MONTVILLE, NJ – Mayor Frank Cooney addressed residents via Facebook Live March 24 from his home, where he has been quarantined following a positive Coronavirus diagnosis several days ago.
“I am doing great!” he told residents from his bedroom quarantine.
He took a moment to call for a moment of silence for those who have lost their lives due to Coronavirus. No Montville Township residents have died of the disease as of March 24, but 40 people have died in NJ, according to Johns Hopkins. As of Friday, March 20, there were 14 cases, but a William Mason Elementary student was diagnosed positive, it was announced March 24.
Cooney saluted the Montville Health Department, police, firefighters and the first aid squad. He applauded residents for staying at home to stop the spread of the disease.
Cooney said that the health department is modifying its services to make sure that residents’ needs are being met while protecting their health. Dial-a-Ride services are still helping seniors get to pharmacy pickups and physical therapy and doctor appointments, Cooney said. Wednesday trips to ShopRite should be paid for in advance by ShopRite at Home, which the driver will pick up and deliver to the senior. Anyone with questions about the new protocols should call 973-331-3336.
The Montville Township Municipal Building is closed but the government is “up and running,” Cooney said. Administration, DPW, finance, construction and health services departments are working from home, he said. Call or email if information is needed.
Cooney Talks About his Condition
Cooney said he was very shocked to receive the positive diagnosis and admitted he was very nervous. He wondered if he would die, he said. He considers himself very lucky he had such a mild case, and he was happy he lost 10 pounds over the past week. He had a very sore throat and it was very hard to talk, he said, making him sure he was going to be a positive case. He said it had not been hard to breathe at all, but he did have a fever of 100.5°.
“No one can blame anybody, for coming into contact [with a positive case],” he said. “I had been socially distant, and for those who know me, I’m a germaphobe. If somebody has a cold – I’m spraying them with Lysol – spraying their desk. I am constantly using hand sanitizer. I didn’t want anyone coming into my office. No matter how careful you are – you have to maintain your distance – it’s best you stay home, because we didn’t know that the virus lives so long on metal surfaces.” (The virus can stay on metal for up to nine days.)
Cooney said the worst part about the quarantine is that he can’t be out around town helping the citizens of Montville.
“That’s got to be the hardest part for me,” he said. “I’d rather be out helping people.”
A resident towards the end of Cooney’s live address commented through the interactive platform, “What a year to be mayor,” and Cooney agreed.
“That’s true. But you know what? We’re all coming together, we’re all going to be strong, we have our township committee meeting today at 3:30, and we’re doing it by phone to practice our social distancing,” he told residents.
Cooney read a statement from Morris County Sheriff James Gannon that stated in part, “We need to take social distancing, handwashing, covering mouths when coughing and sneezing seriously and follow the CDC guidelines if sick. Take care of yourself. Recovery is in sight if we all do our part. God bless you all.”
Watch the entire session here, on YouTube:
Information from the township includes:
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive state alerts
NJDOH 24-hour COVID-19 Public Hotline: 1-800-222-1222 for general inquiries from the public. Those in NJ using an out-of-state cell phone number can call 1-800-962-1253. The hotline is staffed 24/7 by trained professionals, in multiple languages.
NJ General COVID-19 Questions: 2-1-1 (7a-11p)
Clinical Questions: 1-800-962-1253 (24/7)
NJ Department of Human Services 24-hour "Warmline" for those seeking mental health services during this event: 1-877-294-HELP (4357). The Warmline is staffed 24/7 by trained professionals, in multiple languages.
Residents with health concerns: Please contact your healthcare provider.
Healthcare providers: Please contact the Montville Health Department at 973-331-3316.
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