Allentown events cancelled; URFSD schools closed March 12


ALLENTOWN – Mayor Thomas Fritts has announced that two events scheduled to be held during March in Allentown have been cancelled in the face of the ongoing coronavirus illness that has spread to parts of New Jersey.

In a notice to Allentown residents, Fritts wrote, “As mayor, my primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of our community and take every precaution necessary.

“After careful consideration and consultation with our emergency management official and chief of police, and a review of local, county and state advisories, I have decided to cancel the senior wellness event scheduled for March 18 and the spring social scheduled for March 30.

“These decisions never come easy, but we must consider what is in the best interest of our seniors who are most at risk. We will be monitoring every report closely and will continue to push out the appropriate messages to keep all residents informed.

“We are also working with our neighboring municipalities and the Upper Freehold Regional School District to maintain a high level of communication and preparedness. On behalf of the governing body, we appreciate your understanding,” Fritts wrote.

In related news, Upper Freehold Regional School District Superintendent of Schools Mark Guterl informed the community on March 11 that schools would be closed on March 12 after district administrators were informed on March 11 “that a district staff member has come in to close contact with a person who possessed symptoms of the coronavirus.”

“That person was tested and is awaiting results. The good news is that our staff member has not exhibited any symptoms and is feeling fine. We have been in contact with the Monmouth County Department of Health and our executive county superintendent to discuss this situation,” Guterl wrote in a letter to the community.

“As a precautionary measure, we are closing all schools (on March 12). In talking with our Department of Health, they believed we would still be able to open, but we felt we would rather make sure our buildings are deeply cleaned and scrubbed before our students return.

“In our conversations, it was clear a person who is not symptomatic is not spreading the virus, so we feel fortunate to be able to give the buildings a deep cleaning just to be sure. We are closing schools out of an abundance of caution in an effort to ensure our students and staff are safe,” the superintendent wrote.

The day off from school will count as one of three snow days that were embedded into the school district’s calendar.