ROXBURY, NJ – A township employee has tested positive for COVID-19, but Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd said it is unlikely the person had significant contact with the public.

However, the employee likely came in contact with other township workers, who are now being asked to isolate themselves, Shepherd said. He said the township learned about the situation on Monday.

“The employee works in an area with little to no contact with the public,” said Shepherd in a statement. “Anyone, including Roxbury Township employees, who had contact with this employee have been notified and provided instructions to self-quarantine.”

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The manager did not say where the township employee works, such as town hall, the Recreation Department or the Department of Public Works. He said “affected areas of the building where the employee worked are scheduled to be professional cleaned” today.

As of Sunday, there were 23 cases of COVID-19 identified in the township, according to the Morris County Office of Health Management, which said there were 669 cases in the county at that point.

Adhering to Guidelines

All Roxbury Township government buildings remain closed to the public.

Shepherd said he does not expect the situation will substantially hamper the functioning of the municipal government. “We will continue to operate and will be able to provide services,” he said in an email. “While I do not find the remote environment as efficient, we are still able to respond to the needs of the public.”

Roxbury Health Director Mark Caputo said, in a press release, that the township is adhering to state Department of Health "contact tracing, quarantine and isolation guidelines.”

He also said the township public health nurse “has reviewed the guidelines with all necessary employees.”

On Tuesday, Shepherd and Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo said the township will no longer release information about the number of cases in Roxbury. They said all information will be released by the county.

“We see this as a big improvement because it gives residents and others a place they can go to get trusted information about the progression of the virus in each municipality,“ said DeFillippo. 

The county is not saying how many people in individual townships, or the county, have died. County spokesman Larry Ragonese said the county has had difficulty getting death certificate information from the state.

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