Trenton N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora held a press conference today at 4:30 PM in the City Council Chamber to address concerns regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 in New Jersey. Interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Lee, and Emergency Management Coordinator, Fire Director Derrick Sawyer, also spoke to their pertinent areas of preparation.
Please see below for Mayor Gusciora’s statement from the event:
“I wanted to begin with the fact that there are no known cases of Coronavirus (or COVID-19) in the City of Trenton. That said, in light of Governor Phil Murphy’s Declaration of a State of Emergency yesterday, it is important that the City be prepared to meet any health emergency contingencies that may arise.
Since last month, under the direction of our Emergency Management Coordinator, Fire Director Derrick Sawyer, we have been preparing each of our Departments to be able to address concerns raised by the spread of the virus (if and when) it reaches our City.
In this regard, City Hall is preparing to meet the public demands to deliver essential services for our citizens and specifically in the areas of public safety (police and fire), health and human services for seniors, public works (including garbage pick-up), water utility, Inspections, court services, and other functions of government.
Likewise, under the direction of our schools’ Superintendent, Ron Lee, teachers and administrators are developing advanced lesson plans in the event our schools are closed. In this regard, our schools are closing Thursday and Friday, both to develop plans and to ensure that our buildings are continuing sanitation measures.
Trenton Housing Authority under the direction of Jelani Garrett, is also developing contingency plans to ensure any isolated instances of the virus are contained to buildings and residents directly impacted.
Each Department is developing a Continuity of Operations Plan, in the event of an outbreak, so that any non-essential functions at City Hall can be done remotely. And in this instance, our office of IT is ensuring that laptops are keyed into our City’s main data base. This, so that key essential personnel can maintain contact with their employees.
We are also, modeling a sick day bank that employees can tap into in the event that they become sick or symptomatic of the virus. If there is a positive test results for the virus, employees who take leave will not be penalized.
As long as the virus continues to spread to this area, we will continue to offer public assistance and keep the public health and wellbeing of our citizens a priority. Those concerned that they could be infected should be calling the NJ Department of Health at 1-800-222-1222. We are developing plans for how to handle those who need to stay home. We will to the best of our ability maintain providing essential services to our high-risk population. We are all Trentonians. We will work together to tackle this.
We will be gathering information from our area stakeholders, Trenton Public Schools, and the County and State governments constantly, and we will be providing updates to the public at 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM daily. These updates will be provided through social media and will be mirrored on the city website as more information becomes available.”
PRESS CONTACT: Connor S. Ilchert
Office: (609) 989-3047
Cell: (609) 575-1880