CAMDEN, NJ — Camden Mayor Frank Moran confirmed that as of Thursday at midday there are no positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city and asked that residents take heed as the situation rapidly develops.
“The message to residents is to know the city is prepared. We have coordinated plans in place to address any emergency,” Moran told TAPinto Camden. “We have the best hospitals in the region and will continue to keep everyone updated on developments.”
Moran said the city is taking cues from county and state health officials, as well as the CDC on how to proceed — following the pandemic's first death in New Jersey and at least one presumed positive case in Camden County.
Per a press conference by health officials Thursday afternoon, there are 29 cases reported in the state - six more than yesterday.
Local officials met this morning to ensure government services are up and running for Camden’s 77,000 residents — with contingency plans in place if the situation worsens.
In a video posted this morning, Moran and the city’s emergency management coordinator, Keith Walker, implored residents to wash their hands frequently, sanitize their home regularly and try to avoid major gatherings.
“I continue to emphasize the importance of personal hygiene. If you’re feeling sick the best bet is to stay home and consult your doctor over the phone. You may not know you have it and that’s the biggest fear factor,” Moran added. “I don’t want to create hysteria but I also don’t want to minimize the situation.”
The mayor said no one in the city’s government has required testing thus far.
Earlier this week, Gov. Phil Murphy officially declared a state of emergency.
In Camden, officials have canceled all senior events in March and — like elsewhere in the Garden State — stores and schools are feeling the impact as well.
Walker recommended residents sign up to Swift 911, available on the city website, in order to stay informed on any major announcements.
Moran also urged residents to avoid contacting surfaces and then touching their faces.
The city has taken equal measures to assure surfaces in government buildings remain clean.
Following the City Council meeting Tuesday, a city worker immediately began to Lysol surfaces throughout the chambers — including the podium where residents provided public comments.
Moran said city services are also available online and residents can feel free to call ahead in the event they may not need to leave their homes to run their errand.
“I’m confident we’re going to get through this,” Moran said.