The number of Lawrence Township residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 climbed to 15 people as of April 1, according to municipal officials.
Public health investigations are under way and individuals who may have been in contact with the affected residents are being notified, municipal officials said.
The 15 Lawrence Township residents who have tested positive are among the 333 Mercer County residents who had been diagnosed with the disease as of April 1. Three county residents were reported to have died from the disease as of April 1.
Mercer County officials have opened an appointment-only, drive-up testing center in the parking lot at the Quaker Bridge Mall for county residents who have a physician’s prescription to be tested.
In a recent letter to residents, Mayor Jim Kownacki reminded them that COVID-19 “is presenting us with a public health crisis that is unlike any we have encountered in many, many years.
“It requires each and every one of us to take all preventative measures we can to limit the spread of the virus,” Kownacki wrote.
Municipal officials have joined neighboring municipalities in closing municipal buildings to the public in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Public access to the municipal building initially was limited to Monday through Wednesday, but officials have now closed the building to the public until further notice.
A drop box has been placed at the north entrance of the municipal building so residents may drop off items. Envelopes that are placed in the box should be addressed to the person or the department for which they are intended. Residents may also call or email the person or department they wish to reach.
Activities at the Lawrence Senior Center and the Mercer County Nutrition Program for senior citizens have been suspended until further notice.
The township’s parks remain open, but the playgrounds have been cordoned off and no one is permitted to play on the equipment. Signs have been posted on the basketball courts which state that no more than two people may gather on a court.
The walking trails and paths are open in the parks, but residents are advised to keep a distance of 6 feet between themselves and others who are using the trails and paths.
Those recommendations are in line with Kownacki’s letter last month, in which he urged residents to stay away from large crowds and to keep a safe distance from other people.
“If we all take these precautions, we can mitigate risk and slow the spread of the virus. This is a time for our community to be at our best and I am confident we will be,” Kownacki wrote.