COVID-19 Update from Mayor Manzo – 4/06/2020

Mayor Lou Manzo provides regular updates on the COVID-19 crisis. This is the 4/6 update.

Dear Residents & Business Owners:


As we enter the week that our national leaders are saying will be difficult with the expectation of the COVID-19 virus peaking in certain hotspots, I’ll begin with the numbers. Statewide, there been 41,090 positive tests for the Coronavirus, 47,942 negatives and 1,003 deaths. As of 1PM today, Gloucester County has had 284 positive tests, 1,355 negatives and 3 deaths. Here in Harrison, we now have 12 positive tests, with 4 coming in the last 48 hours since my last update on Saturday. 

As we monitor the spread of the virus, we recognize that NYC is the epicenter at this point, and we see that geographical cascading effect in the numbers. There is an “estimated” belief that South Jersey is about 2 weeks behind the NYC outbreak. Clearly, the focal point for the medical professionals monitoring this spread is the “rate of increase” and understanding the potential “high point” of that escalation. It is too soon to be definitive on that topic yet, but NYC did see a decrease from Friday to Saturday (the first) in the number of deaths (630 to 594) and hospitalizations (1,095 to 574). If we are lucky enough for this trend to hold, it only emphasizes the need for all of us to be CRAZY DILIGENT over the next week or two with our social distancing and “stay at home” rules.


Staying on that topic, we re-opened the paths in our parks just recently to allow for a nice option to get some fresh air, sun and exercise. As I’ve stated, ONLY THE PATHSARE OPEN for use. All fields or greenspace, pavilions, tennis or basketball courts and playsets or play areas REMAIN CLOSED. That means you cannot go and have a catch or shoot some hoops or gather for a little soccer match. This has happened and it must stop. The last thing we want our Police to spend time on is breaking up a pick-up soccer game at William Wilt Park. Keep in mind that the Governor’s Executive Order prohibits the use of these sites and empowers local law enforcement to issue a Summons for violations with up to a $1,000 fine. Please take these safety directives seriously.


On a much happier note, the local visit from the Easter Bunny this past Saturday came off without a hitch. The kids loved it and we thank Kristen from K Artocin Photography and everyone who supported her effort to bring a smile to our children’s faces. Check out their Facebook Page for a recap and video footage.


I’ve mentioned that our Harrison Team has been working on some additional initiatives to unify the community and I’m excited to announce one here. Nationwide…scratch that…worldwide we are awestruck by the dedication and selflessness of healthcare workers who are going to work every day to care for those effected by this Coronavirus beast. Their training and experience equips them for this challenge and they are shinning in this extraordinary moment in time. History will refer to them as heroes and rightly so. But what can we do right now to help them? 

We feel a special connection and obligation since the newest hospital in South Jersey is right here, Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill. The average person can’t assist in a “hands-on” manner and can’t provide access to a magic stash of N-95 masks and gloves. We leave that job to our national and state leaders. But we can provide emotional support and ensure that these doctors and nurses and caregivers know how much we appreciate them. They should know that we recognize them as heroes now. To that end, today we kickoff Heroes in the Hill

There is no better or more impactful way to say Thank You than to let our children speak for us. We’ve created a landing page for you to upload Thank You Cards/Drawings for our local healthcare professionals created by your children. This will make their day and you have an activity for your kids to help occupy their time…..we know that’s been a challenge, lol! Check out the instructions for this at Heroes in the Hill. We cannot wait to share the artwork online and to display it at the hospital. 

We are, who we are, in this town for a lot of reasons. I’d boldly say that one of the coolest reasons is the kids we have raised (and are raising) in this community. They are emerging from a great public-school system and wonderful neighborhoods and tremendous youth organizations to excel in college or whatever their chosen path as young adults. They are proud of the upbringing you provided them here and they truly recognize it when they venture out into the world. Many of them are already settling back in Mullica Hill to live or start their family here.

So, we turn to our current group of youngsters to speak for us in honoring the heroes of this day. I cannot wait to see what comes out of the mouth of the babes when, as parents, you task them with saying “Thank You” to those on the frontlines in this battle. It will make all of us proud, humble and forever Harrison Strong!   

Together for Harrison Township,
Lou Manzo
Your Mayor