March 21, 2020
Per Governor Murphy’s “Stay at Home” executive order 107, issued Saturday, March 21, all residents seeking recreation are to stay at home or their places of residence unless they are walking, running, or engaging in outdoor activities with immediate family, caretakers, household members or romantic partners. Please see the Governor’s statement directly for other exceptions.
Therefore, effective immediately, all Township Tennis courts, basketball courts and playgrounds are officially closed. Any tampering with locks, cones, fencing or tape is strictly prohibited.
This is another measure in which we are ensuing the health and safety of residents.
March 16, 2020
As of Tuesday, March 17, because of the current state of emergency due to Coronavirus and COVID-19, Union County and the Township of Berkeley Heights will be closing public playgrounds and splash parks until further notice. This encompasses Snyder Avenue, Memorial Park, and Columbia Park, as well as any public tennis courts. In addition, playgrounds at all of the schools will also be closed until further notice. Meanwhile, all residents are once again to practice social distancing guidelines - staying at least 6 feet away from others, and to avoid congregating in groups.
“Let’s all do our part to help flatten the curve and prevent an outbreak in our community,” said Mayor Angie Devanney. “This is the next step the township is taking to help keep our residents safe. Parents, please be sure your children - no matter their age - are abiding by safe social distancing guidelines.”
March 15, 2020
The Township of Berkeley Heights, in consultation with the Recreation Commission, for now will be leaving our public parks open. The bathrooms at Columbia, Snyder and Memorial parks however, will remain closed. The Township is closely monitoring the situation and is in consultation with neighboring towns, the county, and state on a daily basis (weekends included), to determine next best steps for keeping our residents safe.
Guidance is changing daily about surface contact and the Coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. Information can change at a moment’s notice. Items like balls, bats, lacrosse and field hockey sticks - and any other sports equipment - should be continuously wiped down.
Health experts say that towns need to do everything they can to “flatten the curve”. Until the ultimate goal of stopping the spread is met, we need to slow it down in order to reduce the number of cases that are active at any given time, so that our first responders and medical system is not overwhelmed.
But parents – and kids – need to do their part. Parents are strongly encouraged to do the following:
- Do not allow kids to congregate in large groups;
- Be sure kids – and adults, for that matter – stay at least 6 feet away from each other, per standard “social distancing” rules;
- Have your teenage children bring hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes with them;
- Have your teens wipe down any sports equipment they may share with others; adults should wipe equipment down for younger children;
- Bring hand sanitizer to parks, and use it frequently on yourself and your younger children if they are on the playground or handing anything else at the park;
- Bring sanitizing wipes to the parks and wipe down any playground your child may use before AND after use;
- When younger children are on swings, the jungle gym or any other equipment, make sure they keep about 6-feet of distance between themselves and the next child;
- On swings specifically, keep at least one empty swing between your child and the next child;
- Discourage children from touching their face;
- Play dates should be discouraged;
- Wash hands with soap and water for the duration of the “Happy Birthday” song as soon as you get home.
Although children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults, they do not seem to exhibit as many symptoms as adults. Therefore, they can easily be carriers and expose older – more vulnerable – people to the disease and get them sick. So it’s important to take as many steps as possible to prevent them from exposure.
Per the CDC, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of outdoor activities adults and children – teens and younger – can participate in while we await next moves on COVID-19, such as: playing tennis or pickleball, running outside, walking and exploring many of Berkeley Heights’ wonderful walking trails, jogging around the track at Governor Livingston High School, biking and more. Just remember: Keep 6 feet away from another person.
Click here for a map of BH walking trails
“We strongly urge our residents to adhere to these public safety guidelines,” said Mayor Angie Devanney. “Our No. 1 priority is to keep our residents safe and to prevent a community-wide outbreak of COVID-19. Social distancing and responsible coming-and-going from our local businesses are paramount to helping us defeat this – together.”
“The Recreation Commission is working with the Township to make sure we are acting in our residents’ best interests,” added Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission Chairman Ed Galitelli. “We want to encourage everyone to get outside and play and be active, but they need to remember to still maintain social distancing protocols and good hygiene to prevent the spread of germs.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists what cleaning products meet the agency’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-10; you can find that here.