MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Infrared thermometers are now available to requesting community organizations and faith-based groups for use at group gatherings that follow state social distancing and face covering guidelines, according to the Morris County Freeholders.
County government will make 300 infrared thermometers available at no cost to community and faith-based groups that generally have gatherings that attract more than 20 persons, to better ensure overall public wellness.
The freeholders, at the request of the Morris Communities Panel of the Morris County Recovery Task Force, have approved spending $32,100 to purchase the infrared devices.
Infrared thermometers will be available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis – one per organization. Interested groups must fill out a required from to apply for thermometers online.
“Community groups clearly play an important role in our county’s overall public health response to COVID-19,” said Freeholder John Krickus, who chairs the Recovery Task Force. “Many community organizations work with at-risk and vulnerable populations, including homeless, disabled, elderly, indigent, and medically fragile individuals, who gather at their facilities for programs and services.”
Faith-based organizations and community groups assist public health with:
Public health education and information campaigns/communications;
Improving public health access to at-risk persons, especially by building trust between those persons and public health officials;
Linking residents to needed support, programs and social services.
“The concepts proposed by leaders from across Morris County were quite remarkable,” said Freeholder Tayfun Selen. “We are fortunate to have such terrific community partners on our Recovery Task force.”
The Board of Freeholders, Morris County Office of Health Management and local health departments partner with and rely on community groups for educational and screening programs.
These community groups and faith-based organizations host soup kitchens, food pantries, warming and cooling centers, mental health and addictions programs, among others services that would draw group gatherings.
They also are part of the county’s public emergency response team, and will be important partners in future distribution of mass immunization or distribution of antivirals for COVID-19.
The Morris County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force was formed by the freeholders in April to prepare Morris County to reopen in the most effective manner, both in terms of protecting residents’ health, while renewing business, social, educational, and religious activities.
Leaders from government, health, education, labor, social services, recreation, arts and tourism, and others have participated in Task Force deliberations to gather information, share ideas and develop strategies for a post-COVD-19 world in Morris County, in conjunction with state and federal government health and safety guidelines.
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This article originally appeared on the Long Valley Patch