As we navigate through these unprecedented and unpredictable times, Robbinsville Township is doing everything possible to anticipate and meet the needs of our residents. Furthermore, we have a wealth of volunteers at the ready to help.

Township government is functioning very well despite closing its physical doors to the public on March 16. We continue to provide basic services via drop boxes/bins, telecommunications and online tools. All things considered, we are positioned very well to handle the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis and rest-assured you have the finest municipal team in Mercer County on the job. My staff cares deeply about your safety, well-being and needs. Email us at mayor@robbinsville.net and we will try to help with whatever need you have as quickly as we possibly can.

We also want people out there exercising—walking, biking, hiking and fishing etc. However, we must reiterate the importance of speaking to your children about proper social distancing. We have received several discouraging reports of our young people outside engaging in various recreational and social activities while not conforming to the new guidelines. Please reinforce these new social interaction rules with your children and abide by Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order issued March 22.

I absolutely understand the unprecedented stress and frustration these events have caused.

We knew our first positive COVID-19 test was on the horizon and, sure enough, it came on March 20. That was a really tough day. It also was very difficult when we learned a doctor at Mercer Bucks Cardiology, located at 1 Union Street, and a resident of Burlington County, tested positive and saw in upward of 20 patients on March 3. Thankfully, all of those patients either tested negative, or did not exhibit symptoms during the 14-day benchmark for exposure. The doctor has been recovering very well at home and should be cleared to resume his normal activities, if he had not already done so as of the publishing of this column.

There were certain legal and ethical restrictions that prohibited us from the widespread notification of the public regarding our first positive test locally, but as soon as we received the green light we did our best to inform and be transparent.

That leads into my next thought. Be kind to your neighbors. Try to take a moment before answering anyone you disagree with—either in person, or online.

Many of us are nervous and scared. Lashing out against those sharing a different opinion than yours is neither productive, nor healthy for anyone.

Continue to remember our local businesses. Many of them donated to your charity or Little League organizations. Now, it is time to pay it forward to them.

As more wide-spread testing begins over the coming weeks, the number of positive cases will increase. This does not mean COVID-19 is spreading faster. What it means is more people are being tested.

There will be more stressful days ahead. Everyone’s way of life has changed. But we will get through this. Keep the good deeds flowing and the attitudes positive. I have plenty of magnets to hand out. Continue to check on the most vulnerable in our community and continue to practice healthy hygiene habits.

This too shall pass. Thank you for your support and continued advocacy as we work through these daunting challenges together. We will get through this.

I am with you. Your council is with you. Your township is with you.