EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Here is the full text of today's COVID-19 update from East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen:
We have now heard from the Middlesex County Health Department that the resident who tested positive with COVID19 was NOT living in East Brunswick with her family. In fact, she has not seen them since Valentine’s Day. Since this is well beyond the incubation period, the resident’s family will NOT be tested, and they are NOT considered to be a risk to the public. Despite letters from residents and postings on social media, names, addresses and any personal identifying information on any resident or patient will NOT be released and shared with the community. Any such action would be a breach of their privacy rights and serve no public purpose.
We are now learning that the incubation period for COVID19 can be as long as 21 days and that most infections will be mild. This is especially true for the healthiest members of the population. High risk individuals include the elderly (defined as over age 60), those with compromised immune systems, and those with chronic disease (pulmonary, cardiac, etc.).
Because of this incubation period and the fact that most cases are mild, it is very possible that there are residents with the infection and are not self-quarantining. This is the primary reason that the public schools will be closed for the next week at a minimum. They will reassess weekly as they are awaiting confirmation from the Department of Education that remote learning will be counted as school days. Computers have been provided to all students who are in need so that learning can continue remotely. The township is working with the public schools to make sure that anyone who qualifies for free and reduced food gets their meals at convenient pickup locations throughout the township.
Acting with an abundance of caution, the township municipal offices will be open to the public only on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the immediate future. The municipal offices will be open every day during regular hours. We ask that you use your judgment when visiting public buildings. There will only be one entrance for the public and that will be the Police entrance as it has a ramp for those with disabilities. The staff will be working and will be happy to work with any residents during our regular hours by telephone or email. Anyone who needs to make a payment to the Revenue Department can do so online (go to the East Brunswick Township website). You can also leave payments in the drop box outside the Municipal Office Building. The Municipal Courts will be closed for the next two weeks. Any cases scheduled during that time will be rescheduled. Staff will still be present daily and will follow the township schedule in that they will be open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. All essential and emergency services will be available without restriction.
I cannot predict the timeframe for this crisis. Epidemiological data out of China and South Korea would lead us to believe that this can go on for a lot longer than we have anticipated. This can have a drastic impact on the Census and Elections. Please take time to visit the Middlesex County Website and consider filling out your Census Forms and registering for mail-in ballots. The Census Count is expected to begin by the end of the month and primary elections are in June.
For those who have signs and symptoms of COVID19, please contact your healthcare provider. We have now learned that tests are becoming available to hospitals and some physician offices. Please call your healthcare provider before going to the office or hospital.
This health crisis is having a tremendous impact on East Brunswick businesses. Some food businesses have responded by offering take out through pick up locations as they have been forced to close their restaurants. I hope that others will join in this option as we do not want businesses to close. In addition, please consider purchasing gift certificates to our neighborhood stores as this will help them make payroll and stay afloat while the public stays at home.
As you know, information regarding COVID19 keeps changing and updates are being received several times per day. I will continue to keep the public aware of these updates as soon as it is possible. It is entirely possible that we may need to change or alter our plans as we respond to such updates.
As always, feel free to call or write to me at the Mayor’s office – 732-390-6810 or email@example.com
Mayor Brad Cohen MD