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The Cumberland County Freeholder Board is taking immediate action to protect County residents from the spread of Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. In the first of what is likely to be a series of steps to reduce the potential spread of the illness, Freeholder Director Joseph Derella indicated that the Cumberland County Library would be closed to the public beginning Tuesday March 17th. “Our County library is an important source of educational, social and cultural support for so many of our residents, but, at this point, we are focusing on the social distancing necessary to halt the spread of this virus”, stated Derella.

Director Derella also indicated that the County’s schools would be closing effective March 17, 2020 stating, “After consultation between the superintendents of our county’s school districts and the Cumberland County Superintendent of Education, a decision has been made to close the County’s public schools effective March 17 until the end of their respective spring breaks in mid-April”. Director Derella went on to state that, “It is anticipated that the Governor will issue a statewide order concerning the closure of public schools throughout the state in the next few days that may supersede local decisions.”

Although Cumberland County does not yet have a confirmed case of Coronavirus, cases have been reported throughout New Jersey, with higher concentrations in the suburban counties surrounding New York City. Director Derella stated, “We are in daily contact with officials from the New Jersey Department of Health, the Governor’s Office and public health officials throughout the state as we implement procedures to prepare to support those affected by the illness and minimize its spread.”

“As our state government has taken a number of steps over the last few days to reduce the need for our residents to physically interact with state government and the court system, Cumberland County will also be implementing procedures to reduce physical interaction between the public and County employees”, stated Derella. “The great team working to protect us that includes our local public health officials, first responders, county employees, municipal officials and our local network of healthcare providers, has been working non-stop to minimize the risk to our residents”, declared Derella. Director Derella concluded by stating, “Public health experts have made it very clear that this is an illness which possesses great risk to the elderly and those with certain serious underlying health conditions, but we can minimize its impact and the risk of disease spread by diligently adhering to a few basic common sense practices: frequent and thorough hand washing, social distancing and social isolation if you exhibit symptoms of the illness”, concluded Derella.