Communication on the Resolution Declaring a Disaster Emergency
Good morning, all. We hope that you and your families are well. Last evening, the Nether Providence Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring a disaster emergency related to the novel coronavirus and the disease, COVID-19. We wanted to take a minute to explain what that means and why we passed the resolution. We think it important that residents understand the logical bases for the declaration and not take it as another reason to feel stress.
Stated simply, the declaration frees your local government to act more quickly to spend money, sign contracts, and hold meetings without some of the notice, advertising and approval processes that otherwise govern our work. And we hope that by doing so, we can act decisively to continue essential government functions and serve and assist residents. The declaration makes sense as we prepare for some uncertainty.
In addition to the declaration of emergency, tonight the township took the first steps to establish a committee to help educate residents and to coordinate the virus-related precautions and work of our volunteer fire fighters, police, administration, and public works department. First Ward Commissioner, Max Cooper, will lead that effort (Max is an emergency room physician and is one of the leaders of the emergency medicine residency program at Crozer-Chester). We will keep you updated of any changes in local government routine with posts on the township’s website.
The township’s advice to residents is what most of you know by heart and what you’ve already heard. The best way to avoid the virus and, more important, to not aid its spread, is to keep social distance (6 feet) from others when possible, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, don’t touch your face, and use common sense. If you feel sick or have a fever, stay home and isolate yourself. The vast majority of people who contract the virus will have mild symptoms. But that doesn’t mean that reasonable concern and precautions are hysteria or can be ignored. Those simple precautions aren’t for you. Or they aren’t mostly for you. They are for the community. And they are very important.
Slowing the pace of infection affords hospitals and doctors a longer time to treat the same number of or fewer patients and it allows them to devote the best resources to those affected. Many of us have read about that goal – flattening the epidemic curve. In contrast, a quick spread of the virus, aided by unnecessary social contact, could result in a quicker spike of infections that tax or overwhelm our healthcare system. That leads to poorer treatment for that small percentage unlucky enough to fall seriously ill, a higher mortality rate, and causes yet more spread. That is the unfortunate situation in Italy.
Please feel free to call or email us or the Township with questions about Township services during the emergency declaration. Before you ask, no, we can’t help get access to tests. There simply aren’t remotely enough tests available right now. Please do not go to the Township Administration building to ask questions in person. Let’s all use our phones and act in the best interests of others.
If you think you may be ill with Coronavirus, call the Pennsylvania Department of Health hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) and your primary care provider for further advice. Please reserve emergency department visits related to suspected COVID-19 for more severe illnesses such as difficulty breathing, inability to eat or drink normally, or if you think you are unable to care for yourself in some other manner. If you are unsure if you should go to the emergency department you are always welcome to call ahead and ask. If you plan on coming to Crozer-Chesters Emergency Department because you are concerned you have been infected with COVID-19 please call ahead. Crozer-Chesters Emergency Department can be contacted at (610) 447-2188
For more information on the novel corona virus and how to protect your family and the community, visit the CDC’s website LINK TO CDC Website We’ll keep you posted of all local efforts.
The Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners