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May 18, 2020 1:30 PM

Mayor Sokolich Reverse-911 Call re: COVID-19 Testing

Good Afternoon Fort Lee

Its Mayor Mark Sokolich. I hope you are all safe and healthy. I am calling you this afternoon to ask all Fort Lee residents to “Help Us, Help You” so please listen to this entire message.

First and foremost, Congratulations Fort Lee for doing your part to help stop the spread. As I have told you many times.....due to our density and close proximity to New York City there was the prospect, in fact some said the likelihood, that Fort Lee would have had potentially thousands of positive cases....as a result of your vigilance Fort Lee has 440 positive cases which is barely 1% of our population. DO NOT become complacent or think that “this is over”...it is not and I will certainly be in touch with you as we begin to reopen Fort Lee......please continue to practice hand washing, social distancing and wear a mask.....remember, the dirty trick about this virus is that you may be positive and show no symptoms, however if you do not wear a mask or stay home when possible or elect to not practice social distancing you could spread the virus to a family member, friends, your community and those that contract the virus from you may not react the same way you did....so please follow all of the guidelines if not for yourself then for your loved ones, your friends, your community.

Our paramount goal is to keep all Fort Lee residents safe and healthy...there is nothing more important than your well-being.

Fort Lee government, in conjunction with our OEM Coordinator, is planning on making available COVID-19 testing for all residents of the Borough of Fort Lee which is a huge challenge that we are prepared to meet. I repeat “all residents” whether you show symptoms or not and no prescription is required. We have made preliminary arrangements with a very reputable and certified testing lab and the goal is to test as many Fort Lee residents as possible. The test that will be administered is the nasal swab test and we plan on commencing the testing early next week. The doctors and technicians administering the test will remain in town for as long as it takes to accommodate all those who want to be tested. All medical insurance will be accepted and there will be no co-payment requirement. Again, all medical insurance will be accepted, no co-payment required of you and a prescription is not required in order to be tested. If you do not have health insurance and are unable to pay for the test please call the COVID-19 Hotline tomorrow, Wednesday during normal business hours, and my administration will make the necessary arrangements for you. The Hotline number is (201)592-3500 Extension 1700...again tomorrow please during regular business hours.

Here is where I really need you.............within the next 24 hours I need your response to an urgent poll!!!

There are many of us here in Fort Lee, about 40,000 or so and a borough-wide test is a huge challenge that we are prepared to meet.....however, it is important that we plan properly to ensure that we test all residents that want to be tested. I am reaching out to all of Fort Lee this afternoon to ask that any Fort Lee resident that wishes to be tested to determine whether or not you have contracted the COVID-19 virus is requested to promptly go to our website.....WWW.FORTLEENJ.ORG....and respond to the poll so that we may determine the demand and number of folks who will participate in this borough-wide testing initiative. This poll will close tomorrow at 5:00PM so please do not delay in responding. This test is open to all Fort Lee residents, whether you are symptomatic or not...again, you may be tested whether you are symptomatic or not!!!!
Any Fort Lee resident is eligible to be tested. An estimated head count will allow government to plan accordingly to ensure that the testing is complete, seamless and organized and avoid crowds and unnecessary time delay.

Again, please go to [http://www.fortleenj.org,/]WWW.FORTLEENJ.ORG, respond to the poll and let us know if you want to be tested and intend to participate. This will allow us to plan for this borough-wide initiative and will “help us, help you”. Its simple, go to WWW.FORTLEENJ.ORG and respond to the poll.

Once we have an estimated count as to the number of folks who want to be tested we will then let you know the time, place and all other necessary information that you will need in order to be tested....those details will follow...for now we need an idea of how many of you want to test. So stay tuned Fort Lee we will be back to you.....for now, please respond to the poll at WWW.FORTLEENJ.ORG by 5:00PM tomorrow and again....”Help Us, Help You” to conduct borough-wide COVID-19 testing. We need your help to make sure we do this in an organized and seamless way and to make sure everyone that wants to be tested is tested.

For your information, we previously tested our first responders, essential employees and other front-line volunteers and now we intend to test all residents that want to be tested....again, whether you show symptoms or not! The more we test, the safer we will be; however, this is a daunting task and government needs to prepare to make sure the testing is administered safely, efficiently and properly. Many communities would not even consider a “borough-wide” test especially with a population such as ours, however our dedicated administrators, coordinators and volunteers will rise to this challenge...but we need your help.

On May 19 Bergen County is allowing Fort Lee to utilize its mobile testing unti, however the mobile testing unit has limited capacity and will not, I repeat will not, test all residents that we believe want to be tested. To ensure we accommodate everyone we are undertaking to administer a “borough-wide”test with an independent and certified laboratory so that all residents may participate in this testing initiative.

Thank you and please go to the website and let us know!!!! Again, by 5:00PM tomorrow Wednesday, May 13....once you do your job, we will then do ours. Thank you, Mayor Mark.

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