VERONA, NJ - Verona Township Manager Matthew Cavallo announced the cancellation of Verona’s summer playground programs and the township’s Fourth of July festivities due to the COVID-19 epidemic in a letter on Wednesday. Cavallo further stated that the Township Pool will remain closed at least through June 30.
Cavallo noted that the township is hoping to open the pool for at least part of the season, but the traditional Memorial Day weekend opening was not possible.
Decisions regarding Verona’s Annual Summer Concert Series will be made at a later date.
Cavallo’s entire statement follows:
I hope this letter finds you well. Throughout the last two months, we have been providing periodic updates, many of which announced significant concerns and measured responses in and outside of Verona. We are pleased to share today that the reported rate of residents confirmed to have COVID-19 is slowing. Many of our residents who were confirmed to have tested positive have reached the ends of their quarantine periods.
As we celebrate this positive news, it is important to remember that this has been the result of an ongoing, concerted effort among Verona residents to practice social distancing, limit unnecessary travel, wear face coverings, and practice hand hygiene. The only way that we can ensure that these successes continue is to remain vigilant in our efforts to curb the spread of this virus. We must be understanding that, for the foreseeable future, this is our new normal.
I greatly appreciate the residents who have reached out with questions, concerns, and commendations for and of our municipal team. In order to respond most effectively to some of these items, I offer this status update regarding the decisions that we are making regarding summer activities.
While we understand the cherished tradition of opening the Verona Community Pool on Memorial Day weekend, it is clear that we will be unable to do so this year. We are still hoping to have at least part of the pool season; however, the facility must remain closed through at least June 30. Our staff has been charged with ensuring that all appropriate protective measures will be practiced when the pool reopens.
The Recreation Office has determined that it will be impossible for the Township to run its Summer Playground programs this year. The staff made this decision after careful deliberation of a variety of factors including participant safety, the feasibility of practicing social distancing during camp activities, the anticipated availability of staff and limited physical space.
In order to ensure the safety of all residents, all Township and Board of Education athletic fields and playgrounds remain closed to the public until further notice. Sporting activities of any kind continue to be prohibited in these facilities.
Due to the series of unknowns that plague the extensive pre-planning required to operate the Fourth of July Fireworks, the event will not be able to take place this year. During the next few weeks, we will make a decision regarding the Summer Concert Series.
Throughout the past two months, there has been a team of organizations and individuals which has provided leadership, service, and consistency to our community. I would like to thank our first responders, including the men and women of the Verona Police Department, the Verona Rescue Squad, the Verona Fire Department, and the Verona Office of Emergency Management who have been working around the clock under less than ideal conditions. I would also like to offer my most sincere gratitude to the Verona municipal employees who continue to work during this trying time with their usual spirits of collaboration and service.
As a Township, we think of the many residents who have suffered from COVID-19 during this trying time. We remember the 11 lives we have lost. Verona will continue to support those of our residents who continue to experience illness and challenges related to this pandemic. I ask that we all move forward with both hope and caution as we seek and experience brighter days.