COVID-19 Update from Mayor Manzo – 3/25/2020

Mayor Lou Manzo provides regular updates on the COVID-19 crisis. This is the 3/25 update.

Dear Residents & Business Owners:

My first order of business today is to clarify some information I passed on in yesterday’s Update. In case you missed it, in reviewing information shared with us on the daily County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) call, I wrote the following that was shared by the County Department of Health official:

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: There has not been a confirmed instance where an asymptomatic person (no symptoms) has passed on the virus to someone who becomes symptomatic. Meaning, as of now (and that could change), you cannot just be a “carrier” of the virus without exhibiting some symptoms; keeping in mind those symptoms may be fairly mild and short-lived.”

Confirming we have a community filled with brilliant people who want to help whenever possible, I was contacted by more than one medical professional about the DOH official’s statement. They questioned the veracity of an asymptomatic person NOT being able to pass on the COVID-19 virus. In researching the facts, I found this on the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website:

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

SO, THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT: Though the word “might” is used above and the predominance of confirmed COVID-19 cases are linked to individuals showing symptoms, it is possible for an asymptomatic person to pass on the virus. Hence, social distancing practiced by everyone for now is the safest path. Thank you to Dr. Raines and Dr. Wax for your attention to these details and ensuring I convey the best information possible.

Last night the Gloucester County Mayors Association held a conference call featuring Congressman Donald Norcross, our 5th District Legislative representatives, State Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Assemblymen Bill Spearman and Bill Moen. Congressman Norcross reviewed some details of the Federal Rescue Package we all see playing out in the media, with the final version expected to be passed by Congress today. Our 5th District representatives reviewed actions being taken in Trenton meant to provide economic relief as well. Another priority is expanding testing capabilities and access in South Jersey. They spoke of eliminating any government “red tape” in the procedures to achieve this and their sense of urgency was evident.

After the conference call, I received immediate follow-up (an email) from Assemblyman Moen on a question I asked about potential Property Tax relief or deferment, assuring me that this was a priority topic in Trenton. I also received a personal call from Senator Cruz-Perez, we spoke about several topics including property taxes, Testing Centers, Medical Supplies and business relief/support. She wants you all to know that her team is working diligently on all these issues on our behalf and reiterated my access to her 24 hours a day, as we get through this crisis. She also asked me to pass on her well wishes to all of you.

A quote I heard somewhere says, “when it’s dark enough, you can see the stars”. This crisis has done that a bit and I’m telling you that our representatives in Trenton have really stepped up. They are doing everything we ask of them and nothing is off the table when it comes to getting things done to save lives and eventually provide economic assistance and guidance.

So, we continue in our isolated state for another day on the path to ample medical controls and testing capability, a flattened curve of the outbreak and then a return to some sense of normalcy. It will happen but being patient is something we are realizing is not a virtue for most of us. Hang in there…one day at a time.

Our community continues their outpouring of support for each other, which I will write about tomorrow. On that note, I share some sad news. Warren Fabrizio, of Warren’s Hardware in town, passed away earlier today at the age of 83. If you lived in Mullica Hill, you knew Warren and his family. He was strong in spirit and opinion and you always knew where you stood with him. He was a prideful man who will be missed by many and by the community as a whole. Based on the current circumstances, the family will hold a private memorial service in the coming days. As we all take in account another day dealing with the virus, I ask that you remember Warren and his family in your thoughts and prayers. I know you join us in sending our sincere condolences to the Fabrizio family. Godspeed Warren.

Harrison Strong!

Together for Harrison Township,
Lou Manzo
Your Mayor