The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all our lives daily. To date, Sparta has been notified by the Sussex County Department of Health & Human Services that there are a total of five (5) people in Sparta that have tested positive for the virus. We expect this number to climb as the state's testing capacity increases.
I, along with Township staff, have been asked for more information about these individuals. The want to determine whether they know the the affected individuals and have been in contact with them recently. It is understandable and I recognize you are anxious about the situation as relates to you and your family. However, I want to remind everyone that there are laws in place that prohibit the disclosure of confidential health information. Per the Sussex County Department of Health & Human Services the five confirmed virus cases in Sparta include three (3) males and two (2) females ranging in age from 47 to 82.
The Sussex County Health & Human Services Department handles all health services for Sparta and all the other municipalities in the County. When a Sparta resident has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Mayor and Police Chief are notified. We are advised that County Health Director Jim McDonald and his staff undertake efforts to reach out to individuals who have been identified as having been in contact with the affected person. This is done in a timely manner.
I encourage everyone to continue the best practices of; social distancing (6 feet); frequent hand washing; disinfecting common surfaces; and avoiding non-essential travel. Remember, stay home/stay safe! Please remember to consult your personal physician if you exhibit any signs of illness.
Please be sure that the Township continues to remain in constant contact with our Federal, State, and County partners in an effort to help address the situation for health and safety of our residents.
-Sparta Mayor Jerard Murphy