The following communication comes to the residents of Jefferson Township from Mayor Eric Wilsusen:

While we all need to be concerned with the novel coronavirus or COVID 19, this is nothing to panic over. We have been through this before. I served as a Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator for our community for 27 years. H1N1, Avian flu, SARS, name one, quite honestly the only one that really concerned me was Ebola. With all of these outbreaks, we did very little of the precautions we are seeing today and had none of the unwarranted panic and hysteria we see with this virus. The mainstream media is certainly not helping, and forget about social media.

Our Administration,including our public health and OEM officials, have been monitoring all of the CREDIBLE advisories, been listening in on more conference calls then we need to with our State and County Health Officials. The solutions so far are fairly simple. Can this change… of course. What would you usually do during the flu season? You have heard it repeatedly. Properly wash your hands, disinfect hard surfaces, stay home if you are sick. All the new buzz words, social distancing, community spread are nothing new, again all things we should be doing during our flu season, especially during a bad flu season, this is not much different. This novel coronavirus appears to be mostly affecting our elderly population, so far, those mostly over 80, those immunocompromised, or anyone with underlying health conditions. These populations should most definitely social distance and avoid crowds and such.

So what should you do? First, only get your information from CREDIBLE sources, which include the CDC, Federal, State, County and Local Government. Those sources are posted on our Township webpage. If.you read or hear about something and it seems off the charts, question the source. Please don’t buy into all the hype and hysteria. Do we want to control the spread and mitigate this, absolutely. Not sure why we haven’t done so in the past with flu. With the flu season in full swing, the concern is that should the vulnerable population, as mentioned, become highly affected by COVID-19, it could have an impact on our health care system.

At this time, we are focusing on the most vulnerable population in our community, which is our seniors. At this time, we have canceled any senior gatherings and larger indoor Township events. We will look at future large gatherings and activities on a case by case basis. Private groups can do as they see fit.

In regards to our schools. We have met with Superintendent Jeanne Howe and other school officials. We continue to consult and recommend with school officials, but the call to close schools falls under the Superintendent. In our form of government, the local government has no direct control of our school system; this falls under the Board of Education. The recommendation so far is to close IF necessary to reduce the community spread. Currently, we have not seen any potential cases in our community. More information on school preparedness can be found at www.jefftwp.org.

Last, what can we expect? There will be more cases, and we will eventually see cases within our community. Most who contract COVID-19 will ride it out at home, some with those underlying conditions  will need medical attention and monitoring. If you have symptoms or know you have been in contact with someone potentially with COVID-19, it is recommended to call your health care professional first before going to an office, clinic, or hospital. Take this time to properly educate yourself, properly prepare do not panic prepare, prepare like you would for any emergency, natural disaster, severe storm, etc. Spend quality time with your family, reduce anxieties and, most importantly let’s help each other get through this. Check in on our seniors, in particular, offer to go food shopping, and as the weather gets warmer and nicer, get outside and enjoy the fresh air!

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