CAMDEN, NJ — As Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency Monday over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Camden Freeholders announced that nearly a dozen senior events in March will be canceled to mitigate the threat for those “particularly susceptible” to the disease.

As of Monday evening, there are 11 “presumed positive” cases across the state - one of which is a Cherry Hill man.

“This prophylactic measure should not be a cause for alarm. The majority of our residents can still enjoy large events and gatherings if you are being proactive, responsible, and exercising good hand hygiene and respiratory practices,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli. “At the same time, we are actively considering county-sponsored events on a case-by-case basis to determine if it is in the public interest to cancel or reschedule, and thus reduce the possibility of community spread of this virus, especially among our vulnerable populations.”

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There are currently 24 pending test cases at the state lab, the New Jersey Department of Health said in a press conference Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would need to further classify the cases in order for them to be considered positive.

In addition to the state of emergency, a public health emergency across all 21 counties, allows state agencies and departments to use all available resources to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from cases of coronavirus.

“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” said Murphy in a statement. “My administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our healthcare system for a broader spread of COVID-19.”

The declaration also sets off other executive powers, including prohibiting excessive price increases pursuant to New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and waives procurement procedures for certain products in order to speed up the delivery of goods and services necessary for preparedness.

Earlier this month, the Division of Consumer Affairs (part of the state Attorney General's Office) said it was cracking down on New Jersey businesses who were price gouging for certain products, including hand sanitizer.

County officials reiterated that public facilities operated by the county are being actively cleaned and sanitized to ensure the health and safety of all visitors. 

Recently, departments have distributed new guidance to janitorial and sanitation staff focused on maintaining surfaces in high traffic areas clean with disinfectant solution, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons and handrails.

“Every day, thousands of Camden County residents rely on County-operated facilities such as the Board of Social Services and Camden City Hall to receive critical government assistance, documents, and other core services,” Cappelli added. “We want to ensure our residents that facilities operated by the county will be kept to the highest standards in order to protect the health of all residents and visitors to Camden County.”

The following events have been canceled:

Special Population St. Patrick’s Day Dance

The Bellmawr Ballroom in Bellmawr

Thursday, March 12 - 6:30  - 9 p.m.

Dance Irish Jig – Free Senior Dance

The Bellmawr Ballroom in Bellmawr

Wednesday, March 18 - 3:30 - 6 p.m.

Luck O’ Irish – Senior Prize Bingo

Wayne Bryant Community Center in Lawnside

Friday, March 20– 11a.m.

32nd Annual Veterans Prayer Breakfast

First Korean United Methodist Church in Cherry Hill

Saturday, March 21– 9 a.m.

.Canceled Programming for March:

Senior Chair Yoga Classes – Gloucester Township

Gloucester Twp. Recreation Center

Wednesday, March 11 - 11 a.m.

Wednesday, March 25 - 11 a.m.

Senior Chair Yoga Classes – Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill Municipal Building

Wednesday, March 11 - 1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25 - 1 p.m.

Senior Chair Yoga Classes - Westmont

Camden County William J. Rohrer Memorial Library

Monday, March 16 - 1 p.m. 

Monday, March 23 - 1 p.m. 

Thursday, March 30- 1 p.m.

Senior Meditation Classes – Gloucester Township

Gloucester Twp. Recreation Center

Wednesday, March 18 - 11 a.m.

Senior Meditation Classes - Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill Municipal Building

Wednesday, March 18 - 1 p.m.

Senior Billiards and Bowling – Cherry Hill

The Big Event Entertainment Experience

Wednesday, March 18 -  Noon

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