Posted Thursday, September 10th, 2020
As Precaution, Freeholders Prepare Morris County to Handle Potential Spikes, Second Wave
The Morris County Board of Freeholders provided a COVID-19 update showing the case rate has remained flat over the past few weeks and throughout the summer, even with a steady increase in business re-openings and general activity.
Data presented to the board by Freeholder John Krickus demonstrated not only a sharp reduction in virus rates for Morris County has held, but also that average human mobility in New Jersey increased, nearing pre-pandemic levels, as COVID-19 cases dropped statewide over the past few months.
“Anyone who looked at the traffic over the Labor Day weekend can tell you normal activity is returning,” said Freeholder Krickus. “The data clearly shows we were correct in May to urge a broader re-opening of businesses that suffered from the state shutdown. We now know we can safely open our economy while continuing to protect the health of our residents.”
The freeholders adopted Resolution 2020-345 on May 13 urging Governor Phil Murphy to reopen New Jersey, which was under an extensive shutdown at the time and is still operating under restrictions imposed by executive orders. The freeholders had echoed calls for a statewide reopening of the economy made by two other organizations at the time.
In May, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, state Sen. Anthony Bucco and others released a joint report, “It’s Time to Get Back to Business in Morris County,” that outlined a safe reopening plan for the Governor. https://morriscountynj.gov/2020/05/covid-19-morris-chamber-and-sen-bucco-release-business-recovery-report/
Simultaneously, Unlock New Jersey, an organization of business owners and public officials throughout North Jersey, presented its own plan for a speedier reopening of state businesses. http://www.unlocknewjersey.com/
Last month, Morris County released data showing a 95% drop in COVID-19 cases in the county since a devastating April peak and the launch of a highly successful county mobilization of local resources to combat the pandemic spread. Morris County’s rate of COVID-19 cases is now 40 percent lower than the state average due to cooperative efforts among local, county and state agencies and strengthening county public health and public safety resources.
At a freeholder meeting yesterday, a data chart was presented showing the sharp decline in daily cases, dipping into the low teens in mid-June and remaining there for the past three months. Freeholder Director Deborah Smith said the data is encouraging, but underscored the importance of continuing to recognize proper precautions as we move through the pandemic, even outdoors.
“If you are outdoors, but you’re not socially distancing by at least six feet apart, you still need to wear a mask. People think because you are outdoors, you do not need a mask if not socially distancing,” she explained.