MILLBURN, NJ — In the ongoing process of protecting Millburn Township from further cases of coronavirus, the local government will have a new set of tools available at their disposal.

Yesterday afternoon, Millburn Mayor Jackie Lieberberg and Millburn Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Capt. Chris Beady signed a local declaration of emergency. The document allows the township to coordinate efforts and deploy resources more effectively in the event a decision needs to be made.

As of now, Millburn only has two confirmed cases, both women in their 60s. Both have had minimal social contact, according to the alert from the township, and both are home recovering in self-quarantine. Township health officials will be checking up on both cases twice a day.

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Yesterday afternoon, Millburn Mayor Jackie Lieberberg spoke with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills about the decision to declare an emergency. As she stressed to TAPinto, the decision was not made in a state of panic, but was the outcome of a careful process.

“This declaration was not made lightly. It was a very thoughtful process and the reason we were on a call with the county this morning," Lieberberg said. I had been on the call with the governor at the end of last week. So this is kind of the culmination of what we really believed was best for the township at this juncture, and at 3:30 this afternoon, we made the decision to proceed.”

Sh also noted that while the declaration was signed yesterday afternoon, it was not as a result of more cases popping up.

“We made the call at 3:30. And this declaration of emergency was not the result of any change in Millburn’s current health status," Lieberberg said. "It was done as a preparatory action for decisions that may have to be made down the road, and it gives the township the tools it needs to make emergency declarations, both immediate and long-term.

"So if we have to deploy management services, or purchasing or procurement or shipping responsibilities, this declaration allows us to do so. It really allows us to prioritize and kind of engage very quickly, and it’s the governing body’s decision with respect to and in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Management.”

In the email sent out to town residents, Lieberberg stressed that social distancing is one of the things that will help to flatten the curve pf the impact o the health system. She also noted once more with TAPinto that this declaration is not a reason for residents to panic.

“It was a proactive measure … we want to be proactive rather than reactive in a crisis situation. We want to have all the tools in our arsenal to make decisions. So that’s why this was decided,” she said.