Tedesco Remarks on the Status of Bergen County’s 75 School Districts

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2020
Michael Pagan

Tedesco Remarks on the Status of Bergen County’s 75 School Districts

Hackensack, N.J. – Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco today delivered the following remarks at an evening news conference concerning the status of Bergen County’s 75 school districts:

“As many of you have reported, Broadway has gone dark.  Disneyland has closed its doors. And the NHL, MLB and NBA seasons have come to a halt.

As the Bergen County Executive, I feel that closing all of our public schools in Bergen County is just as paramount a decision, and I do not take it, or make it lightly.  I’ve been fielding phone calls this week from Mayors, Health and School Officials, and other leaders and parents about the status of our schools.

With the continuing spread of COVID-19 throughout Bergen County, it is imperative that we take action and do everything in our power to protect our 1 million residents.  This includes our 75 school districts which have almost 170,000 children; 16,000 teachers; and hundreds and hundreds of administrative, custodial and support staff.

Earlier this week, I declared a State of Emergency in the County of Bergen.  As a result, we closed all 10 County-Operated Senior Activity Centers until further notice to protect our seniors who continue to be the most vulnerable population when it comes to the spread of this deadly virus.

We suspended visitation to our Bergen County Health Care Center at Rockleigh, and our partner agency at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center implemented the same policy for their long-term care facility. We also announced that we were closing the Bergen County Technical Schools and the Bergen County Special Services Schools which affects approximately 3,600 students and 1,600 teachers and administrators.

Today, we are making another announcement concerning our schools. 

After consulting with Executive Leadership of the Bergen County Association of School Administrators and our County Health Officer, I have decided to have all 75 public school districts in Bergen County transition from on-site learning to off-site internet-based and paper-based distance learning until further notice.

While the CDC states that COVID-19 does not pose as great a risk to our children as it does to our older adult population, it is vital that we protect our children from the dangers of this virus or the community spread of this virus.

We are confident in the ability of Bergen County’s teachers, staff and administrators to successfully educate our children off-site, and are encouraging them to begin preparing lesson-plans as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, this virus is not going anywhere for the time-being. As your County Executive, I will continue to take every step necessary to protect you and your families.  In an ongoing effort to be safe, we must continue to take proactive steps to get ahead of this virus, contain the spread of this virus, and protect ourselves from this virus.

You’ve heard many health officials say this over the past week but it bears repeating: There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

The CDC and the NJ Department of Health recommend that you take the simple steps that they have recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We are also encouraging businesses to let their employees stay at home using tele-communication technology to be with their children to address their childcare needs, and if that is not possible, we hope and expect private businesses would make allowances to their employees to be paid for a reasonable time to take care of their families — similar to the Civil Service guidelines public employees have.

The people of Bergen County are a very strong group of people and we will get through this. We made it through Superstorm Floyd and Superstorm Sandy when schools were closed for days and we will make it through COVID-19.

We are Bergen County Strong, but we must take steps to protect ourselves, and that is what we will continue to do with this most recent announcement concerning our schoolchildren.”

Teaneck Public School Closing Info

Dear Teaneck Community,

On behalf of Dr. Irving our Superintendent, and in partnership with the Teaneck Community Charter School, we will be using one of our remaining snow days to close tomorrow, Friday, March 13th for all students and school staff.  All after-school and evening programs are also cancelled.  However, please note that our Leadership team and Central Office staff will still report to work.

We have heard from many parents, students and staff, and want to assure you that we take this health crisis very seriously.  Closing schools for an extended period of time will be a hardship for all; but the health and safety of our educational community must be our top priority.

This day will provide us with the necessary time to make any final preparations in case we need to close for several weeks. We continue to work closely with our local and State agencies, and any decisions regarding school closings beyond this weekend will be made with careful consideration.  Parents and guardians should prepare to make any necessary childcare plans.

We appreciate your patience during this very challenging time.  Thank you.

Teaneck Public Schools

[UPDATE: Audio] Teaneck Hosts Community Update Call Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)- Tonight 3/12/20

Please join Teaneck Council Members, Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci, Teaneck Police Chief Glenn O’Reilly  & Teaneck Fire Chief Jordan Zaretsky, Teaneck Health Officer Ken Katter Teaneck,  Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Chris Irving, Suraj Saggar, D.O.Infectious Disease Chief, Holy Name Medical Center,  &  Representatives from Governor Murphy’s Office
Tonight, March 12, 8pm for a quick Teaneck update #3 call-
(This is a proactive call at night to be able to include and educate as many Teaneck residents–Please share)
Dial (563) 999-1684
**If you can’t make the call, a recorded link will be provided   

3/11/20 Press Release Regarding COVID-19

Covid-19 3/11/20 Press Release

The Township of Teaneck continues to monitor the spread of the Coronavirus  (COVID-19) throughout our region. As Manager, I have an imperative to do everything possible to slow the spread of this serious virus and protect those who are most vulnerable. This is a difficult and extraordinary situation, and I recognize that people throughout our community, including our workforce, are concerned for their personal health and that of their families and friends.

Teaneck currently has three (3) presumptive positive patients with the COVID-19 virus. Patient one is a 70 year old male who was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey. Patient two, a 30 year old male and patient three, a 44 year old male, were both admitted to Holy Name Medical Center.  Their conditions are unknown.

In an effort to protect those members of our community at the highest risk for complications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as the health of our workforce, the Township will be cancelling all Senior activities at the Richard Rodda Recreation Department, and all scheduled Court sessions in the Teaneck Municipal Building until further notice. This is the prudent and responsible action to take which protects our workforce and community from the spread of COVID-19 until it is under control. I want to exercise an abundance of caution for our most vulnerable members of the Teaneck community. 

In addition, the Teaneck Public Library will be rescheduling or cancelling all large scale events until the end of March. We will be promoting remote digital services to reduce the volume of patrons that use the facility. Please monitor the Library’s website, https://teanecklibrary.org/, for up to date information on the cancellation of programs.

The Township will be cancelling all non-essential meetings to include advisory boards and commissions.

These are just the first steps I’m taking to insure we minimize the risks and spread of the disease. 

The Township’s Health Department continues to work closely with State Health Officials to determine any further circulation within our community.  

The Township’s maintenance staff continues to sanitize and disinfect common areas throughout our municipal buildings. My office continues to hold regular meetings with department heads and our Office of Emergency Management to provide them with up to date information on the virus. The Township remains in daily contact with the school superintendent, as well as officials from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Holy Name Hospital. We are encouraging residents, whenever possible, to conduct all business with the Township online.

My office will be releasing a COVID-19 Pandemic Plan for Township operations today. The plan was developed to assist the Township in responding to and conducting operations during potential Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, residents should remain calm and vigilant in their personal efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and monitor the Township’s website at www.teanecknj.gov for updated information.

As a reminder, the New Jersey Department of Health has established a 24-hour telephone hotline for residents who may have concerns or questions: 800-222-1222

COVID-19 3March 11th press release

Link to 3/11/20 Press Release

What you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

UPDATE #2: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019) with Audio of Conference Call


UPDATE #2: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019) with Audio of Conference Call

Community Update on Coronavirus

This evening, (March 5, 2020) the Township of Teaneck will be hosting a Community Update conference call on the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Please join Township Manager Dean Kazinci, members of Council, Health Officer Ken Katter, School Superintendent Dr. Christopher Irving, and representatives from Holy Name Hospital to discuss the latest status of the virus, preventative measures, and important contact information that will help to answer all of your questions and concerns.

To participate by telephone, please call 563-999-1684 at 8:00 PM.

You will automatically be connected to the conference call. A recording of the conference call will be made available on the Township’s website Friday morning. Thank you.

The audio of the conference call is now available here:

Update #2

There are currently zero confirmed cases of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019) in Teaneck. As per NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), societal risk is low at this time. There is no need to cancel school events, activities, etc. and there are no restrictions on public gatherings. Please be advised that schools, places of worship, sports leagues, etc. may exclude individuals who have recently returned from level 3 countries or had direct/close contact with an infected person.

As the COVID-2019 situation develops, the Teaneck Health Department is proactively handling the matter by conducting risk assessments, monitoring those under self-quarantine, checking the disease surveillance database, etc. The Teaneck Health Department follows directives in accordance with the CDC and NJDOH. Any new information/updates will be posted on the Teaneck website (under home news/health news). We urge our residents to remain calm, and not spread fear/panic. In light of factors such as commuter population, proximity to NY, and more recently the situation in Fort Lee, we are continuing to work closely with local and State officials as this matter evolves.

Teaneck Health Department would like to remind residents to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the flu, common cold, and all respiratory viruses.  Our priority is to reduce the spread of infection by protecting the health of children, adolescents, and adults. Therefore, the Teaneck Health Department continues to stress basic infection prevention activities such as:

  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially after coughing or sneezing)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, and not into the hands or into the air (also cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues and dispose of them properly)
  • Avoid contact with ill people and if you are ill, stay home from work or school; limit contact with others to keep from infecting them
  • Clean surfaces that are frequently touched (such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters, etc.) regularly with a disinfectant solution

Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office and/or emergency room. Special arrangements can be made for you to be evaluated while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection. Medical staff will evaluate you to see if you are eligible for testing (based on CDC clinical criteria for COVID-2019 PUIs) and NJDOH will review/approve such request.

**For those who attended events at the Temple Young Israel in New Rochelle, NY on February 22 and 23: if you have received notification from the Westchester County Health Department (WCHD) to be placed under self-quarantine, please heed the WCHD instructions on that recommendation. Or if you/your family had direct/close contact with the confirmed infected person and did not receive notification, please reach out to WCHD at: 866-588-0195 (WCHD hotline for people under self-quarantine or exposure to known case).**

For more information about Coronavirus, contact your health care provider or visit the following websites:
NJDOH – General Information Page – https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml

FAQs – Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019) FAQs.pdf
CDC – General Information Page – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

CDC – COVID-2019 Fact Sheets: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html

Travel (due to the rapidly changing situation, see travel recommendations which are subject to frequent updates): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
For general questions, residents are encouraged to call the COVID-2019 hotline: 1-800-222-1222

To contact the Teaneck Health Department: 201-837-1600 ext. 1500 or health@teanecknj.gov


Community Safety Call Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Teaneck Councilmembers Elie Y. Katz, Henry Pruitt, Mark J Schwartz, Gervonn Romney Rice, Keith Kaplan, Jim Dunleavy, Mohammed Hameeduddin participated in a call tonight to get a an update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to address the concerns of Teaneck residents. On the call were Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci, Teaneck Health Officer Ken Katter & Teaneck Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Chris Irving.
Over 375 residents participated in this proactive call to address residents concerns. Teaneck’s Health Officer reassured the residents that NJ has “0” confirmed cases at this time. Teaneck will continue to monitor and inform their residents.
Call recording below–please share