Manchester Mayor putting restrictions in place, urges social distancing
Manchester Township officials are putting restrictions in place at town hall and government buildings after a 72-year old resident tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
Mayor Ken Palmer told WOBM News on Monday that they've enacted a plan to allow town employees to telecommute and take care of business via phone call and email.
They're also no longer allowing public access to town hall.
"We're still open, everybody is still reporting for business, we're serving the residents the best we can but we want to limit that face to face exposure like everybody else," Palmer said.
The potential exposure of the coronavirus to a Manchester Police Officer and EMT's who responded to a first aid call last week of a man who later tested positive for the disease has led to them being asked to self-quarantine as a precaution.
Mayor Palmer says police have changed some protocols for their own safety.
"For example, the non-emergent reports are now going to be taken by phone," Palmer said. "There will be a police officer designated from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm to take calls and reports over the phone."
He said it's part of a precautionary measure to limit face to face contact for at least the next 30 to 60 days.
One of the most vulnerable populations to the Covid-19 coronavirus are the elderly and senior citizen populations.
There are nearly 30,000 senior citizens in Manchester Township, the most for any town in the state, with Berkeley Township right behind them in Ocean County and New Jersey.
One way for residents to keep safe Mayor Palmer says is to order their groceries instead of going to the supermarket.
"Use that service, get folks to bring the groceries to you, you don't have to go to the grocery store," Palmer said. "Let's just make some good common sense decisions."
Mayor Palmer says social distancing is also a very important precautionary measure that can keep residents safe and something everyone needs to take seriously.
With schools closing and children home with their parents and grandparents, social distancing becomes even more prevalent that has been.
Mayor Palmer says social distancing is a key way to prevent getting infected and is a very important regulation to follow.
"The regulations that are being put out with the social distancing to stay at home, to stay on the property, to not go into large groups...that's real, and I really stress to the parents and to the kids and to everybody else to abide by those regulations," Palmer said.