SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Mayor Colleen Mahr took the opportunity on Friday to bring residents up to speed on the latest COVID-19 news and extend Easter and Passover wishes.

"I want to thank you all for doing what the governor, the president, and all the health officials have asked and mandated us to do, which is to stay home, to self-isolate. I know it hasn't been easy - separating ourselves from our loved ones and everything we know and want to be part of," Mayor Mahr said in her daily video update on Friday. "As we sit here today, New Jersey has lost 1,700 wonderful angels that have left behind countless family and friends and people they knew and worked with. Here in Fanwood, we have lost two people and several are in the hospitals fighting for their lives."

"On one hand, my heart is very heavy, and I am very somber from the profound sadness and the reality of the pain and suffering that is going on," she said. "On the other hand, my heart is full because I see what a loving community Fanwood and the surrounding towns are. I see the acts of generosity, the calls to action, the individuals who want to help, and those who want to celebrate those who are on the front line."

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"I want to wish you all a safe and healthy, quiet, reflective weekend. I know it's not easy, but I know we can do it," Mayor Mahr said. "We are resilient. I am grateful to be your mayor and for the staff that is working hard to see that services are uninterrupted to you. Each one of us is doing out part."

"Crisis doesn't create character, it reveals it," Mayor Mahr said. "What I see is unbelievable: the immense character that this community has. I want you to stay home, and if you have to go out, you need to wear a mask, and gloves and keep wipes in the car like I do. Please do not litter. If you need help... we are here for you."

"I hope everyone is able to find simple and safe ways to celebrate this weekend. I know the sacrifices we are making are difficult, but I applaud everyone's commitment to fighting this outbreak and I know better days are ahead," the mayor said.

Gov. Phil Murphy comments on Easter and Passover

"This weekend is Easter weekend, and I know it's one where we are used to gathering together, as we do normally at Passover. We gather normally at Easter to worship. We gather for children's Easter egg hunts, for family meals with friends. We can't do any of that this year," Gov. Murphy said during his daily press conference on Friday.

"I feel awful, but we can't. We have to leave the gathering to FaceTime or Zoom, or just simple phone calls and texts and emails to our family and friends," the governor said. "Instead of heading to church, many of us will fire up our laptops for a live stream service."

"Staying apart this year is the surest way we'll be able to gather again next Easter, and the many Easter's to come. So please take this to heart and take this seriously," Gov. Murphy added. "We all must work together. And if we do, unequivocally, we will come through this stronger as one New Jersey family, together."

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