PLAINFIELD, NJ — According to a press release from Mayor Adrian O. Mapp issued Wednesday, there are 27 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in town.  The City of Plainfield, it states, is taking all necessary precautions, and the Division of Health and the administration are working closely with the patients and their families under New Jersey Department of Health guidelines.

Mayor Mapp said, "The new norm of social distancing is the strongest weapon we have in our arsenal to contain the spread of COVID-19. Despite the short-term outlook, staying at home, shuttered businesses, increasing numbers of positive tests, I am absolutely confident we are going to come through this together, stronger than ever."

The mayor noted that increasing demands on the healthcare system "requires out of the box thinking and extraordinary action," and that facing this public health crisis head on "is going to need the continued support and partnership from government at all levels, our corporate neighbors, and, most importantly, our residents."

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The mayor stated there will be an increase in traffic at the Muhlenberg site as the city works with Community Healthcare Associates, who have agreed to put their plans on hold to convert the old Muhlenberg Hospital into a space that will accommodate 200 temporary beds. 

Currently, there is a satellite emergency room at the Muhlenberg site. 

"This is an aggressive 6-week plan that will transform it into a temporary facility to aid the effort  to return our community, our county and areas beyond to full health," Mapp said.

"Like other communities across the country, and globe, Plainfield is more than willing to do its part to slow the growth of COVID-19. We have taken the difficult steps prescribed by Governor Murphy and public health officials, and know that together we are stronger than this virus. While the possibility of turning the former Muhlenberg site into a temporary emergency location to treat displaced hospital patients is certainly not something we have envisioned in efforts to bring jobs and healthcare back to that dormant site, it is a strategy we embrace. All involved in preparing the site for this short-term use have our full support," the mayor added.

“We have said many times that being a good neighbor is our number one priority, and now, our neighbors need us more than ever,” Bill Colgan, Managing Partner of Community Healthcare Partners (CHA) said. “We have been excited about our plans for the old Muhlenberg Hospital, and are grateful that the community has embraced us along the way. Everything we have worked towards there has been about restoring health back to the Plainfield community.”

Colgan added, “Everything has changed in the past two weeks, and this is an evolving situation that we all continue to adapt to. While the long-term vision of what will rise on the site hasn’t changed, the short-term need supersedes that, and we are more than willing to be a part of it.”