The Board of Health of the Municipality of Princeton New Jersey offers this COVID-Safe Community Pledge (“The Pledge”) as a proposal to the people, institutions, businesses, and visitors to Princeton to encourage shared community awareness and actions to protect each other.
In the coming days, the Board of Health will be reaching out to potential partners within our community to support and, as fitting, amend and/or expand The Pledge and its impact.
Why might The Pledge be useful, and why are we proposing it now? Princetonians have done a great job at wearing masks, congregating outside rather than inside, keeping their distance from each other, maintaining their personal hygiene (handwashing) and staying at home if sick. Nonetheless, COVID-19 cases are increasing across New Jersey and the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues to circulate in our community.
All of us have heard of "COVID fatigue", and many of us are undoubtedly experiencing it. The Board hopes that a community effort around The Pledge will increase and/or reestablish the awareness that we’re all in this together and lessen that fatigue though solidarity.
With rising numbers of cases, it is vital that we work together as a community and each do EVERYTHING we can to prevent the spread.
We all want things to be “normal” again, but COVID-19 is still a threat, so when one of us engages in high risk activity, we make it less safe for everyone else. This is why it is so important for all of us to continue to follow COVID-19 safe practices.
The Princeton COVID-Safe Pledge affirms the following:
We pledge to
• Value the health of others as well as our own health as we go about our essential activities, such as necessary healthcare, schooling, work, and local business. In this way, these activities can be AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE for EVERYONE until there is a safe, effective and available vaccine to prevent infection, disease or serious outcomes of disease.
• Remain aware of the risk involved in the activities we engage in and understand that the risks we take do not only affect ourselves, but also affect our family, friends, teachers, businesses and other members of our community.
• Follow – with support from the Municipality and institutions and individuals within -to the best of our ability national, state and local public health guidance related to COVID-19.
• If necessary, quarantine if exposed, or if returning from travel in an area with high levels of the virus as designated by the State of New Jersey.
• Staying home – isolating - if we become ill with signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or while waiting for a COVID test result until cleared to go out.
• Getting tested if having signs and symptoms consistent with COVID or having been in close contact with someone with COVID.
• Wearing a mask/face-covering over both nose and mouth AT ALL TIMES when out and may be within 6 feet of others who are not members of our household.
• Practicing social distancing at all times when outside of our home.
• Cooperating honestly and openly with contact tracing to protect the health and safety of others in the community.
• Being respectful of others in our community and committing to COVID-safe etiquette in the community.
These actions, if committed to and followed by the large majority of our community, will have a measurable effect of decreasing exposure, infection, disease, disability and death. While we cannot change the virus, we can and must change our behaviors to lessen its impact on ourselves and others.