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Posted Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

The Morris County Freeholders today reported that the rate of COVID-19 cases in the county continued on a flat curve through the summer and into September.

The data, presented at a regular freeholder meeting, continued to demonstrate a 95 percent reduction in cases since a devastating high in April, despite data showing a slight uptick in the number of weekly cases attributed to some increased school activities. The freeholders said the county remains poised to assist the community should there be any resurgence of the virus.

Morris County COVID-19 Rate Remains Flat into the Fall

“Our ongoing communications and dialogue with human services-based agencies are continuing to identify any emerging needs,” said Freeholder Kathyrn DeFillippo, the board’s human services liaison.

Morris County COVID-19 Rate Remains Flat into the Fall

Freeholder Kathyrn DeFillippo

Morris County went from being one of New Jersey’s most seriously virus-impacted regions to having one of the lowest COVID-19 spread-rates due to a rigorous, organized response to the pandemic. Morris County authorities worked closely with local health officials and medical providers, boosted stockpiles of personal protection equipment, monitored the virus spread and opened a testing center.

Freeholder Tayfun Selen also noted the success of a county-funded program that has made infrared thermometers available to community organizations and faith-based groups for use at gatherings that follow state social distancing and face covering guidelines.

“To date, 140 of the thermometers have been requested and delivered to various organizations at no cost to them,” said Selen, who chairs the Morris Communities Panel of the Morris County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force.

Formed by the freeholders in April, the task force was designed to prepare Morris County to effectively renew business, social, educational, and religious activities while protecting residents’

Freeholder Tayfun Selen

Freeholder Tayfun Selen

health. The Communities Panel has been meeting with community and faith leaders to learn more about the needs and concerns of people throughout the county.

Early in the pandemic, Morris County directed aid to food pantries and bolstered health and human services resources as part of its community response. The county also retained additional public health staff, boosted its stockpile of personal protection equipment and launched a testing site, all without state aid.

Last month, Morris County secured more than $7 Million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funding, including $3,819,380 in reimbursement dollars for county expenses incurred as of June 30 which were not covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dollars, insurance or other funding.

An additional $357,500 is earmarked to continue testing operations until December and $2,915,033 to support the testing of vulnerable and priority populations moving forward.