COVID19 - Information & Resources
Residents looking for information and resources about COVID-19 can use this page as an ongoing resource for UPDATES, DATA and WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION. Sign Up Here so you don’t miss any news updates. Enter your EMAIL on top, then SCROLL DOWN under "New Flash" to click on "Announcements" and choose to receive email and/or text updates.
This week's topic talks about the Mayor's role in staying informed at the local, state and national level during this time of combating the COVID-19 virus. Read on...
Drainage surveyors in town; Rutgers Ave-area milling and paving to begin next week Read on...
Our first responders have been working closely with us to ensure we have everything we need to respond to possible COVID-19 cases. Read on...
Our employees will continue to work; public events of more than 50 people are discouraged, to reduce potential exposure to germs. Read on...
Coronavirus, redevelopment, shared services, road projects, stormwater management & more in this month's issue. Read on...
UPDATE: Additional Hearing added on Tues 3/10 after Town Council Meeting - livestream will be available Read on...
Connect with Berkeley Heights to make sure you get your Breaking News, Township Notifications (recycling, meetings, etc), Updates about Community Events and More... Read on...
There are new developments coming to town - all include state court-mandated affordable housing units. Here are answers to your most commonly asked questions - including the big one: WHY? Read on...
Questions & Answers
Q. How can I best protect myself and my family?
A. EVERY SINGLE RESIDENT needs to practice self-distancing. This is THE most proactive thing you can do. That means STAY AT HOME. If you have to go out to the store, stay 6 feet away from others if possible. Make sure your children are not congregating with other children - they can be carriers and pass it on to others in your family. Please read this article from Johns Hopkins University on the importance of social distancing.
"With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers. Experts describe this as ’flattening the curve,’ which generally refers to the potential success of social distancing measures to prevent surges in illness that could overwhelm health care systems.
"’The goal of social distancing in the U.S. should be to lower the pace and extent of spread of COVID-19 in any given city or community ... If that can happen, then there will be less people with disease, and less people needing hospitalization and ventilators at any one time.’"
What is the process for getting tested?
A. The County and Township follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) guidance to determine who should be tested for COVID-19 at the NJ Public Health Environmental Laboratory. If you exhibit symptoms, please contact your health care professional; he or she may write you a prescription for a Coronavirus test if they think you may have been exposed. Please call ahead of time to tell your doctor you are coming; they may have specific instructions for you.
Patients should be evaluated and discussed with local and state public health on a case-by-case basis if their clinical presentation or exposure history is uncertain for travel or exposure.
Fever1 or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath)
Any person, including health care workers2 who has had close contact3 with a laboratory confirmed4 COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset
Fever1 and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization
A history of travel from affected geographic areas5 within 14 days of symptom onset
Fever1 with severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g. pneumonia, ARDS) requiring hospitalization4 and without alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza)6
No source of exposure has been identified
Commercial labs are offering COVID-19 testing to individuals who meet certain criteria. These tests must be ordered and specimens collected by health care providers in their offices. Testing is not available at individual lab offices (i.e., local LabCorp or Quest labs). Do not go to a commercial lab and ask to be tested for COVID-19. Work with your health care provider to coordinate testing. All costs and fees associated with commercial laboratories is the responsibility of the patient.
Beginning Monday, March 23, a Union County testing site has been set up at Kean University. More information here.
Q. Has affected BH residents’ whereabouts been investigated to figure out who else may have been exposed?
Yes. Union County health officials conduct contact tracing investigations, alongside the New Jersey Department of Health, on affected residents’ whereabouts to determine if he/she posed a public health risk to the community at any time Any person who may be at risk would be notified and advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. The families would also be quarantined.
Q. Are kids getting tested if parents are confirmed positive or may have been exposed?
A. Anyone who is seeking testing should contact their health care provider to determine if testing appropriate.
Q. Has UCOHM (Union County Office of Health Management) contacted all individuals who may have come into contact with any patients diagnosed with COVID-19?
A. As of Friday, March 13, the first Berkeley Heights resident who had COVID-19 was discharged from the hospital and self-isolating back at home. Our Health Officer was in touch with his family every day. As of Tuesday, March 10, based on the contact tracing investigation that Union County has been doing, alongside the New Jersey Department of Health, the resident’s whereabouts prior to being hospitalized did not pose a public health risk to the community. Any person who may have been at risk would have already been notified and advised to self-quarantine. The family was also quarantined.
Q. What is our Health Official’s role?
A. Our Health Officer, who is also the Health Director for Union County, is the Township’s conduit (including the Board of Education) to the County, State and Federal health agencies/departments for all health-related information. Our Office of Emergency Management has a direct line of communication with our Health Officials, as does our Mayor, Administrator, and local Board of Health Secretary. This Official provides guidance on how to handle, as well as response to, any health issues that may arise in the Township.
Q. Is the Health Official in constant contact with affected families/individuals?
Q. When will schools be closed? Move to online classes?
A. The decision to close schools was made Thursday, March 12; schools begin remote learning Tuesday, March 17. Please read the letter from Berkeley Heights Schools Superintendent Dr. Melissa Varley here.
Q. Who should I call/what should I do if I think I have symptoms?
A. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those symptoms may appear within 2 to 14 days of exposure and can range from mild to severe. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. 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. They may have specific instructions for you before you head into the office, and likely will instruct you to wear a mask. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.
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 and using telehealth for 24/7 access to board certified physicians for consultations, diagnosis and treatment
Separate yourself from others.
Q. Should I drive myself to the hospital or call emergency services?
A. Drive yourself if you can after getting instructions from your doctor, unless you are physically unable. But your first call is to your doctor.
Q. Is it safe to go to the store, etc…?
A. All residents are encouraged to practice self-distancing. If you go out, maintain a 6-foot distance from others, when possible. As a reminder, if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath call your healthcare provider prior to arriving at the office.
- Governor Murphy Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order, Closure of All Non-Essential Retail Businesses
- COVID-19: Berkeley Heights Parks & Playgrounds to be Closed as of March 17
- New Jersey has 19 new coronavirus cases. Statewide total now at least 69 positive tests.
- Westfield Has Its First Coronavirus Case, Will Notify Contacts
- Westfield, Garwood Residents Have Coronavirus, Officials Say: Update
- U.S. House passes sweeping coronavirus response package
- New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard
- N.J. confirms 2nd coronavirus death, Monmouth County woman in her 50s
- CDC: How to Protect Yourself
- CDC: How to Prepare
- EPA: List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
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