Orange mayor closes City Hall due to coronavirus outbreak

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ORANGE, NJ — Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren’s reaction to the coronavirus epidemic was swift. In an effort to protect residents and city employees, he closed City Hall on March 13 in a proactive effort to perform an extensive cleaning throughout the building. 

According to a statement from Orange, the city has been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation. The mayor is managing the issue with local, state and federal health officials, and he is urging residents to practice common sense measures, such as washing hands and knowing what to do if someone gets sick.

Warren said that, as of March 16, there are currently no reported cases in Orange, but extra precautions need to be taken anyway. 

“Coronavirus has hit,” the mayor said to the Record-Transcript via phone interview on March 12. “The disease is sweeping our nation, and the local Health Department has recommended for them to clean. Currently, we have not gotten any case in Orange. We urge our residents to practice common sense and to take extra precautions to prevent the virus.”

“This is a proactive effort by the mayor and the administration who will perform a deep cleaning,” said Orange Business Administrator Chris Hartwyk to the Record-Transcript via phone interview on March 12. “This is part of an effort being undertaken across the country to contain the virus. We’re cleaning everywhere: hallway rugs, carpets, floors, surfaces such as doors, door handles, desktops, ceilings, walls, chairs and every surface. This is a proactive measure.”

“In light of the outbreak of the coronavirus, Mayor Warren has advised all city departments to take preventative cleaning measures so as to avoid any contact with the disease,” Police Director Todd Warren said in a quote sent to the Record-Transcript on March 13. “The Orange Police Department has undergone a disinfectant cleaning at headquarters and in the prison area. Additionally, we have cleaned the interior of the cars and other places people touch. On patrols and in contact with the public, officers are following the guidelines established by the (Centers for Disease Control) and the state and local health departments. We urge all to be careful and seek medical attention immediately, if you feel you may be infected.”

“Community and faith-based organizations should review existing emergency operations plans, including strategies for social distancing and modifying large gatherings,” said the mayor in a press release. “Community-based organizations should take steps to protect both the clients they serve and their employees.”

Other guidelines include older people taking special precautions to protect themselves, businesses and employers encouraging all employees to stay home when sick, helping to reduce the spread of falsified rumors and asking that all residents check on each other, especially senior citizens and anyone else with a chronic health condition.

Photos Courtesy of Dwayne Warren