Statement from the Hopewell Township Committee on COVID-19
We are in the midst of unprecedented times and all are facing new challenges in unexpected aspects of our lives. Conditions are changing rapidly, but we as a Township Committee want to assure you that the Township is hard at work behind the scenes responding to this public health emergency and making sure that your local government continues to function and provide essential services.
Our health officer, Stephanie Carey, is working around the clock to direct our response to this public health emergency. She is responsible for implementing any directives that come from the state and tracking coronavirus cases throughout the Hopewell Valley.
As of March 25, we have 11 reported cases of coronavirus in the Township. We send our best wishes to all who are affected and their families. We will continue to provide periodic updates to our community as these numbers, along with any other new information relevant to the spread of the virus.
Our police remain on the job coordinating emergency responses. We thank all of our first responders for the work they are doing, as well as all of the health care workers in our community for serving on the front lines of this fight.
As for Township operations, under the leadership of Township Administrator and CFO Elaine Borges and with the unanimous agreement of the Hopewell Township Committee, we’ve made some temporary changes. We’ve established work-at-home policies wherever possible, established social distancing in the workplace, limited access to the Township Building, and staggered schedules for Public Works crews. All of this is done so the work of the Township can continue while minimizing risks to employees. We’ll reevaluate the plan as necessary.
As for the Township Committee, we will have online video meetings in the near future instead of in-person meetings. We’ll send out more information about these meetings shortly, including how the public can participate. We will follow state guidance and our Township Attorney’s advice in running the meetings to ensure these meetings remain fully open to the public.
Mayor Kristin McLaughlin has had frequent calls with the Governor’s office as well as the Mercer County Executive and his team. She joined a conference call with Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez and 100 New Jersey mayors to negotiate the stimulus bill under consideration, and was on a call with White House officials as well. Kristin has also been in contact with Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman’s office. We know it’s important that Hopewell Township’s voice be heard at all levels of government.
Please stay informed. Visit the Hopewell Township website, www.hopewelltwp.org, for information and look for more frequent updates on the Township’s Facebook and Instagram pages. We post information as soon as it is available. On March 24, for example, we posted a link to a website that the state has created specifically for business concerns https://faq.business.nj.gov. We encourage you to check back regularly.
You can also sign up for Swift911 on the Township’s website, which we’ll use if there is an urgent message to send to residents. The Township also provides information to local news sources like the Hopewell Valley News, Hopewell Express and MercerMe.
If you have questions about coronavirus, go to the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 page at https://covid19.nj.gov or the Centers for Disease and Prevention at https://cdc.gov. You can also call 211, or 1-800-962-1253. Or you can text NJCOVID to 898-211 or text your zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance.
This is a tough time for all of us. But in the midst of the challenges, there is hope. People are finding new and creative ways to maintain connections despite social distancing. Teachers are performing heroically and are keeping our children engaged in learning. Neighbors and local businesses are stepping up to help people in need. One day, life will return to normal.
Until then, please follow the Governor’s stay at home order, support our local businesses, and keep an eye out for your neighbor. Together, we can flatten the curve and get through this difficult time. Stay safe, Hopewell Township.
Mayor Kristin McLaughlin
Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger
Committee Member Kevin Kuchinski
Committee Member Julie Blake
Committee Member Courtney Peters-Manning