The Township and our Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have put together an outline of what our Berkeley Heights emergency responders have been doing – and will continue to do – in response to COVID19.
First off, we strongly urge anyone who has flu-like symptoms to adhere to the following protocols:
- Call your doctor; do not just show up to the office.
- If you need to go to your doctor or emergency room, please drive yourself or have a family member drive you. This will limit your exposure to others, such as our emergency services personnel.
- Be vigilant about social distancing; quarantine yourself if you think you may have been exposed. Avoid public places.
What You Should Know About COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those symptoms may appear within 2 to 14 days of exposure and can range from mild to severe. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. If you are having symptoms, here are some critically important steps you can take to reduce your chances of spreading the virus:
From our OEM Coordinator:
Our Berkeley Heights OEM has been in constant communication with our public health & safety officer regarding the Coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak. We are prepared for any suspected cases. In the event our Township’s first responders respond to your call for assistance and someone is reporting symptoms consistent with a respiratory illness or flu, they may be wearing additional protective equipment, such as a mask, medical gown, safety glasses, and any other personal protective equipment they deem necessary. Additionally, future measures may require that first responders not enter a home or business, but instead provide the sick person with a surgical mask to prevent the spread of illness and await the arrival of additional first responders.
If a resident calls e911 or Dispatch, the dispatcher will ask a variety of pre-screening questions to ascertain if the caller or anyone in the caller’s home has any flu-like symptoms. This process allows the Dispatchers to send information about the caller and/or the residence to the pertinent first responders – such as Rescue Squad or Fire Department.
Our OEM has daily meetings or calls with the Township Administration, Police Department, Rescue Squad, and County to get daily updates on the COVID-19 situation county- and state-wide, but also to assess the situation here in Berkeley Heights, and to plan next steps as necessary. These meetings come after daily calls with the County and other municipalities in Union County, and with the state Department of Health.
Our OEM coordinator and Mayor are also in regular contact with our senior citizen groups, as well as age-restricted neighborhoods and facilities.
The Rescue Squad sanitizes ambulances after transporting any resident exhibiting COVID19 symptoms.
We emphasize: if you have flu-like symptoms, your first call is to your doctor. If you need to go to the hospital, please drive yourself or have a family member drive you. This reduces potential exposure to our first responders and their families.
From the CDC:
How to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in communities
Those at Most Risk
From the White House Coronavirus Task Force
CDC’s Framework for Mitigation
From the NJ Department of Health:
New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard (Cases by County)
Governor Murphy Recommends Cancellation of All Public Gatherings of More than 250 Individuals
Call the NJ Coronavirus & Poison Center Hotline at
1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-962-1253 if using out-of-state phone line
Trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer your call 24/7 OR visit nj.gov/health
In addition, Mayor A
Meanwhile, residents are urged to use good judgment and limit public gatherings, maintain personal hygiene and stay home if you feel sick. These efforts are to minimize any unnecessary contact with anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or any other flu variation.
During this closure to the public, please call the department in which you are trying to contact, or email them. Contact information can be found on our website at BerkeleyHeights.gov.