BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Berkeley Heights sadly has experienced COVID-19 related death of four residents at one of the Township’s long-term care facilities. The residents, all in their 80s, lost their battle with the virus in the last 24 hours.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I report the loss of these four residents,” said Mayor Angie Devanney. “I know that every single one of us here in Berkeley Heights is broken hearted and mourns this loss today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends and family of those who passed away last night and this morning.”

There are now about 47 positive cases of COVID-19 in Berkeley Heights; 38 are actively being investigated by our Health Officer, Annie McNair; 8 of those are in our long-term care facilities. A total of 9 have recovered so far and those cases are considered “closed”; only two of the 45 positive cases were ever hospitalized before they recovered. Union County, as of Friday, had 251 new cases, 45 deaths and a total of 2,487 COVID-19 cases.

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“Our Township, County and State continue to urge all residents to continue to follow Governor Murphy’s stay-at-home directive, and to continue strict social distancing, as well as frequent and effective hand washing,” Mayor Devanney said.

The Mayor also encourages all residents to wear homemade masks or bandanas when entering public spaces out of an abundance of caution. “We need residents of all ages to take this seriously,” she continued.

Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued a series of steps that you can take to protect yourself. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Everyone is strongly urged to do the following:

  • Follow social distancing practices: put distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow or upper sleeve - NOT your hands.