FLEMINGTON, NJ - “Negative today does not mean negative tomorrow,” said Flemington OEM Coordinator Brian McNally while speaking at an online borough council briefing Friday.
Mayor Betsy Driver is hosting bi-weekly meetings to update council members on the latest information regarding the town, the county and the state. These are informal public meetings and no action will be taken.
During Friday’s meeting McNally said that when a first responder comes in contact with someone who claims they have the virus, the initial action is to have that person tested. He explained that since there is a 2- to 14-day gestation period, immediately testing the first responder could result in a false negative since the virus hasn’t gestated in that person yet.
However, even if the person claiming to have the virus tests negative on that day, they could just not be fully gestated so in another day or two the same person could test positive. McNally confirmed that behind the scenes, there is continual data gathering going on, even with the limited amount of manpower available.
In regard to testing, Driver offered that Hunterdon County officials are working on opening a local testing site. There are talks with officials from Warren and Somerset Counties, and one site being considered is Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.
The mayor announced that Flemington still has only six reported cases of COVID-19, and that there have been no virus-related deaths to date in Hunterdon County.
Driver noted that the first round of federal aid has gone out to the most populated counties in New Jersey.
“Hunterdon County did not get any money,” she said, adding that Flemington will be in “a world of trouble” [financially] when this is over if aid isn’t received.
Reiterating past requests, Driver said the state is seeking qualified medical volunteers, even if their licenses have lapsed, as if they’ve had the training their help is needed. Anyone willing to donate blood can contact Hunterdon Healthcare at 908-788-6405.
For complaints about shutdown violations, there are two avenues. If it is an immediate issue – such as a gathering of people – call the police, if it is a non-essential business that’s open visit COVID19.nj.gov/violation.
It has also been determined by the state that municipal planning and zoning boards can hold virtual meetings during the coronavirus crisis.
The Flemington Planning Board will hold its scheduled meeting April 14 at 7 p.m. on GoToMeeting. A link to that meeting will be provided on the borough’s website.
McNally said there were 783 police calls last week, up by about 250 from the weekly normal.
OEM First Deputy Dave Giuliani, who has been tasked with providing first responders with personal protective equipment and whatever else they need, said that rescue squad calls are down this week by 18 percent.
The next update is scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Earlier in the day, council president Caitlin Giles-McCormick held a Facebook meeting. As over 106 people watched, she offered information on various resources available across the state, such as 2-1-1.
Giles-McCormick also gave an overview of the availability of loans and aid programs for small businesses.