March 20 Letter from Mayor Lempert

March 20, 2020

Dear Princeton Community,

This has been another challenging and heartbreaking week. Your daily life has undoubtedly been upended by coronavirus, and you are likely making painful economic and personal sacrifices in the interest of public health. We know from the experience in other countries that staying at home and practicing social distancing will work. They are our best existing tools to slow the spread of this disease. “Flattening the curve” is necessary to give our first responders and medical care system the time they need to gear up to deal with the incoming volume of sick people, and to give our scientists the time, hopefully, to invent an effective treatment.

The next few weeks are going to put our patience to the test. Everyone should prepare themselves for what the experts tell us is going to happen: even though we are at home, washing our hands, keeping our distance, watching our favorite businesses close, losing our jobs, not going to school or work, and not visiting with friends, the number of cases in Princeton is going to go up. The number of cases is likely to go up exponentially during this time. This is for a number of reasons: 1) more testing kits and testing facilities are coming online. More tests will produce more confirmed cases; 2) coronavirus is extremely contagious and has been spreading in our community. Recent research from a team of scientists, including those at Princeton University, has shown that the virus can live in the air and on surfaces for hours; and 3) the virus can lay dormant for up to two weeks before making you sick. We should not expect to see any evidence of our collective sacrifice until after more than two weeks of staying at home and practicing social distancing. We must have faith that our efforts are working even when we will not immediately be seeing results.

While this pandemic is like nothing we’ve ever experienced as a country, like other challenges it has brought out the best in the Princeton community. I am especially thankful this week to our entire municipal team, our Health Department, led by Jeff Grosser; our Board of Health, led by George DiFerdinando; our first responder team, led by Chief Nicholas Sutter; the Princeton Public Library, especially the new Executive Director Jennifer Podolsky, Marketing and Communications Director Tim Quinn, and the entire team putting together the princetoncovid.org site; the front-line workers at our grocery and drug stores; and everyone who has stepped forward to help deliver food, run errands, and donate money and supplies. We are all in this together, and we will all pull through together.

March 18 Update

Princeton Covid-19 Daily Update with Mayor Liz Lempert

In Yesterday’s covid-19 update from governor Phil Murphy, the governor focused on the correlation between the spread of Covid-19 as it pertains to the number of hospital beds that would be available. Social distancing and isolation could mean big benefits when it comes to being able to treat the most severely ill amongst Covid-19 victims. We know the numbers will rise but what is even more important is that we know we can have an impact when it comes to keeping those numbers down. Another important factor in creating a successful social distancing effort is the support system for the infirmed and shut-in, non-ambulatory, elderly and families in crowded living conditions. Click this link to learn more about what is happening in Princeton to assist those who need it during this period of social distancing and isolation. https://www.princetonnj.gov/news/for-immediate-release-coronavirus-emergency-expense-fund We must remember that as more testing becomes available, The number of positive tests will also begin to rise exponentially. That is simply because more people can be infected and not be aware because they only show minor symptoms. And that is at the very root of what allows this virus to spread. Not giving this virus an opportunity to spread is our best defense to protect those among us who would not be able to survive being infected. So as the process of social distancing continues, why not pick up your phone or other device and talk to other people you know and share the ideas that you and your friends and family are still able to do to cope. Our social lives have certainly been modified, but there is still a way forward. Employment is also a huge issue. Businesses large and small are suffering tremendous losses as social distancing becomes the new normal. If you have questions regarding sick leave, unemployment, or other work related issues visit nj.gov/labor.

Posted by Princeton, NJ Government on Wednesday, 18 March 2020

 

March 17 Update

Covid-19 Daily Update with Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert

In our ongoing effort to keep people informed Mayor Lempert will be conducting a daily update on information regarding Covid-19. Today's update includes the most recent developments through last night. Please see the link for additional information. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1udNZnrcIDlqKH2c8X0zJGkGQMl3UlYtf/view?usp=sharingThere is also a Covid-19 call center. Call Center phone number: 1-800-222-1222. Available 24/7 in multiple languages. Additionally, PSE&G has suspended all shut-offs due to nonpayment.New Jersey residential customers experiencing financial difficulty as a result of issues related to the coronavirus should contact PSE&G by calling 1-800-357-2262 to enter into a deferred payment arrangement. This policy will be in place through the end of April. PSE&G will evaluate the continued need at that time.

Posted by Princeton, NJ Government on Tuesday, 17 March 2020