Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin on Saturday called his town “ground zero” for the spread of coronavirus and insisted residents self-quarantine immediately, as 18 of them tested positive – that’s about 60% of Bergen County’s 31 confirmed cases. Bergen County’s population is 40,600.
There are 69 cases of the virus in the state of New Jersey as of Saturday. Governor Phil Murphy tweeted Saturday night: “Sad to announce our second death of an individual with COVID19 – a female in her 50s who was being treated at Centra State Medical Center in Monmouth County.”
The governor added: “Please wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing. We will get through this together.”
“There are people that don’t understand that this is something we haven’t seen since World War II,” Mayor Hameeduddin said. “We don’t have enough test kits, every day more and more people will be getting sick.”
Hameeduddin said a quarantine for his entire town is the best way to stop the virus from spreading, and urged residents to only leave home if they “absolutely have to.”
“We need everyone to understand that they can infect someone or someone can infect you,” the mayor said.
Teaneck Deputy Mayor Elie Katz told CNN on Saturday: “We don’t know how it happened. Teaneck has been at the forefront from the beginning. We were one of the first to close our municipal buildings and close our schools.”
Last week, The Jewish Press Online broke the news that following an emergency meeting of the Jewish leadership of Bergen County and shul presidents with health officials, the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, New Jersey (RCBC) announced that it is forbidden to pray with a minyan (quorum), all Orthodox shuls are to be closed, all public celebrations are to be canceled, do not eat in restaurants (take-away is OK), funeral are limited to small group of family to form a temporary minyan, and additional restrictions apply. Mikvaot are open, but women in quarantine or are ill may not use them.