With the State of New Jersey now under a “Stay at Home” order from the governor, County Executive Dennis Levinson wants to assure residents that Atlantic County government is maintaining its operations to provide essential services during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
“We provide a safety net for the most vulnerable residents during good times and bad,” he said, “but that safety net has never been needed more than it is now. Our residents can remain confident that we will continue to provide meals on wheels, food stamps, unemployment assistance, long-term care, public works, veterans services, and more. Our doors may be shut, but we are still conducting business online and by phone.”
According to Levinson, county government closed most of its buildings and facilities to the public last week. Many offices have established secured drop boxes for submission of documents for those who cannot do so online.
“Our departments are making adjustments to their operations as per the governor’s order. Employees who can work from home are doing so. Essential employees are reporting to work but have been instructed to practice social distancing and safe hygiene to prevent the spread of germs,” he said.
Meadowview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the county jail were among the first to restrict visitors based upon guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, prohibiting public access as of March 12.
“We’ve encouraged families of loved ones to communicate by phone or social media, as is appropriate. It’s a tough situation for all, but communication can help allay some of the fears and concerns.”
“I’d also like to recognize one of our local businesses, Pinky’s Nail Salons, which donated 850 masks. As we all know, medical supplies are in demand and resources are limited so this is a tremendously timely gift,” said Levinson.
The county executive acknowledged the hardship this pandemic is having on local businesses and directed them to the Atlantic County Economic Alliance (www,aceanj.com) for assistance in finding programs and resources to help them stay afloat.
“The impact of COVID-19 goes beyond anything we could have imagined just a month or so ago. None of us knows how long it may endure, but county residents can count on Atlantic County to be there for them,” he said.