SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Village President Sheena Collum has sent the folllowing brief to residents. Two new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Village residents, a 28-year-old female and a 52-year-old female. The full text follows:
Our community now has 10 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. Additionally, there are 615 confirmed cases in Essex County and 4,500 in New Jersey — which is second only to New York (33,000) in terms of statewide cases within the country.
Because of the lack of testing available, it’s tough for any town to draw statistical conclusions at this point. While our number may appear low, please don’t let this create a false sense of security. I, along with the Board of Trustees, continue to urge everyone to stay at home and avoid all unnecessary travel and interactions to the greatest extent possible.
- Essex County opened its first drive-through test site today at Weequahic Park in Newark. Appointments can be made by visiting EssexCOVID.org or calling 973-324-9950. The screenings are being offered free to Essex County residents only who are symptomatic of COVID-19. This means anyone wishing to be tested must meet specific testing criteria, which includes a fever of at least 99.6 degrees and respiratory symptoms of shortness of breath.
- The South Orange & Maplewood School District has extended its distance learning through Friday, April 17, 2020. All district facilities are closed, and all extracurricular, registration, athletic, and social activities are postponed/canceled until further notice.
- The State of New Jersey has developed a Jobs and Hiring Portal to match talent with opportunities in industries on the front lines of serving New Jerseyans during the outbreak. Essential businesses across the state need thousands of workers for immediate hire.
South Orange Specific
On Wednesday, we announced the launch of South Orange COVID-19 Info Portal. Thanks to our friends at 4Elbows (Priscilla and Jamie Goldman), we were able to provide a central hub of information for our residents that features information about local government services, frequently asked questions, a directory of local businesses that are open, opportunities for the public to donate or get involved, and additional resources that may help the community navigate this very difficult time.
- Keep your money local. Our small business community is struggling right now, and they need our help and commitment to shop local. Our Business Directory features Take Out & Delivery, Available Shopping, and Wellness and Services. Help spread the word using #SOMAOpenforBiz
- Get Involved. Give Back. Our South Orange Community Support Page highlights a variety of ways you can safely get involved to support our most vulnerable residents and help those who are on the front line of protecting healthcare workers. Almost $42,000 has been raised in less than two weeks to help food-insecure families and seniors. Volunteers are literally sewing masks as per guidance from local hospitals to help fill the void from a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). A Facebook Group, SOMA Squad, is delivering items to those who cannot get out, and as of last night, there is now a SOMA NJ 3D Printers Alliance of local tech gurus who are creating face visors for healthcare professionals.
While these are all incredible acts of generosity and kindness, the single biggest contribution you can make to our efforts to combat the spread of the Coronavirus is to stay at home and always, maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others when you absolutely must go out. Continue to wash your hands (20 seconds), and don’t touch your face.
I know these times are incredibly difficult and can cause a great deal of stress. You need to remember that you are not alone. Please take advantage of the numbers provided below.
- Crisis Text Line: Test ‘NJ” to 741741
- Family Helpline: 1-800-843-5437
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-572-7233
- Mental Health Hotline: 866-202-4357
In solidarity and safety (at a minimum of 6 feet)
Sheena C. Collum
PS: Please don’t forget to complete Census online at 2020census.gov using the code you received in the mail.