Mayor's Message - April 9, 2020
Numbers of positive COVID-19 cases are on the rise throughout the state of New Jersey. That is also true here in Morris County and in our town as well. As of last night, in Lincoln Park we now total 114 positive cases. Our “RECOVERED” numbers are also on the rise, now totaling 35!
Numbers by themselves may not tell the whole story. I have been trying to give context to the numbers with these frequent town updates. With regards to the number of positive cases it is important to remember that we have several facilities that make up one of the largest, if not THE largest subacute and long-term care center in the state. The Department of Health and Center for Disease Control now advises that the facilities of this type should presume and act as if all residents are positive, while watching for active symptoms. Positive cases from these types of facilities make up nearly half of our total cases. We fully expect number and percentage to rise in the coming days. These facilities are taking the necessary steps to contain the disease within their walls and reduce exposure to the public in general.
The town has been very open and transparent in the frequent updates that are made, and that the context provided with the updates serves to inform the community of exactly what is happening. Sometimes there is a delay in getting the numbers to you as I do my best to get pertinent background associated with those numbers. Numbers without context may not be untrue, but they certainly are not the whole story either. Often news without the whole story creates unnecessary panic. If you see or hear something that concerns you, or differs from what you are hearing from town, please contact me or the Health Department for accurate information. Due to HIPPA and privacy regulations, there may limitations to what is able to be shared. We may not always be able to tell you everything, but we will never give you misinformation.
There have been countless stories of individuals and small businesses in town contributing in so many ways and I thank everyone who has contributed. Often, that the larger “chain” type stores are overlooked in the ways they help out. You should know that they have been very cooperative in helping me acquire necessary protective items for our police and first responders. Keeping these essential people protected allows us to protect you properly and I thank everyone, especially Shop-Rite and Ace Hardware for the assistance they have lent.
I have seen several Social Media posts about the amount of product in our food and grocery stores. As we move through these unprecedented times these businesses are doing their best to keep up with your needs. Unfortunately, as the disease spreads it affects more and more people all along the supply chain. That in turn lessens the number of workers who prepare and package the product. There are also fewer warehouse workers to store and load the product for distribution. Likewise, there end up being less drivers to deliver the product to our local stores. I have been in frequent contact with the management of these stores. They assure me that they have sufficient staff to get the product out for purchase when the receive it, and do so as expeditiously as possible. There are often times where they have sufficient amounts of certain products, but very little of something else. With the next delivery it may reverse. Luckily, I have not heard of anyone going without food in town. If anyone is unable to get basic sustenance for survival, please contact the town and we will do our best to assist you.
As our normal celebration of the holidays Holi, Passover, Easter and Ramadan, have been altered this year, I hope that our focus can be on what these Holy Days represent and the goodness that resides in each one of us and in others. My actions and efforts have been for you, your families and the health and safety of our community. I would also like to ask you to join me in praying and showing appreciation for all of the nurses, doctors, first responders, food establishment and grocery workers and every other essential person in our community who is doing their very best to help get each of us through this crisis and back to normal as soon as possible.
Mayor David Runfeldt