Manchester Township residents can rest assured that their municipal government officials have been preparing for any potential impact caused by COVID-19, should the virus affect our area. Manchester Township officials, in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety and Office of Emergency Management, are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are heeding all guidance from the Federal Government, State of New Jersey, and Ocean County Government.
To ensure all municipal employees and residents visiting our buildings are protected, and to create plans so that no municipal services are interrupted, department heads recently met with Mayor Kenneth T. Palmer, Business Administrator Donna Markulic, and Police Department Capt. Todd Malland to formulate COVID-19 response plans.
We recognize that residents regularly visit municipal buildings, whether paying taxes or completing paperwork with the Municipal Clerk’s Office at Town Hall, attending court sessions, or interacting with police officers or the Records window. Public Works has implemented additional anti-viral cleaning measures to all municipal buildings to compliment their already thorough maintenance schedule. We have strategically placed multiple hand sanitizer stations throughout our buildings for our employees and residents and are actively wiping surfaces with medical grade cleaning supplies. For our vehicles, we have purchased two disinfecting lanterns that will eliminate 99.9 percent of all germs within a small radius and are asking important screening questions to our Recreation participants and Senior Service clients. With the implementation of our EMS, providing a safe means of transportation for our residents in medical need is critically important.
“Based on all the available information, the next 30 to 45 days is critical in curtailing the spread of the virus. During this period, our goal is to ensure that Manchester Township is able to provide all of its services to our residents,” said Mayor Palmer. “By utilizing the mail, making a phone call or sending an email, over the next 30 to 45 days we are trying to limit the foot traffic through town hall.” Please visit Manchester Township’s website: www.ManchesterTwp.com.
For example, tax, water/sewer payments; business licenses and registration applications; reoccupancy inspection requests; and construction permit payments may be made online through Manchester Township’s website: www.ManchesterTwp.com. Police accident reports can be accessed through www.crashdocs.org. Additionally, residents are invited to call Town Hall at 732-657-8121 with any questions about our services and what can be completed remotely before making a trip.
“Obviously, we want to avoid contracting the virus,” said Mayor Palmer. “However, in the event one or more of our employees does contract the virus and we need to close town hall to the public, we have developed a telecommuting plan for most of our employees to continue our operations and ensure we can serve you.”
In addition to checking Manchester Township’s municipal and police websites (www.ManchesterTwp.com and www.ManchesterPoliceNJ.com) for information, residents are also advised to sign up and/or follow the below services:
• Nixle text message alerts: Text “08759” to 888777
• Manchester Township Facebook page: facebook.com/ManchesterNJ
• Manchester Police Facebook page: facebook.com/ManchesterPolice
• NJ Dept. of Health Facebook page: facebook.com/NJDeptofHealth
• State of NJ Facebook page: facebook.com/NJGov
• World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
• CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Residents are reminded to follow some simple precautions to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19:
• Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, for at least 20 seconds.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands.
• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Stay home if you are sick and avoid sick people.
• Clean and disinfect regularly.
• Avoid touching your face especially the eyes, nose and mouth.
• Review and follow CDC travel advisories when planning travel. If you become ill after returning home to the United States, call your healthcare provider before going to a doctor’s office or emergency department of a hospital. They may want to place a mask on you before you enter the building to protect other people.
• Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected. The Ocean County Health Department is offering FREE flu shots.
• Coronavirus questions are being handled by the health experts at the New Jersey Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Ocean County Health Department COVID-19 Answer Line is 732-341-9700, Ext. 7411.
“The health and wellbeing of our Manchester Township residents and employees is always our top priority, and this is especially true as we monitor the COVID-19 situation. We urge all residents to stay informed through trustworthy information sources, to take simple but effective health precautions, and to check on their loved ones and neighbors. Before we know it, this too shall pass,” said Mayor Palmer.