hotline at (800) 222-1222 where trained professionals are able to answer questions.

The county would also like to remind residents that flu activity is still high throughout the state. Camden County residents are still able to receive the influenza vaccine at either of Camden County’s Regional Health Centers in Bellmawr and Camden City. Visit www.camdencounty.com for more information.

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