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March 17 Update from Mayor and Council on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 17 update from Somerdale Mayor and Council on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 17, 2020

Dear Somerdale Residents: 

We are all facing some very difficult and uncertain times as the spread of COVID-19 impacts our country. As local leaders, it is our responsibility to stay informed and make decisions that will provide the safest possible environment for you, our residents, given the current circumstances.   Please take a moment to review this important information about the Borough of Somerdale’s response to the threat of the spread of COVID-19.   

In accordance with Federal, State & County Health Department recommendations, the Borough will be CLOSED to the public for non-essential services until March 30, 2020. The health and safety of our residents and staff remain our top priority. 

- Construction permits, marriage & death certificates can be obtained by appointment only

- For construction call: (856) 783-6320 ext.1500

- For marriage & death certificates call: (856) 783-6320 ext. 3300

- For Police matters: Use the phone on the vestibule wall

- All borough sponsored public events are postponed until further notice

- Trash, recycling and other essential services will continue.  However, delays may occur should the spread of the virus impact our workforce.  We ask for your patience & understanding during these demanding times. Please review DPW Service Updates Here: somerdale-nj.com/public-works-services-announcement-3-17-2020

- The Community Center will be closed and not excepting rentals for immediate use until further notice

We will be reviewing all scheduled public meetings, including Council & Planning/Zoning Board meetings to determine whether they are necessary for the continuation of governmental operations. 

State of NJ Update:

As of 2pm on March 17 there are 267 positive cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey, three of which are in Camden County. There are currently no reported cases in Somerdale. See the interactive NJDOH COVID-19 dashboard here: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

Yesterday (MONDAY, MARCH 16), Governor Phil Murphy announced new restrictions to limit the transmission of COVID-19. Per the state, these include:
- Closure of ALL pre-K, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities beginning 3/18
- Closure of ALL casinos, racetracks, theaters, gyms
- Closure of ALL non-essential retail, recreational, & entertainment businesses after 8PM
- Banning gatherings of 50+

- All bars and restaurants are closed for eat-in services. These establishments may open for takeout and delivery services ONLY, until further notice. These restrictions exist during daytime hours.

- All pre-K through grade 12 schools (public, private, and parochial) and all colleges and universities will close effective Wednesday, March 18th until it’s deemed by health officials to be safe for in-person classes to resume. Somerdale Schools are instituting distance learning.

All non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is strongly discouraged between the hours of 8:00 PM AND 5:00 AM. This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. We want everyone to be home – and not out.

CDC guidelines now recommend avoiding groups of 10 or more people. We urge everyone to follow social distancing guidelines to reduce impact to our hospitals and health care system.

The best way to prevent the spread and contraction of Coronavirus is by practicing good personal hygiene:

·      Wash your hands thoroughly, and often, with soap and water for 20 seconds

·      Stay home when you’re sick

·      Avoid contact with others who are sick

·      Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue

·      Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects

·      Avoid confined places with crowds of 10 or more people 

This has been a frightening and stressful time for many. Please know that we are doing everything possible to ensure your safety and continue our services without disruption.  We apologize for any inconveniences our actions may have but these are extraordinary times that require extraordinary actions.   Be safe, exercise good judgement and watch over your family, friends, and neighbors. Together, we will overcome this challenge. 

Continue to monitor our website for updates as well as these key sources for information: 

·      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

·      State Department of Health has established a 24-hour public hotline 800-222-1222.  

·      Camden County: https://www.camdencounty.com/service/health-human-services/covid-19-updates/ 

We truly appreciate everyone’s cooperation under these difficult circumstances.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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