FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood has been notified by the Westfield Regional Health Department that a second member of the community has died, according to Mayor Colleen Mahr. The second victim was a 79-year-old woman with underlying health issues also hospitalized. Both of the people who died had tested positive for COVID-19, but it is unclear at this time what role the virus played in this outcome, according to the mayor.

Earlier, the Borough learned of the death of a 99-year-old male resident of The Chelsea at Fanwood who was hospitalized with underlying health issues.

"Chelsea Senior Living is working to inform the family and loved ones of the individual who passed. Meanwhile, the Westfield Regional Health Department has been overseeing the communicable disease response at the Chelsea and ensuring that proactive measures are in place to protect the residents and staff," Mayor Mahr reported in the borough's email blast on Tuesday afternoon.

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"These measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning, screening all staff at the start of shifts, monitoring residents for any health changes twice a shift. The Health Department has identified and has quarantined anyone who was in close contact with the resident who tested positive. Additionally, Chelsea is restricting visitors and has discontinued all group activities," Mayor Mahr wrote. 

According to the mayor, the Westfield Regional Health Department will remain in daily contact with Chelsea to ensure that both residents and staff remain as safe as possible. No visitors have been allowed at the Chelsea at Fanwood since March 12, and managers have been monitoring their residents and staff nearly hourly, according to a statement by The Chelsea earlier today.

"Our thoughts are with the families that have lost their loved ones, and we ask that everyone respect their privacy," Mayor Colleen Mahr wrote. "I believe I speak for all of Fanwood in saying our hearts break for these families."

"I want to extend my gratitude to all hospital staff, caregivers, doctors, nurses, and first responders who are putting their lives on the line during this troubling time," she continued. "They continue to risk their lives every day to protect ours, and we are all eternally grateful to them. Please join me and the Borough Council in keeping them, the families, and the victims of this horrible virus in your thoughts and prayers during this uncertain time."

"We understand the news we're sharing is troubling for everyone. I want to remind all residents that Resolve Community Counseling Center of Scotch Plains has announced that all sessions will be conducted through teletherapy. The services are confidential and safe and office staff will continue to respond to phone calls at (908) 322-9180 and emails at ResolveCCC@aol.com," Mayor Mahr wrote.

The mayor said that any Fanwood resident requiring assistance or support during this challenging time can email her directly at mayor@fanwoodnj.org.

"Finally, as a reminder, anyone who is concerned about a neighbor or loved one should contact the Fanwood Police Department. Officers have offered welfare check-in's to all residents who may need one," said Mayor Mahr.

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