Woodbridge DPW worker dies from coronavirus

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Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac addressed residents with the following message on April 3:

“We will begin today’s report with the sad announcement that one of our Public Works employees, a 48-year-old male who did not live in town, passed away yesterday [April 2] from the coronavirus. His last day of work was March 10 and once we found out about his illness his work crew was quarantined for 14 days and they recently returned to work and none of them have shown symptoms. His assignment was on the pothole repair crew so he did not typically have direct interaction with members of the public. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

“We have also lost a 48-year-old male from Colonia who leaves behind a wife and three school-aged children. This young man was an educator known not only throughout our township but also in the town where he was an amazingly popular school principal. Please also keep and his wife and kids in your daily thoughts and prayers.

“There has been a large increase in the number of places where people can go to be tested which includes many doctor’s offices, local labs, the new county site and the two major state sites. As a result, the township has seen a major surge in the number of reported cases of COVID-19 from 131 to 194, an increase of 63 cases. This new list included a 19 year old, six people in their 20s, three in their 70s and two in their 80s. Everyone else was between 30 and 69. The cases are split roughly evenly by gender and there continues to be no obvious clustering in any particular section of town.

“Everyone said this was going to get worse before it got better and they sure got that right.

“When we learn of a case our Health Department contacts the person and attempts to learn more information about them including whether or not they were hospitalized but we have not reached enough people on this new list to draw any new conclusions.

“We have had many people diagnosed from early to mid-March tell us that they are symptom free which is great news.

“There is one Middlesex County sponsored testing site at the Motor Vehicle Inspection Center at 33 Kilmer Ave. in Edison. Contact 732-745-3100 by phone or www.middlesexcountynj.gov/covid19testing by the Internet to learn the times and other details about the testing site. As noted we are getting more and more test results from private labs and from doctor offices so if you have symptoms of a fever and cough and aches please consult with your medical professional because your chances of getting tested are improving.

“All the experts agree that social distancing works to prevent the spread of the virus so please maintain a six foot distance between yourself and others at all times. Please remember to wash your hands frequently and to cough or sneeze into your sleeve and keep your hands away from your eyes and face.

“Please remember to stay home whenever possible as all non-essential travel has been banned. Please remember that wipes and gloves and other hygiene products should be discarded in the regular trash and not on the ground or in the sanitary sewer system.

“We must continue to be diligent in checking on those at risk including the elderly, those who are ill and those who live alone so please do so whenever possible.

“Our township website has a lot of information about the coronavirus and how it impacts you at www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us. It also has a list of open pharmacies and food stores and a list of restaurants open for takeout and delivery.

“Our TV35 cable television access station has terrific programming to keep you informed and entertained and we can even help keep you in shape with the SeniorCize exercise classes which are good for all ages.

“Our township library website at www.woodbridgelibrary.org gives you access to thousands of books, magazines, movies and all other items to keep you busy.

“Our Facebook pages and our website also show amazing art work by our children who have been painting, drawing and coloring when they are done with their online school work. Check it out and keep sending in pictures to [email protected]. When you color your Easter eggs next week send us pictures of that also.

“Another reminder that the sewer user fee grace period has been extended from April 10 to May 15.

“April is Autism Awareness Month and of course wearing blue is recommended since their slogan is “Light It Up Blue.” Woodbridge is a terrific town and we are very welcoming to those with autism and other special needs. …

“Thank you and please be safe.”