Message from the Mayor, September 3, 2020

August totals show coronavirus
is controlled, but not defeated

Congratulations Chatham Township! We made it through the entire month of August with only six new positive test results for Covid-19 and without a single new death related to the novel coronavirus.
As of September 3, the Township's coronavirus totals since the start of the pandemic stood at 167 confirmed cases and 33 deaths. Township residents have not suffered a single Covid-related death since June 24.
Our regional health officer reports that the number of active cases in the Township as of Sept. 3 stood at only six. And Morristown Medical Center reported this week that only two Covid-19 patients from their entire service area are currently being treated in the hospital.
But the battle against the novel coronavirus is not won. Morristown Medical Center is preparing for a possible surge in Covid-19 cases this fall, according to Trish O'Keefe, vice-president of Atlantic Health System and president of Morristown Medical Center. She urged all residents to get their flu shots soon.
Similarly, Regional Health Officer Michael Fitzpatrick warned that Covid-19 infection rates could be expected to increase as more people are tested, and as local businesses continue to re-open. Gov. Phil Murphy this week approved limited indoor dining at restaurants and limited reopening of fitness centers and health clubs.
Chatham Township will host free Covid-19 testing for all area residents from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, in the Municipal Building gym at 58 Meyersville Road. The event will offer both nasal swabs and antibody testing at no charge. Advance registration is required, visit the Township website or facebook page to make a reservation.
The success in fighting this pandemic is no accident. It is the result of Township residents conscientiously following guidelines for wearing face masks in public, maintaining social distancing, washing hands frequently, and staying home when feeling ill. Continuing to follow these common sense guidelines.
All of the big holiday weekends this summer – Memorial Day and Independence Day – have been followed by an increase in the number of positive test results. If you celebrate Labor Day this weekend with a family gathering, neighborhood barbeque, or a trip to the Jersey Shore, remember to wear a mask and maintain social distancing – not just to protect yourself but to protect those with underlying health issues who are more vulnerable.

We have not yet defeated the coronavirus pandemic, but the lack of new infections shows that we in Chatham Township are doing are part toward that goal. We can't let down our guard and undo all of the good we have accomplished.
Please be careful, exercise good judgment and stay safe.

Michael Kelly
Chatham Township Mayor