WESTFIELD, NJ — Municipal meetings will continue, but the public is being encouraged to attend virtually. Large gatherings set to happen on town property are called off through April 19. And the public is encouraged to handle transactions with the town over the phone and internet.

Mayor Shelley Brindle issued these directives in an extensive update Thursday night on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, following the governor’s declaration that all public gatherings of more than 250 be canceled to contain the spread of the virus.

“The town has postponed Recreation Department programs (including senior citizen programming), library programming, and other large gatherings that were scheduled to occur on Town property through April 19,” Brindle said in her update. “We will continue to re-assess the public health situation regularly and make further determinations as warranted.”

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MORE: Coronavirus: Athletics, Performances, Other Cancellations Continue in Westfield

As of 2 p.m., the state had reported 29 “presumptive positive” cases and one death from COVID-19. One of those cases is a Berkeley Heights man, who is at Overlook Medical Center in Summit.

What about municipal meetings in Westfield?

“Public meetings of all municipal boards will continue as planned,” Brindle said. “While we continue to ask for ongoing engagement and participation, I would encourage the public to attend all upcoming Town Council meetings virtually, via Facebook Live, rather than gathering in the Council Chambers."

She said the town is exploring options to include a conference call line so residents can provide public comment on a recorded line.

“From a public health perspective, the focus must be on mitigation and slowing the spread of the virus,” Brindle said.

The senior citizen population and those with underlying health conditions remain the most vulnerable, she said.

Click here for the complete update and full list of canceled activities in Westfield.

The town has set a Facebook Live session on Friday at 12:30 p.m. with the mayor, town administrator and health officer to brief the public on COVID-19, officials said.

Questions can be submitted live, or in advance at westfieldnj.gov/covid19update.

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