ROXBURY, NJ – Hoping to fight the spread of the virus causing COVID-19, Roxbury’s municipal buildings will be closed to the public, said town officials today.

The closure was announced at 2 p.m. by Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd. He said that, after the close of business Wednesday, the public will not be permitted to enter the town hall, the public works building or the building at 72 Eyland Ave.

The Eyland Avenue structure houses the township Senior Center, Recreation Department, Investor's Bank Theater, Health Department and other offices.

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Shepherd told township employees they should continue reporting to work unless they “are sick or show symptoms” of the illness. “Please check with your department director to discuss plans for continuing to operate as normal as possible,” he wrote.

In an email, Shepherd said his staff “will be still be reporting to work to provide services via telephone, e-mail and US mail.” Roxbury residents needing a township service are being asked to contact town departments via e-mail or telephone.

Come to Work But Keep Your Distance

“Our goal is to provide as safe an environment as possible while still providing essential services to residents, businesses and visitors of Roxbury Township,” said the manager.

In his message to township workers, Shepherd said employees should stay at least six feet away from each other if possible. “The majority of our work spaces provide for the ability to socially distance from a fellow employee,” he said.

The manager stressed that any town workers who have a close friend or a family member who tests positive for the corona virus, should say something right away. He urged them to "let us know immediately so we are able to take steps at your workplace to address any concerns of transmission.”

Roxbury’s first case of a person infected with the new coronavirus was confirmed on Tuesday, with no details provided as far as the person’s sex, age, location or possible contacts. As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, there were 427 confirmed cases statewide, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

'Unprecedented Challenges'

Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo also wrote to township employees on Wednesday, thanking them for their “dedication and service to the community during this troubling time.”

The mayor said the decision to close township buildings to the public reflects the town government’s “commitment to the safety and well-being” of those in the town.

“We have faced some unprecedented challenges over the past few weeks, and we are likely to face even more in the weeks ahead,” the mayor told township employees. “You can be assured that you have the support and gratitude of the Mayor and Council. With your continued support, I am confident that we will get our community through this together.”

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