DENVILLE, NJ -- During the April 6 meeting of the Denville Township council, two proclamations were presented. These were the first two proclamation to be read at a governing body meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The first proclamation declares the week of April 5-11 as National Public Health Week 2021, sponsored by the American Public Health Association, which since 1995 seeks to educate people and medical professionals about improving public health. The theme this year is “Building Bridges to Better Health.”

According to the proclamation, life expectancy in the United States has dropped from 2014 to 2017 in the longest sustained decline since the Great Recession and only in 2018 began to increase again. Further studies have shown the United States has a lower life expectancy than comparable countries.

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Also, according to the proclamation, six in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic disease and four in 10 have two or more. Furthermore, health risks such as alcoholism, obesity and tobacco use are the primary reason for seven of every 10 deaths annually in the United States.

"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthy People 2020 affirms public health is essential to reducing health disparities and inequities," said Mayor Thomas Andes as he read the proclamation.

"Public health professionals help communities prevent, prepare for, withstand and recover from the impact of a full range of health threats, including bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine preventable diseases, natural disasters and disasters caused by human activity. Public health action, together with scientific and technological advances, has played a major role in reducing and, in some cases, eliminating the spread of infectious disease, and in establishing today’s disease surveillance and control systems."

"The community of Denville is very fortunate to have a small but very knowledgeable and hardworking staff of public health professionals who are dedicated to the public health of the citizens of Denville. I ask all of our citizens to join me in thanking the employees of our Health Department and call upon the people of Denville to observe this week by helping our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers to better understand the value of public health and supporting great opportunities to adopt preventive lifestyle habits in light of this year’s theme, 'Building Bridges to Better Health.'"

The second proclamation declares the week of April 4-10 as National Library Week. With the pandemic still limiting services for such institutions, many township residents have found greater appreciation for their public library.

"Libraries of all types are at the heart of their cities, towns, schools and campuses serving their communities," said Andes.

"Today’s libraries and their services extend far beyond the four walls of a building, and everyone is welcome to use their resources. In times of crisis, libraries, librarians and library workers play an invaluable role in supporting their communities, both in-person and virtually."

"The Denville Public Library from its humble beginnings as a traveling box of books to two storefront buildings downtown to their beautiful building on Diamond Spring Road is now in their fifth decade of delivering not just books, but great programs, speakers, presentations and events, accomplished by the great staff working at the library."

"During this week, I encourage all residents to celebrate with libraries, librarians and library workers as well as library supporters and advocates and to visit the Denville Public Library online to access resources and services or in-person to see how libraries can transform lives and communities."


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