How to Help Your Community Fight Coronavirus

Credit: Bill Lynch

In addition to following CDC guidelines to keep yourself healthy and minimize exposure to the virus, there are a number of things you can do to help your community.  GSWA has launched a special page to help you help others during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 4/7/20 – “Outdoor Recreation”

Click image to download instructions

GSWA helped develop this simple step-by-step guide based on the directions provided by Atlantic Health Systems for you to make your own mask to donate to your medical community.
Click here to download our 10-page illustrated PDF instructions.


Where can I donate surgical masks?

The following Atlantic Health medical centers are accepting handmade surgical masks in their drop off bins:
Donate needed medical supplies in the blue donation bins located 24/7 directly outside the main entrances of:

Donations will also be accepted at 200 American Road, Morris Plains, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm and 435 South Street, Morristown from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Other hospitals in New Jersey in need of support and donations:
follow this link for more information

Follow current CDC health guidelines during the state of emergency. 

What is social distancing?
New Jersey COVID information hub

Morris County Guidelines 

Concerned you might be at risk for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Call the Atlantic Health Nurse Screening HOTLINE at 1-862-260-3199.
  • Morris County Division of Health Management 973-829-8250
  • Call – 211 All residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and resources available to them can call 2-1-1. NJ 211 is New Jersey’s statewide, comprehensive, information and referral service operated by United Ways of New Jersey.
  • New Jersey Department of Health also has a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222 where training health care professionals can assist with answering questions about COVID-19.
  • Visit the Atlantic Health System COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Website at
    • During business hours residents with clinical questions/concerns should call the Morristown Public Health Nurse at 973-796-1975.
    • Residents non-urgent, general questions are encouraged to contact the NJDOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
    • After hours residents with emergency clinical needs should call Morris County Communications at 973-285-2900.  Please do not call non-urgent matters into the Communication Center, this is for emergencies only.
  • If you are having symptoms: Call First
    • Communicate travel history and symptoms before arriving at a doctor’s office or health care facility, enabling the provider to determine the best setting for you to receive care.
  • Stay home except to get medical care 
    • Restrict your activities to limit the spread of the virus. If your symptoms are not severe, consider going online for 24/7 access to board-certified physicians for consultations, diagnosis & treatment.
  • Separate yourself
    • Limit contact with other people and animals in your home.  When possible, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom.
  • Other tips
    • The CDC also recommends wearing a face mask, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning hands often, avoiding sharing personal household items, cleaning commonly touched surfaces and more.

PSA Safe Grocery Shopping during COVID-19 Pandemic (

While Shopping:

  • Don’t go out to shop if you have respiratory symptoms or have been exposed
  • Do not go out to shop if you are an otherwise at-risk person.
  • Wipe down your cart
  • Commit to what you are buying
  • Plan what you will buy for 2 weeks
  • Don’t touch items in the store unless you commit to buying them

After Shopping:

  • Try to leave groceries in your car, garage, etc for three days if possible
  • Have shopping service leave groceries outside of your home, and do not bring them inside.

How to sanitize groceries immediately:

  • Sanitize the table where you will lay down your bags – use standard disinfectant (Lysol for example)
  • Separate the table you use for groceries into two sections:
    • One side for the groceries pre-sanitizing.
    • One side for the sanitized clean groceries.
  • Do not move sanitized items back onto the surface with unsanitized items.
  • Move items like bread to alternative storage containers
  • Spray down items with thick packaging.
  • Fruits
    • Wash fruit and veggies the same way you would wash your own skin.
    • Soak in soapy water, then scrub each piece for 20 seconds. Rinse off and let dry completely.

Packaged Food:

  • Wipe down packaged wrappers. Microwave any hot takeout again until you see steam emitted from the food.
  • Choose hot foods whenever possible. Better to avoid cold takeout items.
  • Avoid frozen meals as other types of coronaviruses have been able to survive freezing temperatures.

Properly Disinfect Surfaces at Home:

  • Here are ACI’s key tips to proper disinfection:
    • Pre-clean any surfaces prior to disinfecting to remove any excess dirt or grime.
    • Use the disinfecting spray or wipe as directed.
    • After disinfecting, let the surface air dry making sure it stays wet for as long as recommended on the product label. This is critical in ensuring that the proper germ or virus kill takes place as intended.
    • If disinfecting food contact surfaces or toys, rinse with water after they air dry.
    • If using a disinfectant wipe, throw out after using. Do not flush any non-flushable products.

(Via:American Institute of Cleaning)

More Information on Sustainable Cleaning can be found here

Continue to follow our Watershed Friendly Living Tips

Do it efficiently

  • Aim for Full Loads: The dishwasher uses the same amount of water and energy whether there’s an entire cabinet’s worth of dishes in there, or just a spoon. So aim for efficiency. Same with your laundry.
  • Go Automatic: Studies show that automatic washing via an appliances is likely to use less water per load than washing by hand (Stamminger)
  • Turn off the Tap: When you wash your hands or hand wash your dishes and clothes, be sure to turn off the tap when it is not in use.
  • Upgrade: Replace old appliances with newer energy efficient models when possible.

Do it Once

  • Do it right the first time: As much as possible, try to avoid re-washing the same items again. Re-washes means we use double the water!
  • Avoid Pre-rinsing: It is best to avoid pre-rinsing whenever possible. Instead scrape the food off the plate into the garbage or disposal, then place those dishes right into the dishwasher.
  • Pre-treat stains: By pretreating stains before washing, we can avoid rewashing the whole garment again if the stain is not removed.

Source: American Institute of Cleaning – Saving Water

In addition, never flush the following items:

  • Baby wipes
  • Q-tips and cotton swabs
  • menstrual products
  • condoms
  • diapers
  • dental floss
  • paper towels
  • tissues
  • medication
  • cigarette butts
  • pet litter
  • hair
  • food waste
  • bleach