WAYNE, NJ – Just before close of business at Town Hall on Wednesday, Mayor Chris Vergano released a video message about Thanksgiving.
“First of all, I just want to wish everyone on behalf of all the employees of the Township very happy and healthy Thanksgiving,” he began. “I know it's going to be different for all of us this year. 2020 is the year that maybe some of us want to forget.”
He talked about the decisions that residents would be making on Thanksgiving. Decisions on getting together, how many were getting together and how everyone is getting together.
“I just urge you please be cautious tomorrow,” he said. “The CDC has come out with a whole list of guidelines. Some of them are rather different.”
Vergano gave a quick COVID update for the Township, citing these statistics:
- For November, up to the 24, there have been 409 positive COVID tests for Wayne residents.
- This is an average of 17.04 new positive cases per day for November
- The average number of new positive cases per day, monthly
- April – 728 cases – 24.27 cases per day
- May – 474 cases – 15.29 cases per day
- June – 81 cases – 2.7 cases per day
- July – 74 cases – 2.39 cases per day
- Aug – 90 cases – 2.57 cases per day
- Sep – 77 cases – 2.57 cases per day
- Oct – 154 cases – 5.13 cases per day
- Nov 1-24 – 409 cases – 17.04 cases per day
“The numbers are rising because the pandemic is getting stronger again,” said Vergano. “People are going to be spending more time indoors and that's problematic as we don't have air flow.”
The Mayor then suggested opening windows when gathering tomorrow because the temperature is supposed to be around 60 degrees.
He also brought up the fact that just ten days after Halloween, the number of new cases in Wayne dramatically rose. In the first week of November, Wayne had 85 positive cases while in the second week, Wayne had 173 positive cases. His point was that gathering, as in the case of Halloween parties, could help spread the virus and Thanksgiving could provide the same results.
On November 6, Wayne experienced its first death in over 100 days due to complications from COVID-19. It was a 76-year-old male at one of the Township’s long-term care facilities. This brought the COVID death toll to 191 Wayne residents, of which approximately 85% died in long-term care facilities, according to Vergano.
“Between October 7 and November 21, we have tested over 1,311 residents,” he said, and mentioned that this included employees of both Wayne Township and the Wayne Board of Education. “Of the 1,311 that we tested, 24 came back positive. Which is a very low number and a very good thing.”
Free COVID testing will continue in December with testing dates set for Wednesdays, December 2, 9, 16 and 23 at Captain Kilroy Park from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The address is 6 Concord Place, Wayne. To schedule an appointment to be tested, click here.
Vergano asked residents to remember those who have to work on Thanksgiving. “Anyone that's working in a health care facility; all of our policemen will be working tomorrow, and I'm sure they'll be busy; and for our fire Department and our first aid squad who will answer the call anytime, even during the holidays, I want to say thank you to them,” he said.
He mentioned Black Friday and that local businesses and restaurants could use local help. “These are very tough times for them,” said Vergano.
“I also want to take a moment to thank all those that are helping to feed those that our food challenged at this time of year,” The Mayor added. “We have the Wayne Interfaith Network, which has been doing a tremendous job. We also have many other organizations that are pitching in and helping out so I want to thank them, too.”
“If you need anything don't hesitate to call us here at town Hall,” he said and then gave out his work number and email. 973-694-1800 x3201. Mayor@waynetownship.com
“Enjoy the next four days,” he said in conclusion. “A lot of us will be off try, so try to relax and reflect about how things are going. Things will get better. We ask you to hang in there. Thank you very much.”