COVID-19 Update from Mayor Manzo – 3/26/2020

Mayor Lou Manzo provides regular updates on the COVID-19 crisis. This is the 3/26 update.

Dear Residents & Business Owners:

Our County call this morning updated the numbers related to the COVID-19 virus in New Jersey. Statewide, there are 4402 confirmed cases and 62 people have died. In Gloucester County, there have been 33 confirmed cases, the majority of which are on home-quarantine (3 are in hospitals). There have also been 363 negative tests and 27 tests are currently pending. No deaths in Gloucester County to date.

The County Department of Economic Development will forward us details and guidance on both the Federal and State Financial Assistance packages as that information is disseminated. Earlier today, The NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the virus. You should know that this was enabled by NJ Legislative Bill A3845, co-sponsored by our own Senator Nilsa Crus-Perez. Thank you, Senator. These NJ initiatives are meant to compliment the recently announced federal economic recovery initiatives. More information on these programs are forthcoming and will be detailed here as they roll out.

The state has also made available guidance and resources for licensed Childcare Facilities here.

NEW HOURS ANNOUNCED BY SHOPRITE

Mullica Hill Shop Rite has extended the special shopping hours for Senior(60+) or higher-risk individuals to 7AM – 8AM. The store is available to all others after 8AM. Please respect the new hours so our senior and higher-risk residents are able to utilize the store. 

CLARIFICATION ON SOLAR COMPANY EXEMPTION

There has been some lack of clarity pertaining to Solar companies’ status as “essential” or not?. Our County Call this morning reinforced that solar system (panel) installations fall under the heading of construction projects, hence they are exempted from the Governor’s Stop Work Order. Clearly, a customer can choose to delay a company from proceeding with a current or planned project at their discretion.

TOWHSHIP PROGRAM TO SUPPORT SENIORS & DISABLED

Township Committee members, Julie DeLaurentis and Adam Wingate, have worked with our Emergency Management Coordinator, Captain Brian Bartholomew of the Harrison Township Police Department to develop the Harrison Township Emergency Management Senior & Disabled Outreach Program. Born out of the recognition that members of our community may need assistance with basic needs as this Stay at Home Order continues, this program will proactively seek to provide that assistance. A list of about 425 residents that potentially fall into these categories has been compiled through the various groups and programs already in place. 

This weekend, March 27-29, Julie will oversee a group of 17-20 volunteers to make phone calls directly to these individuals to “check-in” to see how they are doing and offer any needed assistance (ie food, medication pick-up, etc.). Adam is overseeing a crew of drivers to get it done as requests come in. Most importantly, even if there is no immediate need, these individuals will have a direct contact to call if they need anything going forward. If you are a Senior of Disabled resident (or if you know of someone who is) and you do not receive a call this weekend, and want to be included on this list, you can register here after Sunday (March 29).

Captain Bartholomew has also made it clear that during this Coronavirus crisis, should a Senior or Disabled resident need help with anything, they can contact Harrison Township Emergency Management directly: email harrisontwpoem@harrisontwp.us  or by phone 856-478-6839 x1606.

Thank you to Julie, Adam and Captain Bartholomew for their efforts and action with this outreach program. It is just one example of the incredible community spirit that has risen to meet this challenge. Harrison Strong!

Together for Harrison Township,
Lou Manzo
Your Mayor