Credit: East Orange City Hall photo

East Orange, N.J. Mayor Ted R. Green announced earlier this month that he tested positive for COVID-19. Green self-quarantined for two weeks and is advising constituents to take precautions against the virus.

Even with a vaccine now in New Jersey, Green said residents should still take preventative measures to keep from getting COVID-19. Despite taking an abundance of safety precautions, Green believes he may have been exposed to the virus in the days following the passing of his father, Theodore R. Green, Sr., who died the day after Thanksgiving. Once he learned that he had prolonged exposure to someone who recently tested positive, Green went to East Orange General Hospital for a rapid test after the burial services for his father.

“I want people to understand that this virus is no joke,” he said “I’ll be the first one to admit that I was in denial and didn’t think it could happen to me. Day in and day out, we have been preaching the same message––wash your hands, wear your masks and practice social distancing. East Orange, we may not like it, but this is what we have to do to protect ourselves and each other. Don’t ever take your health for granted. No one is exempt from this virus.”

Though asymptomatic, Green’s doctor ordered him to be admitted to the hospital for precautionary evaluation and oversight. Since the pandemic began in March and just days after the passing of his mother, Lula Mae Green, Green has been going non-stop to keep the city running and the East Orange community safe.

“I have been fortunate to not experience any symptoms, but I have witnessed firsthand how rapidly this virus can turn a seemingly healthy person into a person fighting to breathe,” Green said. “We have to take it seriously. We can’t afford to do anything less. The holiday and winter season is here and more people are spending time indoors.”

Streamed weekly town hall meetings, emergency food distributions, rental assistance, free COVID-19 testing, PPE giveaways and alternative virtual programs are some of the initiatives Green has implemented to provide resources to residents in need and to keep the community informed and aware of how to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Dec. 8 there have been 3,110 positive cases in the City of East Orange and 242 deaths with a nearly 250% increase in positive cases between September to December. To help curb the spread during this “second wave,” Green ordered that non-essential businesses close at 8 p.m. while all others close by 10 p.m. with the exception of drive-up or pick-up services