Mayor Kramer: Statewide Lock Down Is Best Way To Avoid Hospital Crush

Mayor Phil Kramer has joined East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen’s call to Gov. Murphy to institute a two-week lock down in the state as a means to ease pressure on state hospitals.

Township Mayor Phil Kramer said that he joined a fellow mayor in calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to enact a statewide “lock down” to avoid catastrophes at state hospitals caused by the burgeoning coronavirus disease.

Kramer, a neurologist, signed on to a letter to Murphy written by East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen, also a physician, in calling for the lock down.

“Given that the infection is expanding exponentially, and our greatest risk is from asymptomatic carriers, I am very worried about the surge on the healthcare delivery system,” Cohen wrote in the letter. “St. Peter’s is already telling healthcare personnel to reuse N95 masks as they don’t have enough in stock. One of the COVID19 positive patients in East Brunswick is a physician and is in ICU at Hackensack.”

“If we are to flatten the curve and help us from ourselves, you need to place the State of New Jersey on LOCK DOWN for the next two weeks at a minimum,” the letter states.

“We’re already taxing the hospital system,” Kramer said. “Look at what’s happening today. CDC guidelines to hospitals are make your own masks with scarves if you don’t have equipment.”

“That’s the whole idea of flattening the curve, so you don’t overwhelm the hospital system and clearly you are,” Kramer said.

Kramer said that although he is a neurologist, “I don’t know what form of medicine I might be called on in the ER.”

“This is the time to put out increased effort to flatten the curve,” he said, referring to the shape of charts showing increases in confirmed coronavirus cases.

Kramer said his version of a mandated lock down would be to tell residents to stay home “as much as you possibly can. Only go out for essential reasons.”

He said only essential businesses, such as grocery stores, gas stations and doctors’ offices, would be allowed to stay open during a lock down.

The mayor said that the two-week time period was suggested because 14 days is the virus’s usual incubation period.

“It’s a good start, you can reassess when you’re into that,” he said.

Kramer said that a member of the Governor’s staff “has indicated that he has seen the letter.”

A request for comment from the Governor’s spokeswoman was not immediately answered.

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