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Posted on: March 10, 2020

Mayor Devanney's Statement on Coronavirus

Coronavirus Update from Mayor Devanney

Statement Coronavirus/Covid-19

March 10, 2020

On March 9th Berkeley Heights Health Officer-- Annie McNair, was contacted by State Department of Health as to a confirmed case of COVID-19 or Coronavirus. The resident, a 48-year-old male, self-quarantined shortly after experiencing symptoms. At 2 PM yesterday (Monday, March 9), the Governor’s Office and State Department of Health publicly announced the confirmed case to the news media and public.

Watch the video of Health Officer Annie McNair updating the Township Council on Coronavirus and answering questions during the March 10 Council meeting here

After self-quarantining, the resident contacted his medical professional who instructed him to drive himself to Overlook Hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus to other patients in the doctor’s office as well as first responders in Berkeley Heights like our police and rescue squad.  The medical professional subsequently contacted Overlook Hospital in advance of the patient’s arrival to ensure medical staff were properly equipped and ready to provide a medical quarantined area. The Health Officer has been in contact communication with the patient since she was contacted by the patient’s physician. As result, close contacts of the patient were notified of their exposure and ordered to quarantine.

As of today (Tuesday, March 10), County Health Officer McNair, has provided guidance based on the contact tracing investigation that was conducted alongside the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) to determine the patient’s whereabouts, prior to being hospitalized. Based on the investigation, it was determine that the patient’s whereabouts did not pose a public health risk to the community. Any person at risk was immediately notified and advised to self-quarantine by our Health Officer, who is aggressively monitoring this case.

As per the CDC guidelines on Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations, only surfaces in rooms or areas visited by anyone suspected or with confirmed COVID-19 testing should be thoroughly cleaned.

Since COVID-19 is spread similar to the common cold and flu, we recommend that the public follow widely accepted guidelines for respiratory hygiene which include:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Cover cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Stay home when sick
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

Members of the public with questions about COVID-19 can call the New Jersey Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 1-800-222-1222. The call center is open 24/7 and offers guidance in several languages.

For the latest information regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, visit reputable sources such as CDC, NJDOH and the Berkeley Height’s Township website.

Watch the video of Health Officer Annie McNair updating the Township Council on Coronavirus and answering questions during the March 10 Council meeting here




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