UPDATE: Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee released the following information just before 6 p.m. today, March 15:
As of this moment there are over 3,000 confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the U.S. We have 98 confirmed cases in the state of New Jersey including 11 in Essex County and one case here in Maplewood. The patient is a 31-year-old male, who does not have children and is self-isolating.
We will continue to provide you with updates.
I want to re-emphasize that if you are feeling sick, please stay home. Call your healthcare provider for guidance on how to manage your symptoms and if you can manage your symptoms (cough and fever) from home, please do so.
If there is someone sick in your household, everyone needs to self-quarantine at home. Therefore, limit your contact with others who are not in your household such as visitors.
With regard to coronavirus test kits, no test kits are available at Town Hall. If you need coronavirus testing, please call your healthcare provider or an urgent care center and confirm if they have test kits before you go.
If you are a close contact with a suspected or known case of coronavirus and have questions on what to do, please call the Maplewood Public Health Division, (973) 762-8120.
MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Mayor Frank McGehee has confirmed to TAPinto SOMA the Township's first confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
"The Township of Maplewood is aware of our first case. A male age 31 with no kids. We will continue to work closely with our state officials and keep the public informed," the mayor confirmed.
The news comes as Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo confirmed to NJTV that "the county has 11 positive test results: two from Nutley, one from Maplewood, two from Bloomfield, two from Millburn, three from Montclair, one from Newark."
TAPinto SOMA will provide updates as we know them. The mayor and the Public Health Department had just this morning released the following update to Maplewood residents:
An Update From Mayor McGehee and The Public Health Division
We understand that this is a very difficult time. We will provide you with the best and most up to date information we have regarding community transmission of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat the virus. As a result, efforts to control transmission and mitigate risk are critically important.
How is COVID-19, coronavirus spread?
- For person-to-person, spread is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets.
- For surface-to-person, touching a contaminated surface and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes may contribute to the spread.
- As with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
Who is most at-risk for coronavirus?
- People over 60 years of age
- People with underlying health conditions (i.e. heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes)
- People with weakened immune systems
- People who are pregnant
To control the spread of coronavirus, we are advising the following:
If you have been in close contact* with a suspected or positive case of COVID-19:
- Stay at home and self monitor for fourteen (14) days.
- While you are self monitoring for the 14 day period, you may not have any symptoms, but it is important to take your temperature two times a day.
- If your symptoms worsen (you develop a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath), please contact your healthcare provider or an urgent care center and ask if they have a coronavirus test kit before you go and be prepared to provide travel and exposure history and symptoms.
PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING.
This is the guidance from the CDC and NJ DOH to control the spread of disease.
* Close contact is less than six (6) feet of distance for ten or more minutes, or household contact.
WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?
Social distancing is a public health measure taken to help slow down the spread of a contagious disease by restricting when and where people can gather. These measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings, and canceling events.
Social distancing means NO visitors, playdates, or hangouts and remaining out of public spaces (restaurants, gyms, shopping centers) where close contact with others may occur and avoiding public transportation.
- Maintain 6 feet from others to avoid potential respiratory droplet spread to others at all times.
If you test positive for COVID-19 and you are having symptoms of cough and fever, it is important that you stay home and restrict your contact with others. After symptoms have resolved, please stay home for an additional seven (7) days to prevent the spread of disease.
- The Public Health Division will be in contact with you to provide you with further instruction.
If you test negative for COVID-19 and are having symptoms of cough and fever, please stay home. After symptoms have resolved, please stay home for an additional three (3) days to prevent the spread of disease.
- Monitor your temperature twice a day and take whatever medication you need to reduce or relieve your symptoms.
- If your symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider.
- Monitor the health and temperature of members in your household and practice social distancing with household contacts.
If you call EMS services, please be prepared to provide travel and exposure history and symptoms.
Hospitals can test for the coronavirus. Lab results will go to the state lab. However the patient must meet certain criteria:
Any individual with fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath who:
- Requires hospitalization
- Works in a high risk profession (i.e. a healthcare provider or an individual providing care/services to vulnerable populations who had close contact with a known case of coronavirus)
- Live in residential settings like a nursing home or long term care facility
- Are associated with outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus.
If you have symptoms and have had contact with a possible case of coronavirus, call the Maplewood Public Health Division, M-F, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (973) 762-8120.
If you have not gotten a flu shot this season we advise that you do.
Contact the Maplewood Public Health Division for information regarding where to get a flu vaccine. It is free for adult residents, 18 years and over.
Thank you Maplewood for doing your part in practicing respiratory etiquette, social distancing and self-monitoring to keep our community healthy.