SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Brunswick Office of Emergency Management recently held a briefing about the Coronavirus to a room of two dozen stakeholders in the township. Attendees included representatives of schools, the fire department, EMS and elected officials, according to a report from the South Brunswick Police Department. Attendees received an update from the Middlesex County Health Department about the Coronavirus and how to prevent it from spreading.

            “Public health is a top priority and making sure we have accurate information going out to the public is key,” said South Brunswick Office of Emergency Management Chief Raymond Hayducka in a statement released to the public “Bringing all our partners together to discuss plans and response today will help us face any challenges if the virus impacts our community.”

            The meeting gave basic steps on how to prevent the disease from spreading and how to spot the disease itself. In the meeting, individuals from different organizations (such as schools and businesses) reviewed their plans and strategies to combat the Coronavirus and how to prevent it from spreading in the community.

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            Attendees are expected to spread this knowledge to their colleagues, students, and employees. Deputy Police Cheif James Ryan says that they may do a more general public meeting to address public concerns if the situation changes. Businesses and different institutions are encouraged to reach out to the South Brunswick Office of Emergency Management to address any concerns they might have, according to Deputy Ryan.

            Attendees were taught by the Middlesex County Health Department about how they operate, become notified about the disease and how best to spread knowledge of the disease. One of the biggest takeaways from the meeting was an emphasis on basic precautions such as washing your hands, staying home if someone is sick and limiting your contact with anyone who is ill, according to Deputy Ryan. Another emphasis was on communication between all different groups, having constant email exchanges to confirm any information one might have.

            Deputy Ryan has highlighted that this is not the first time that they have dealt with an outbreak. In the past, the township has had to do similar training to deal with West Nile Virus, the Bird flu, and Ebola, all of which have had ramifications on the township and departments had to take special precautions.

            “We have a history with this stuff, and we will move forward as we usually do and listen to the community,” Deputy Ryan said, “It’s important for people to know that we have done this before and we are ready to do whatever is necessary for the future.”

 As of now, the Coronavirus is not widespread and the risk of contracting it is low, according to a community message provided by the South Brunswick Police department. The state has also created at 24-hour-hotline (1-800-222-1222) staffed with healthcare professionals to take any call and address any concerns about the Coronavirus. As of now, there have been no confirmed reports of the Coronavirus in the State of New Jersey, according to the Center for Disease Control.