BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township Acting Police Chief Paul Payne has released a letter to the public, thanking many for their donations to the department, and providing additional advice on staying safe during the pandemic.

Here is his message in its entirety:

The Bridgewater Police Department would like to thank the residents and businesses that have donated masks, gloves, disinfected wipes, and many other needed items to our agency. We know that many first responders within our community are seeking the same items, so we are assisting them with the donations we receive. Our agency is also working with the guidance of County and State agencies to provide our long term care facilities with personal protective equipment. I would like to personally thank Henry Wang and the Bridgewater Chinese American Associations, Johnson and Johnson Health Care Systems, numerous businesses, and private citizens such as Leslie Ginsberg and Paula Davidi for their donations. Everyone has done a great job helping when they can and we appreciate that. Sgt. Jamie Edwards and Detective Michael Coletta continue to work day and night, as well as on their off time to keep our agency and Township up to date with resources and information.

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The most crucial thing all residents can do to slow the spread of this virus is to practice social distancing and follow the guidelines from the CDC. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and disinfecting surfaces regularly. We encourage people to get outside but remember that we need to practice social distancing. I want to reassure you that the Bridgewater Officers will continue to serve the public during this critical time. They will continue to provide the services you expect from us.

The Bridgewater Police Department would like to thank our first responders serving our community, as well as all the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and medical staff that jeopardize their safety to fight this pandemic. Our prayers are with all of you and your families, fighting on the front line.

Sincerely,

Acting Chief Paul Payne

As of 9:30 a.m. Thursday, there were seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bridgewater, for a total of 63 cases in town. There are five confirmed COVID-19 related deaths to date.