This article will be updated with future postponed/canceled events.
CAMDEN, NJ — What began as a series of cancelations to limit the exposure of seniors to COVID-19, has expanded to include additional events throughout Camden County in March and beyond.
As it stands, one individual in Camden County has contracted the novel coronavirus.
In a press briefing Thursday, health officials said statewide cases have climbed to 29 with a 69-year-old Bergen County man remaining the sole death linked to the virus so far.
Gov. Phil Murphy will discuss the latest developments in a press conference this afternoon at 2 p.m. — with NJ still in a state of emergency.
Mayor Frank Moran and the city said that as of Monday, all Department Services (HHS) special events, programming, and activities are postponed until future notice.
Community centers throughout the city will keep their doors open and adhere to regular business hours for anyone submitting permits or in need of information, the city said in a public notice.
A new date will be announced for screenings at the South Camden Theatre Company of “Heart of Camden: The Story of Father Michael Doyle” (originally set for April 16) and rowing on the Cooper River (including the Knecht Cup, Ivy League and Patriot League) has been canceled as of now.
Spring concerts at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood will also be postponed to the fall.
Canceled performances include Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Get the Led Out, Johnny Lang, Boney James, Steve Hackett, the Indigo Girls, as well as Dave Mason and John Mayall.
“Until this changes it bears repeating as many times as possible, the risk assessment for the general public of contracting or spreading coronavirus in our community is still considered low,” said Freeholder Louis Cappelli. “However, we are advocating that the public take this threat seriously and exercise social distancing while avoiding nonessential mass gatherings to further reduce the likelihood that this virus spreads in Camden County. At this time, we find it is in the best interest of our concert-goers, musical acts, and venue personnel to postpone these events until the fall season begins.”
The announcements come on the heels of Murphy’s office recommending that public gatherings that draw over 250 attendees, including concerts, sporting events and parades, should be canceled.
“These measures are being taken as part of our coordinated response to the continued outbreak and to aggressively mitigate the spread of the virus,” Murphy said in a statement. “Additionally, for all events, we recommend that everyone practice common-sense hygiene, like washing hands routinely, staying home if you do not feel well and keeping a 6-foot distance from others.”
Camden’s freeholder board also announced the cancelation of Will Clinics. The consultations, based out of the Camden County Store in Vorhees, help residents seeking to organize their last will and testament.
“The Freeholder Board is considering county-sponsored events on a one-by-one basis in response to the spread of coronavirus throughout the United States,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services. “While we understand the critical importance of this event and the service it provides, we have determined that canceling the events is the best course of action in the interest of public health at this time.”
Murphy continued that the state’s “frontline efforts right now must be to aggressively mitigate the potential for exposure and further spread.”