Mayor: Stay In Your Homes If You Can

MANCHESTER – Manchester Mayor Kenneth Palmer issued a “strong suggestion” to all residents to stay in their homes unless traveling is absolutely necessary for work, medical appointments, prescriptions, food, and other emergencies.

This is in response to the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that is spreading through the world and started showing up in Ocean County. There are currently eight known cases of COVID-19 in this county.

The virus is most dangerous to those of weakened health, the very young or senior citizens.

“Our senior population is very susceptible to the COVID-19 virus and therefore we urge all senior communities to cancel large gatherings, and close clubhouses, community centers, gyms, libraries, recreation centers, parks and meeting places,” he said. “We urge our senior community leaders and association presidents to discourage large gatherings of people or events which might attract large gatherings.”

The mayor said that if you have to go out, keep your distance from others, avoid large groups and practice good hygiene (wash hands frequently, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing).

The Ocean County Health Department and local schools have been putting out messages to residents and parents about what to do and what not to do. Most of the bullet points are the same. They are summed up here: 

  • Wash hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Keep your children home when they are sick. Children should not return to school unless they have been fever-free without medication for 24 hours.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect regularly.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Encourage a “do not share” rule: food, drink, lip balm, pencils, etc.
  • Have a 30-day supply of non-perishables, medicine, and medical needs like oxygen.
  • Call a doctor if you feel like you’re developing symptoms.
  • Stay in touch with family and loved ones

Information On COVID-19

COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease, and 19 stands for 2019, the year it was diagnosed.

Health officials have been using the term “flattening the curve.” This means trying to prevent the build-up of cases to the point where hospitals won’t be able to handle them all. Getting a few new cases in a given area every day is more manageable.

The difference between a “presumptive case” and an official case is designated by the Centers for Disease Control. Basically, someone can test positive for the disease locally, but will only be considered a “presumptive” case until the CDC tests them.

For more information and statistics pertaining to COVID-19, visit The OCHD is providing COVID Information Call Line for residents and clinicians to answer questions regarding the coronavirus. The number is 732-341-9700 ext. 7411.

You can also call the NJDOH hotline available around the clock for questions at 1-800-222-1222.

Additional information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at or the New Jersey Department of Health website at