Township OEM message: ‘Help each other’

West Milford. Police and Office of Emergency Management officials want the public to be safe and help each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations sent out several alerts over the weekend to emphasize personal care and ease some fears.

16 Mar 2020 | 01:46

“Help each other” is the main message the town’s emergency officials want residents to know.

In a series of alerts by the township’s Office of Emergency Management and police, officials set out a number of ways residents can reduce their personal risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, established procedures for people to use when interacting with township employees, and tried to ease fears about the supply of food and other items during the crisis.

“It is important for everyone to understand there is no food shortage, one of the alerts said. “There is no reason to buy more toilet paper or groceries than you need.”

The advisory went on to say that people in the high risk category, over age 60 or with underlying health problems, should prepare to have two weeks supply of food if they have no way of getting to the store.

On social media, several individuals offered help to get supplies to those in need.

“Stay safe, stay healthy and help each other,” the alert said. “Together we will get through this.”

The alerts also asked residents that are interacting with emergency workers or township employees to call ahead and let them know if you are under either a self-imposed or mandatory quarantine so they know what to expect when they show up at a home for township business or an emergency situation.

“Please notify 911 when you call and advise the dispatcher. We also ask that you place a sign/note on your front door to alert our personnel to take infection-prevention precautions before entering your home or business,” the alert said. “Officers will be asking questions before they enter your home. Please respect this procedure and recognize that it also protects you and your family. Please keep Social Distance from our Officers when you interact from them.”

According to the alert, other police departments have had members quarantined after responding to a home unaware that the residents were exposed or infected with the virus.

That caused the agencies to lose staff for 14 days while they were placed under a quarantine themselves.

The alert recommends people continue to follow CDC guidelines to avert the spread of the virus.

Those measures include:

* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

* Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

* Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm not your hand..

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

* Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection.

* Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water, especially if your hands are visibly dirty.

Mayor Michele Dale issued a proclamation Monday declaring a State of Emergency for the township.

District schools closed at least for the rest of the month as of Monday.