HAMILTON, NJ -- Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin assured residents that "normal business is still occurring" while at the same time announcing numerous cancellations and postponements as steps his Administration and the Hamilton School District are taking to protect local residents from COVID-19.
Each township department is finalizing "continuity of operation plans" to ensure that services and operations of government may continue, said Martin.
Martin said that while there are currently no cases of coronavirus in Hamilton Township, steps are being taken out of caution for residents and first responders. He thanked the residents and employees of Hamilton Township for their calmness in this current situation.
"This is obviously a very scary time for lots of people," said Martin. "As we confront an emergency that's unable to be seen, unable to be touched, unable to be smelled, the people in Hamilton have reacted with nothing but the calmness that they are being advised to by both federal, state and local officials."
Local events that will be postponed are: the Mayor's annual State of the Township address; the upcoming Town Hall hosted by Martin; the Job Fair; and group meetings at the Hamilton Public Library;
Events at the Hamilton Township Senior Center already have been canceled through next week. However, those who are part of the nutrition program can come to the parking lot of the senior center and a meal will be brought to them
Hamilton Township Municipal Court also will be moving to a modified schedule with fewer cases to be heard on each docket. Martin urged defendants to attend hearings by themselves and only bring other who may be necessary to the case in order to limit the number of individuals in the court room.
The Township is also looking into modifications to home inspections as well as agendas for public meetings such as the Township Council and Planning Board where large crowds may attend. In addition, Hamilton Township employees who may need to self-quarantine are able to stay home without using their sick leave time.
Hamilton School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Rocco said that the school district is currently operating on its normal schedule but faculty is prepared to provide two weeks of remote learning, if necessary. He said that, after a survey of students, 85 percent of students would be able to do their school work online while the other 15 percent would be able to use more traditional methods such as textbooks.
To further safeguard students in the classroom, the School District stepped up cleaning procedures last week with "touch point cleaning" nightly.
Rocco also said that all high school proms and plays have been postponed and the District "has the intention to reschedule these important events." The school district is awaiting a decision by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) regarding any potential changes to sports schedules. He urged families with school-aged children to update their e-mail and phone numbers with the District to be receive notifications of any changes to the school schedule.
Residents with additional questions about closures or postponements or concerns about coronavirus can call the Township's Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
Martin was joined by Council Members Charles "Chuddy" Whalen and Pat Papero; Deputy Business Administrator Mark Murranko; Health, Recreation, Senior and Veteran Services Director Kathleen Fitzgerald; Chief of Police James Stevens and Lt. Jeff Martin; and Chief of Fire District 6 Richard Kraemer.
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Elizabeth Meyers and tell her about it.