Christiania, New Jersey (AP) When the Ebola outbreak hit the U.S. late last year, Christiania had been operating with little to no staff or equipment.
It was one of the few places in the country where people had been able to get vaccinated for the virus and the only one with a clinic that could help people in the region.
But last month, when a man contracted the virus, it took a health official more than three weeks to get a team in the city to begin working on treating the infected.
In an effort to protect the city, Christianias board of directors decided the city could only host two basketball games per season.
That left only two options: hosting only one or playing only one game.
“The choice was clear: We have to play only one,” said Kevin Lefkowitz, a member of the board and a basketball coach at Christiania.
“We had no choice but to play one.”
The board voted unanimously to keep the games as is, with no added games or extra equipment.
But that decision has raised concerns among some Christians in the state, who say the board is not doing enough to prevent people from contracting the virus.
As of Tuesday, more than 50 people have tested positive for Ebola in New Jersey, up from 28 the day before.
Some Christiania residents and officials have expressed concern about the spread of the virus in the capital, Newark.
“What we’ve been hearing from people here is that we don’t have enough staff, we don and have to have a lot more staff, and we have to put in a lot of extra equipment,” said Andrew Pecoraro, a board member who’s lived in Christiania for nearly 20 years.
“And the board of the Christiania City Council is in the middle of a major budget crisis.
They’re really struggling to make ends meet.”
Christiania Mayor Kevin Loh said the city has been working with the U-M team in Liberia, where the virus has been raging for nearly two weeks.
But the UConn team has not yet been able access Christiania because of the outbreak in Liberia.
“They’ve been working on getting the equipment they need to get there and that’s been the hardest part,” Loh told The Associated Press.
“I think they’ll be able to make it happen, but we have the same problem that we have at home.”
Loh did not return calls seeking comment.
At a meeting with the board Monday, Loh stressed the importance of getting everyone on the same page before the team even started playing.
“This is our home, our community, our family, our children and grandchildren,” he said.
“It’s not going to be easy to move forward in a short time.
We’ve been dealing with it in Liberia for so long. “
Our community is a little bit at a loss right now because we’re dealing with this in the worst way.
We’ve been dealing with it in Liberia for so long.
This is just a new development and this is a new strain.
It is a very complex virus.
It doesn’t have the characteristics that we know about.”
Lough said the team’s trip to the United States in late February was meant to prepare the community for a potential trip to Liberia.
It will also help build the team up for a game in the UCONN Capital One Classic, which begins on April 25 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lough also told the board that a new $100,000 donation from the National Basketball Players Association is needed for a medical facility that will help people with Ebola get better.
The money would be used to pay for a nurse and lab technician to come to Christiania to work on the virus test kits, he said, and also to help fund a full-time physician assistant to work in the field.
He said the league has also hired a nurse to oversee the team in preparation for the trip.
“If we were going to have to go on this trip, we wouldn’t be here today if we weren’t,” Lough told the group.
“But we are here today because we believe in what we are doing and what we’re trying to do.”
In the wake of the decision to stop hosting games, the league and the league’s players association have been working together to prepare for the next game in a couple of weeks.
The league said it is already scheduling a meeting on Monday to discuss next steps.
The board has also set up a website to share its thoughts on the situation.
Loh has expressed concern that the league might not be able keep up with all the travel, even if the UBC team plays in a game on Saturday.
“There’s a lot going on that’s beyond the control of the players,” Lof said.
The state has sent a team of about 20 health workers and an additional 25 volunteers to work with Christiania’s staff to try to get them to