News Flash

BH Announcements

Posted on: May 1, 2020

Coronavirus: Daily News Updates May 2020

Coronavirus Updates April 2020

May 28, 2020

On Friday, May 29, or Monday, June 1, we will receive guidance from the State regarding:

  • Summer camps
  • Daycare facilities
  • Youth sports
  • Phase 2 outline

Unemployment Filings - There is a slight decrease in new filings. To date:

  • 1.17 million claims have been filed since the start of the COVID-19 emergency
  • 911,000 claims have been processed
  • $4.3 billion has been paid out in unemployment benefits so far
  • One month into New Jersey’s recovery period, trends in data are showing the state is well past COVID-19’s harrowing April peak.
  • Gov. Livingston Class of 2020 outdoor, in-person graduation is a GO!

Friday Night Clapouts Come Together Clapout

All Berkeley Heights residents are urged to walk outside onto their lawns EVERY Friday night at 7 p.m. when you hear the fire and police sirens to participate in the town-wide clapout/pot bang/honk to show appreciation for the health care workers at the long-term care (LTCs) facilities and emergency response workers. As always, please remember to keep a safe social distance from your neighbors! 

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,261 new cases (from previous day); 157,815
  • NJ - 66 new deaths; 11,401 total
  • Union County - 61 new cases; 15,475 total cases
  • Union County - 5 new deaths; 1,047 total
  • Berkeley Heights - no new cases since Tuesday, May 26. 
    • 63 active cases; 62 of which are from long-term care facilities (LTCs)
    • 187 closed cases (48 from LTCs & recovered, 52 LTC deaths, 4 community deaths
    • Total of 250 cases

Hospitalizations

  • 2,797 people hospitalized
  • 740 in critical condition
  • 564 people on vents
  • 365 new admissions
  • 287 discharges

Also this week:

  • On Wednesday, May 27, Berkeley Heights lost another resident to COVID-19. The woman, who was in her 60s, was a resident at one of our LTCs.
  • A ’virtual’ silent auction is planned to benefit Business Aid: Berkeley Heights.
  • One month into New Jersey’s recovery period, trends in data are showing the state is well past COVID-19’s harrowing April peak.Congratulations, graduates!
  • Gov. Livingston Class of 2020 outdoor, in-person graduation is a GO!
  • The New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) released guidance regarding commencement ceremonies to honor 2020 graduates during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance includes requirements that ceremonies be held outdoors, adhere to social distancing protocols, and restrict capacity to protect the health and safety of students and families celebrating these milestones amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • Pursuant to Executive Order No. 148, Governor Murphy said that professional sports teams which train or play in New Jersey are allowed to practice and engage in games or matches, if their leagues resume competition.
  •  U.S. Representative Tom Malinowski (D, NJ-7) Wednesday spoke on the House Floor to call on Congress to provide direct federal aid to state and local governments in order to help them cover costs for the salaries of police officers, firefighters, and teachers, among other government employees.
  • The Union County Freeholder Board last Thursday night approved its final 2020 budget with a zero percent tax increase. 
  • New Jersey hospitals reported having 768 patients in critical care and 583 on ventilators yesterday, both far below mid-April peaks. “We are now well past the peak,” Gov. Murphy said. (nj.com)
  • Next Question: Will Kids Be Back In School This Fall - New Jersey could have a decision by mid-June on when the state will reopen schools to students, Gov. Murphy said. (nj.com)


Over 950 companies are hiring for over 52,000 jobs during this health crisis. Click here for job listings.

Call in number, for Union County Residents Only for testing site appointments 908-214-7107. 

May 22, 2020

Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 148, increasing the limit on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people and allowing recreational campgrounds to reopen with social distancing measures in place. The limit on indoor gatherings remains at 10 people. The Order takes effect immediately.

Outdoor GatheringsThe Order allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people so long as the following rules are complied with:

  • The gathering must take place entirely outdoors except for restroom use;
  • Limit capacity to no more than 25 people at all times;
  • Require attendees to be six feet apart at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
  • Prohibit contact between attendees, and no organized or contact sports;
  • If the event is an organized gathering, the organizer should demarcate six feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing;
  • Limit provided seating to single individuals, spaced six feet apart, and sanitized after each use;
  • Prohibit sharing of any physical items provided and require sanitization before and after each use; and
  • Require contactless pay options wherever feasible. 

The Order also recommends, but does not order, that people wear a face covering while at outdoor gatherings and recreational campgrounds when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Businesses - Take the Survey!Get Back to Business

Berkeley Heights Businesses & NonProfits - The state is requesting your input to better understand how to help businesses get back to work safely and productively. By filling out this online survey about your operations, you will help guide the state’s reopening strategy and upcoming business assistance opportunities. It only takes about 10 minutes!

Meanwhile...

  • The Township is working closely with our public safety and health officials, as well as our local businesses, to safely reopen Berkeley Heights as the state slowly reopens after onset of the COVID-19 global health pandemic. After weeks of intense conversations with the Economic Development Committee, local business owners, our health officer, Office of Emergency Management, Police Department, DPW, and after receiving guidance from the Governor’s Office as well as federal CDC, the following actions will be rolled out in the next few days to help.
  • The Township of Berkeley Heights, in partnership with the Governor Livingston High School administration and the Board of Education, will help honor graduating seniors this June. The Township Department of Public Works will hang banners featuring seniors’ photos, school and Class of 2020 along well-trafficked Township roadways. More here.
  • The BHPD and members of PBA Local 144 are organizing a "Drive By Salute" to our local Veterans in memory of our fallen service members this Memorial Day weekend. If you are a Veteran, or know a Veteran that would like to be remembered, please complete this form, or call 908-771-2065 and leave a voicemail with the veterans name and address.
  • The Department of the Treasury delivered a budget update to the Legislature, providing a detailed revenue report that illustrates the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on New Jersey’s finances and laying out plans to close the looming gap for the remainder of the extended fiscal year through a series of deep cuts and spending deferrals. Based on a wide variety of economic assumptions, the State is potentially facing a combined revenue shortfall of nearly $10 billion over the remaining months of Fiscal Year 2020 and through the end of Fiscal Year 2021 – a potential decline that would be worse than the Great Recession.
  • New Jersey recently launched the PPE Supplier Registry to connect suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 with potential buyers. Wholesale vendors with PPE inventory such as surgical or other protective masks, hospital gowns, hand sanitizer, or COVID-19 test kits can submit details on supplies they have available and hospitals, medical organizations, and private businesses can purchase.
  • A Memorial Day Weekend Guide to the Jersey Shore - What restrictions are in place at the Jersey Shore? It’s different in every town. Here’s a guide so you know before you go. (nj.com) 
  • The Forecast Calls for Social Distancing - Shore town mayors predict Memorial Day crowds will maintain social distancing. Local officials pledge to keep people safe as towns seek to rebound from two months of restrictions. (NJ Spotlight) 
  • New State Grants for Small Businesses - The New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s new $50 million small business grant program will provide grants of up to $10,000 to qualified businesses, and set aside $15 million of the grants for firms located in Opportunity Zones. More details are expected later. (ROI-NJ)
  • State Unemployment Rate Hits Record High - New Jersey unemployment rate soared to 15.3% in April as the pandemic slammed the labor market. It is the state’s highest unemployment rate since record keeping began in 1976, the state labor commissioner said, and exceeded the national rate, which hit 14.7% in April. (nj.com)

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,247 new cases; 152,719
  • NJ - 142 new deaths; 10,985 total
  • Union County - 15 new cases; 15,191 total cases
  • Union County - 13 new deaths; 1,018 total

Hospitalizations

  • 3,017 people are hospitalized
  • 846 people are in critical care
  • 674 people are on ventilators
  • 108 people were admitted
  • 248 people were discharged

May 21, 2020

Friday Night Clapout

All Berkeley Heights residents are urged to walk outside onto their lawns EVERY Friday night at 7 p.m. when you hear the fire and police sirens to participate in the town-wide clap out to show appreciation for the health care workers at the long-term care (LTCs) facilities and emergency response workers. But this Friday, May 22, we also clap/bang/honk it out for our Public Works employees from our Department of Public Works and Sewer Department - as a show of appreciation for our critical infrastructure workers during National Public Works Week! 

Another BH Loss

It is with a heavy heart that we report the loss of a dear soul at an in-town long-term care facility (LTC); she was in her 70s. Please pray for her family and friends.

Currently in Berkeley Heights...

  • 65 active cases (decrease of 2), 61 of whom are in LTCs (same) 
  • 181 closed cases (increase of 1):  46 recovered from LTC (same)
  • 51 LTC deaths (increase of 1)
  • 4 community deaths (same)
  • Total of 246 cases (decrease of 1**)

**One positive cases was out of our jurisdiction**

BH Post Office Update

Message from Mayor Devanney:

Thank you as many residents have reached out with concerns about mail delivery.

I had a conversation with Mrs. Davis, our BH Post Master. It appears out of 15 mail carriers, half have not been at work this week. Carriers that have been at work have been pulling double routes and shifts. They expect delivery to return back to normal in the near future but are running a few days behind even with full staffing which is expected to return very shortly.

"Thank you again for reaching out and I hope I helped reassure the residents of Berkeley Heights that their mailing and delivery service will resume as normal within a few days. We do apologize for the inconvenience it may have caused. We know that these times are hard but the USPS is still here to service the community every day." BH Post Master

In Other Updates

  • Opening Up BH - Berkeley Heights Township is working with our public safety and health officials, as well as our businesses, on a number of efforts to help our local businesses reopen safely as soon as the state gives them the green light. Please check TAPinto Berkeley Heights for more information tomorrow and through the weekend. 
  • More Drive-Thru Testing - On Wednesday, Governor Phil Murphy, Walmart, and Quest Diagnostics announced that seven Walmart stores across New Jersey will open COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites beginning on May 22. The testing sites, which are supported by state and local officials, Walmart, and Quest Diagnostics, will test adults who meet Centers for Disease Control and state and local criteria on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers, and others with symptoms of COVID-19, and those in high-risk groups without symptoms. 
  • Graduation & Outdoor Fitness - Expect an announcement on Friday or Tuesday of next week regarding outdoor graduation ceremonies and outdoor fitness programs.
  • Liability Protection for Employers – The NJ Chamber of Commerce has joined a coalition of chambers asking Congress to pass timely, temporary and targeted liability relief legislation. It would provide businesses a safe harbor from unwarranted lawsuits that, left unchecked, will endanger the fight against the pandemic and undermine the safe and orderly return to work for millions of Americans. 
  • New Jersey Unemployment Payouts – The state Labor Department has paid out $3.4 billion in unemployment benefits as the global pandemic ended its ninth week of wreaking havoc on the workforce and economy, the state Labor Department reported this morning. More than 1.1 million new unemployment claims have been received since March 15, the Department said. More than 42,000 new applications for unemployment were received last week.
  • Contact Tracer Scams – Beware of coronavirus contact tracing scams, New Jersey officials warn. Never give personal information like Social Security numbers and bank information to somebody claiming to be a contact tracer, they said. Tracers don’t need that information. (nj.com)

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,304 new cases; 151,472
  • NJ - 98 new deaths; 10,843 total
  • Union County - 54 new cases; 15,176 total cases
  • Union County - 11 new deaths; 1,005 total

Hospitalizations

  • 3,208 persons in the hospital
  • 896 critical condition
  • 700 on ventilators
  • 143 new admissions
  • 286 released

Over 930 companies are hiring for over 52,000 jobs during this health crisis. Click here for job listings 

Call in number, for Union County Residents Only for testing site appointments 908-214-7107.

Resources

A Guide to Re-opening Workplaces – A report on reopening and preparing workplaces for COVID-19 was released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It contains recommendations as well as mandatory safety and health standards.  

A Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness – A guide to applying for loan forgiveness under the federal Paycheck Protection Program was released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  

For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

For information on applying for loan forgiveness on Paycheck Protection Program loans, click here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.

The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

The IRS posted information on ’stimulus checks’ here.

The state’s jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates. For employers to participate, click here

New Jersey’s website for information on all of the state’s business resources during the pandemic.

 New Jersey’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

May 19, 2020

Union County’s drive-thru test center at Kean University is now open to any resident, with or without symptoms. Residents can visit the county website at www.ucnj.org to schedule an appointment.

Berkeley Heights United States Postal Delivery

There have been a number of questions about the mail delivery lately which appears to be erratic in some areas.

As a result of the COVID-19 virus and an abundance of caution, any carrier who is not feeling well is allowed to take mandatory time off. The policy helps to keep the public and the carriers safe and tamps down the spread of the virus. This created a shortage of mail letter carriers in Berkeley Heights, and therefore, some routes cannot be covered regularly. Packages, which have increased approximately 400% in Berkeley Heights since the global pandemic, have been delivered daily despite the shortage of carriers. Any questions, please contact the BH US Post Office.

Drive-Ins, Helping Businesses & Friday Clapouts in BHCome Together Clapout

The Township is currently working with the Recreation Commission and some other entities in our community to plan for drive-in movies in Berkeley Heights this summer. Stay tuned for more!

And in case you missed last Friday’s 7 pm clapout for our health care workers and emergency responders, don’t worry! Everyone in Berkeley Heights is encouraged to participate in the clapout EVERY FRIDAY at 7 pm, when you hear the fire siren go off downtown. Clap, honk your horn, bang your pots and pans, or otherwise MAKE SOME NOISE for our heroes! 

Meanwhile, the Economic Development Committee, Mayor Devanney, and our public safety and health officials are working with our businesses to prepare them for reopening when given the green light. 

Meanwhile...

  • Governor Phil Murphy also announced an Administrative Order authorizing in-person sales to resume at car dealerships, motorcycle dealerships, boat dealerships, and bike shops, by appointment only and with social distancing measures in place. The Order will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20. Dealerships and bike shops who resume in-person sales must abide by the social distancing, safety, and sanitization requirements that are described in detail in the Administrative Order.
  • The Division of Consumer Affairs has authorized licensed New Jersey pharmacists to widely administer COVID-19 tests to customers, paving the way for thousands of pharmacies statewide to serve as testing sites. Expanding testing authority to the more than 18,000 pharmacists licensed in the state advances the goal of doubling statewide testing by the end of the month.
  • The Department of Health issued guidelines on the conditions for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to begin resuming elective surgeries. Last week, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 145, allowing elective surgeries and invasive procedures, both medical and dental, to resume on Tuesday, May 26.

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,055 new cases; 149,013
  • NJ - 162 new deaths; 10,586 total
  • Union County - 48 new cases; 15,031 total cases
  • Union County - 14 new deaths; 977 total

Hospitalizations

  • 3,481 persons in the hospital
  • 789 on ventilators
  • 172 new admissions
  • 161 released

May 18, 2020

Berkeley Heights - We lost a member of the community today. It is with a heavy heart that we report the loss of a blessed soul -- a man in his 70s. Please pray for the family and friends as we are one family in Berkeley Heights. ❤️

In BH...

  • 65 active cases (decrease of 5)
  • 60 LTCs (same)
  • 178 closed cases (increase of 5)
  • 46 recovered from LTCs (same)
  • 50 LTC deaths (same)
  • 4 community deaths (loss of one today)
  • Total of 243 cases (same)

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,735 new cases; 148,039
  • NJ - 83 new deaths; 10,435 total
  • Union County - 101 new cases; 14,903 total cases
  • Union County - 5 new deaths; 962 total

Hospitalizations

  • 3,509 hospitalization
  • 1,053 ICU
  • 819 Ventilators
  • 334 admissions
  • 190 discharges

Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 147, allowing certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses, including archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, shooting ranges, and tennis clubs as well as community gardens to open with required social distancing measures in place. The Order takes effect on Friday, May 22 at 6:00 a.m.

All-Terrain Vehicle and Dirt Bike Rental Businesses: The Order allows all-terrain vehicle and dirt bike rental businesses to reopen to the public for “curb-side” pickup.  Such businesses must comply with the same restrictions required for non-essential retail businesses.

Golf Courses: The Order relaxes four of the restrictions on golf courses, allowing them to expand tee-times to four players, allow the use of forecaddies, offer club and equipment rentals, and reopen restrooms with disinfecting and hygiene protocols in place.

The Order also recommends, but does not order, that people wear a face covering while in public settings at outdoor recreational businesses and community gardens when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Meanwhile, as part of the “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” Murphy today unveiled a multi-stage approach to execute an economic restart to put New Jersey on the road back to recovery from COVID-19; the plans are for a methodical and strategic reopening of businesses and activities based on level of disease transmission risk and essential classification.

We are now entering Stage 1, which includes the following restrictions relaxed on low-risk activities if appropriately safeguarded. New Jersey is currently in this stage.

Phased-in businesses may include:

  • Non-essential, but easiest to safeguard, work activities at physical locations if they meet safeguarding and modification guidelines. For example, non-essential construction with protections.
  • Some non-essential retail may open with significant modifications. For example, curbside pickup.
  • All workers who can work from home continue to work from home even if their industry is reopening. For example, an office manager for a construction company.

Phased-in activities include State and county parks, non-essential construction, curbside retail, drive-in activities, beaches, and elective surgeries. 

May 14, 2020

All Berkeley Heights Residents Urged to Participate in Town-wide “Clap Out” for Health Care Workers, First Responders, Friday at 7 pm

All Berkeley Heights residents are urged to walk outside onto their lawns on Friday at 7 p.m. when you hear the fire and police sirens to participate in the town-wide clap out to show appreciation for the health care workers at the long-term care (LTCs) facilities and emergency response workers. As always, please remember to keep a safe social distance from your neighbors!

Berkeley Heights first responders including members of the Berkeley Heights Fire Department, Rescue Squad and Police Department will also earlier in the day participate in a drive by at Runnells Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare to honor the frontline healthcare workers. Click here for more.

Singles Pickleball Can Resume This Saturday

Beginning Saturday, May 16, the tennis courts at Lower Columbia Park in Berkeley Heights will be open to pickleball but the same restrictions as tennis apply:

  1. Games must be singles only – no doubles. That means one person on each side of the court at a time.
  2. There must be one court in between every two in use – to maintain safe social distancing between players at all times.
  3. Players waiting for courts are NOT allowed to gather or congregate to wait, either before or after games. If players are waiting for courts to free up, they must wait in their cars or elsewhere in the park, with a safe social distance from others.  

"We understand many residents have a great love for pickleball and are anxious to get out and play,” said Mayor Devanney. “I am asking residents to please adhere to the strictest protocols for court usage, so we can continue to open more areas of the Township.”

Click here for more. 

As more opens up, Berkeley Heights residents are urged to be vigilant and practice proper protocols, so even more will open up soon. We are painfully aware that our local businesses are hurting – but we want to open up safely in a way that does not do more economic damage to our town. To that end, we are working with our new Economic Development Committee and, with the help of our public safety experts, on plans to help businesses prepare to open their doors as soon as they get the green light.

Drive-in Movies May Be Coming to BH

The Township Administration, Recreation Commission and Department are working on plans to set up Drive-in movie theaters for this summer. While we are awaiting more state guidance on activities like summer camp, summer school and pools, we also have ongoing discussions with the Berkeley Heights YMCA, who is willing to help our Rec Department with programming – whether it be virtual, in-person, or a combination of both.

In Other News...

Reopening the Economy - New Jersey’s timeline to reopen its economy will be handled statewide, not regionally, and will be done incrementally, Gov. Phil Murphy said. "Assuming the curves continue to go in the right direction," the state would "gently begin to reopen," he said. The governor has said specific dates for reopening could come soon. (nj.com) 

Small Businesses Can Still Get PPP Loans - Forgivable loans under Round 2 of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are still available. So far, about $17 billion in PPP loans have been approved for nearly 111,000 New Jersey small businesses, helping them maintain their payrolls. For more information on the program and how to apply, click here.  

More N.J. Businesses Are Getting PPP Loans - The number of small businesses in New Jersey receiving loans under Round 2 of the Paycheck Protection Program has more than doubled over Round 1. "The smaller companies are the ones now benefitting," said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. "That’s good news. The companies most in need look like the ones (being) accommodated in Round 2." (nj.com)

Doubling COVID-19 Testing - New Jersey is on pace to test at least 20,000 residents for the coronavirus per day by the end of the month and 25,000 by the end of June — more than double its current capacity and a key step towards reopening the state, Gov. Murphy said. (nj.com) 

Doubling Contact Tracers - New Jersey plans to more than double its number of people tracing COVID-19 cases as part of its reopening strategy, Gov. Murphy said. The state will "likely need at least 1,000 dedicated contact tracers" on top of the current 800 to 900 people already doing that work. (nj.com) 

How It All Works - How will New Jersey ramp up COVID-19 testing, interview those who test positive and track down people that have spent time with them? Health departments and contact tracers, through extensive interviews with those that test positive, will focus on finding people whom the infected person interacted with over the 48 hours before they began showing symptoms, and instruct them to isolate. (NJBIZ) 

The Bad News - Despite making strides in combating COVID-19, New Jersey is still dealing with larger ratios of deaths, cases, and hospitalizations compared to its neighboring states and the nation’s two most populated states, according to data presented by the Murphy administration. (nj.com) 

At Nursing Homes, Everybody Will Get Tested - Long-term care facilities in the state are required to test all staff and residents for COVID-19 by May 26, according to a new state directive. Follow-up testing is also required, and facilities must develop plans for isolating residents who test positive and excluding staff that test positive in accordance with CDC and state health department recommendations. 

The Fine Print - More info on the Murphy administration’s plan to expand testing and contact tracing

Safety in the Casinos - Atlantic City casinos and hotels will look very different once they reopen. At the Borgata, there will be no eating on the casino floor, contactless check-ins for hotel rooms, and everybody will wear a mask unless they’re drinking while gambling. (nj.com) 

Giving Back - New Jersey has ordered auto and business insurers to reduce premiums and give refunds due to coronavirus restrictions. The order essentially mandates what the industry began doing voluntarily last month. (nj.com) 

A List of Resources, Regulations and Testing Sites - What is open and closed, and the latest on the measures being taken in New Jersey to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. (NJ Spotlight) 

May 13, 2020

Today is a shock as we say goodbye to four beloved souls in our community. One of our long-term care (LTC) facility residents was in their 50s, two in their 70s, one in their 80s. Please pray for the departed’s family and friends. The Governor has ordered all members of LTC staff must be tested for the virus by May 26th and those who test negative must be retested again within 3-7 days then follow CDC guidelines thereafter.

In Berkeley Heights, there are:

  • 86 active cases (increase of 3); 74 of which are in LTCs (increase of 3)
  • 150 closed cases (increase of 3)
  • 32 recovered from LTCs (same)
  • 43 LTC deaths (increase of 4)
  • 3 community deaths (same)
  • Total of 236 cases

Construction, Retail & Car Gatherings

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 142, permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail driveinbusinesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events. The construction and non-essential retail provisions will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, while the car gatherings provision will take effect immediately. 

Non-Essential ConstructionThe Order permits non-essential construction projects to resume effective at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18. All construction projects must abide by the social distancing, safety, and sanitization requirements that are described in detail in the Governor’s Executive Order.

Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Retail BusinessesThe Order also permits non-essential retail businesses to allow curbside pickup of goods, beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, but businesses must continue to have their in-store operations closed to customers.  Businesses who choose to offer curbside pickup must abide by the requirements in the Order, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • In-store operations should be limited to those employees who are responsible for the operations required for curbside pickup;
  • Customer transactions should be handled in advance by phone, email, facsimile or other means that avoid person-to-person contact;
  • Customers shall notify the retailer by text message, email, or phone once they arrive, or make best efforts to schedule their arrival time in advance.  The customer should be asked to remain in their vehicle, if arriving by car, until store staff delivers the purchase;
  • Designated employees should bring goods outside of the retail establishment and place goods directly in a customer’s vehicle when possible, avoiding person-to-person contact; and
  • Such businesses must follow social distancing and mitigation practices outlined in previous orders, including requiring workers to wear cloth face coverings when in contact with other workers or customers and gloves when in contact with goods or customers. 

Car Gatherings:  The Order states that car gatherings do not violate the Governor’s ban on gatherings under Executive Order No. 107.  Examples of such car gatherings include but are not limited to drive-in movies, religious services, or drive-through farms or safaris.  Car gatherings will be subject to the restrictions in the Order, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Attendees must remain in their same car throughout the gathering, unless 1) an occupant needs to get out of the vehicle for their health or safety or 2) an occupant needs to use the restroom;
  • The vehicle must remain closed at all times unless 1) there is six feet of distance between other vehicles or individuals or 2) an officer, public official or guard requires the vehicle to open. There is a further exception allowing the opening of the vehicle if necessary for health or safety;
  • Individuals organizing the gathering who are not in vehicles must follow social distancing and wear cloth face coverings; and
  • To the degree that a gathering requires pre-payment, or seeks donations of any kind, contactless options for pre-payment or donation, such as online or by telephone, must be offered wherever feasible.

Retail businesses operating in shopping malls are permitted to operate by curbside pickup, in accordance with the other requirements of this paragraph, but staff must bring the goods to customers at the exterior of the mall.  The indoor portions of shopping malls must remain closed, as required by the Governor’s previous orders.

A copy of Executive Order No. 142  can be found here.

Meanwhile:

  • Murphy also announced a comprehensive strategy to expand testing capacity and implement a robust contact tracing program for New Jersey.
  • To limit exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19, Heath Commissioner Judith Persichilli signed an Executive Directive requiring all long-term care facilities in the state to implement testing of staff and residents for the virus by May 26. The Directive also provides for retesting of individuals who test negative within 3-7 days to detect those with newly developed infection, and further retesting in according with CDC guidance.
  • Car washes – self-serve car washes can be open. Those with staff who was the vehicles may NOT be opened. If staff is taking payment or washing wheels they may be open. Staff MAY NOT GO INSIDE CARS.
  • ALL OF THESE OPENINGS STILL REQUIRE USE OF MASKS AND MAINTAINING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES.
  • Guidance about restrooms in public parks will be forthcoming later this week.
  • Information on public pools and whether they can open will be forthcoming later this week.
  • Regarding mobile testing for urban areas and whether there was a timeline for a launch of asymptomatic testing, the County on Wednesday said they are looking into the best way to expand testing in a responsible manner. They want to avoid giving a false sense of security to those who test negative so they don’t stop social distancing. The County is closely monitoring guidance from the State.
                                                

More Online DMV Services

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission today announced it has added to its growing offering of web-based transactions, expanding the types of vehicles eligible for online registration renewals and replacements. The additional vehicle registration categories range from four-year commercial trailers to commuter vans and ATVs. A full list is available at NJMVC.gov. In April, the MVC announced online renewal options for two Commercial Registration codes: Code 11 for commercial trucks and tractors, and Code 16 for aggregate haulers in an effort to keep critical supply chains moving during this public health emergency. The latest addition of vehicle categories announced today means another 50,000-plus transactions can now be accomplished online.                                                              

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,028 new cases; 141,560
  • NJ - 197 new deaths; 9,702 total
  • Union County - 117 new cases; 14,306 total cases
  • Union County - 8 new deaths; 908 total

May 12, 2020

  • More information on openings from the State coming by end of the week; decisions on pools, summer camps, summer school, etc. still being contemplated.
  • With regards to expanded testing – the State is anticipating being able to administer 20,000 tests per day by the end of May and this will go through June.
  • Details on Contact tracing will be forthcoming.
  • The Berkeley Heights Mayor, Township Administrator and CFO were on the County call today getting details about CARES Act funding and reimbursements for municipalities in regards to COVID-related expenses. 

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 898 new cases; 140,743
  • NJ - 198 new deaths; 9,508 total
  • Union County - 40 new cases; 14,203 total cases
  • Union County - 24 new deaths; 899 total

Hospitalizations

  • 4,328 people are hospitalized
  • 1,306 people are in critical care
  • 982 people are on ventilators
  • 34 people are in field hospitals
  • 360 people were admitted

The Road Back - New Jersey residents could soon get "hard dates" on when the state will begin to reopen, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. "We are getting data that is making us more comfortable and confident that we will soon give some hard dates as to when we can truly begin our road back through restart and recovery," Murphy said at his daily press conference in Trenton. "I’m hoping to put dates on the schedule very soon." (nj.com)

An Army of Contact Tracers - New Jersey has put out a call seeking to hire coronavirus contact tracers, a key part of Gov. Murphy’s plan to scale back stay-at-home restrictions. New Jersey will need thousands of contact tracers in the coming weeks and months, Murphy has said. (nj.com) 

Federal Funding - New Jersey received $31.5 million in a second round of Community Development Block Grant funding from the federal CARES Act, the state announced. It is in addition to the $4 million New Jersey received on April 2. The new money can be used for buildings and improvements, assistance to businesses, rental assistance, increased public services, planning, capacity building, and technical assistance, the state said. 

For the Kids - The state will use federal funds to provide $248 million in special food assistance to nearly 600,000 New Jersey children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals. The plan, approved by the federal government, will provide each eligible student with $416. 

Resources

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce and NJBIA webinar with Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, where he shares his views on the COVID-19 crisis. (May 6)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce Webinar with Neil Bradley, chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provides valuable details on the federal loan programs designed to help businesses navigate the pandemic.(April 23)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo provides vital information on the state unemployment insurance program and tips for applying. (April 16)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with Al Titone, SBA district director of New Jersey provides vital information on SBA coronavirus relief loan programs. (April 14).

For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.

The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

The IRS posted information on ’stimulus checks’ here. 

The state’s jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates. For employers to participate, click here.

New Jersey’s website for information on all of the state’s business resources during the pandemic.

New Jersey’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

Have Questions About the Status of an Unemployment Claim? - You can send a message to the state Labor Department through its website – www.myunemployment.nj.gov. Then follow these instructions:

  • On the top of the page, scroll to the right for “Need Help” and unveil the drop-down menu
  • Choose Send an Email
  • Choose Email: Submit a message through the new online form.
  • Follow the prompts

To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov.

The state set up a 24-hour hotline where health care professionals are answering questions about coronavirus. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222. From outside the state, call 1-800-962-1253.

May 11, 2020

Additional Openings Coming Soon

On Tuesday, Township officials will participate in a call with Union County on disbursement and use of the CARES Act funding. Also on Tuesday, we will receive information regarding testing and contact tracing plans by the State of New Jersey. Later this week, towns will also receive information on additional openings.

Meanwhile, Union County is currently piloting a mobile testing site in Plainfield to address those residents that don’t have transportation.

Reminder that tennis courts in Berkeley Heights are now open, with some restrictions.

InThisTogether BH Neighbors Helping Neighbors: This group of Berkeley Heights volunteers has come together with the Township to lead an effort to help people in Berkeley Heights manage during COVID-19. They set up a call center where residents can get connected to services, be assigned a phone check-in buddy, get info about Township & County programs, get groceries/supplies, and more. Neighbors Helping Neighbors is also making and distributing washable cloth handmade face masks. If you are or know a senior over the age of 70 (limited supplies) who would like a mask made by a neighbor, please email bhhelpingneighbor@gmail.com or call 908-312-2066. Special thanks to Adams Fine Clothing & Tuxedo, The Tailor’s Wife and the busy individuals making masks at home. If you receive any mask, follow strict sterile protocols and preferably wait a day before use! According to the CDC, everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.

Charting a Restart - New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Bracken and 15 members of the New Jersey Chamber’s Board of Directors, including Board Chair Linda Bowden, are among the business leaders named to serve on Gov. Phil Murphy’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council.  

Getting the Economy Running Again - “This group will not only help us gather the local intelligence we need to get our economy running again, but also will help us create the framework for coping with our new long-term economic realities,” Gov. Murphy said. A full list of the council members and their respective committees can be found here.  

A New State Budget Debate - Gov. Murphy is defending an emergency borrowing plan that he’s urging members of the Legislature to approve as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic after some lawmakers said it runs afoul of the state Constitution. (NJ Spotlight) 

Drug News - To help manage the nation’s second-largest COVID-19 outbreak, New Jersey will receive from the federal government 4,400 vials of remdesivir, the only drug so far proven to help patients with the coronavirus, the state’s top health official announced. (nj.com) 

Plasma Donations - New Jersey is ramping up efforts to collect plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19, as physicians and federal health officials tinker with ways to use it for treating current patients. (NJBIZ) 

Testing People Without Symptoms - The COVID-19 testing sites located at Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center are expanding testing to include asymptomatic New Jersey residents, Gov. Murphy announced.  

Rite Aid Expands Testing Sites - Rite Aid is expanding availability of self-administered coronavirus tests to 14 stores in New Jersey, even for those not experiencing symptoms, the company announced. (nj.com)

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,453 new cases; 139,945
  • NJ - 59 new deaths; 9,310 total
  • Union County - 115 new cases; 14,164 total cases
  • Union County - 8 new deaths; 875 total

Hospitalizations

  • 4,195 people are hospitalized
  • 1,255 people are in critical condition
  • 970 people are on ventilators
  • 31 people are in field hospitals
  • 179 people were admitted
  • 227 people were discharged
  • OVERALL NUMBERS FOR THE WEEKEND: 389 people were admitted while 666 were discharged.

May 9, 2020

As of Sunday, May 10, tennis courts in Berkeley Heights will be back open - but for tennis only!

Beginning Sunday, May 10, the tennis courts at Lower Columbia Park in Berkeley Heights will be open, but with some restrictions:

  • Courts are for TENNIS ONLY! No pickleball or other sports are allowed yet.
  • Games must be singles only – no doubles. That means one person on each side of the court at a time.
  • There must be one court in between every two in use – to maintain safe social distancing between players at all times.

Please be cognizant of the fact that droplets from a person’s mouth or nose can be on a player’s hand, which can then touch the ball, which then gets touched by the other player. Be sure to follow all proper hygiene protocols – such as frequently using hand sanitizer, not touching your face, and coughing/sneezing into your elbow, not your hand. Per normal COVID-19 protocols, one should always wear a mask if proper social distancing is not achievable. 

The courts at Lower Columbia are the only tennis courts in Berkeley Heights.

“The Governor has given mayors statewide the ability to open municipal courts only for tennis singles,” said Mayor Devanney. “I am asking residents to please adhere to the strictest protocols so we can continue to open more areas of the Township.”

Thank you for your patience and please stay safe!

Jersey’s Restart & Recovery

Governor Phil Murphy on Friday announced the formation of a statewide council of leaders to advise on New Jersey’s restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council will work in conjunction with the commission named last week and will bring together leaders from various industry, community, and faith-based groups and institutions across New Jersey to advise state leadership on economic issues impacted by the pandemic. In addition to focusing on issues surrounding the short-term restarting of New Jersey’s economy, this council also will begin the task of positioning the economy and creating a framework for the long-term recovery.    

Expanded Testing

Also on Friday, Murphy announced that New Jersey’s Community Based Testing Sites located at Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center will expand access to testing for COVID-19. The two testing locations, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be open to asymptomatic New Jersey residents. In addition to continued testing for symptomatic residents, testing will be prioritized for asymptomatic health care workers and first responders, personnel in congregate living settings, and New Jersey residents who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Expanded testing will begin on Sunday, May 10, at Bergen Community College at 8:00 a.m. and Monday, May 11, at PNC Bank Arts Center at 8:00 a.m. Asymptomatic New Jersey residents should attempt to seek guidance from a health care provider before accessing testing.

“Expanding access to testing is one of our key principles for getting New Jersey firmly on the road back to restart and recovery,” said Governor Murphy. “By building out our testing capacity, we can instill confidence among our residents that we are in front of the response and winning the fight against COVID-19.”

Summer in the Coronavirus Era - With Memorial Day — the unofficial start of summer — only 18 days away, Gov. Phil Murphy said last night he expects New Jersey’s beaches to reopen by then, with some restrictions, even as the coronavirus continues to grip the state. (nj.com) 

Beaches in the Coronavirus Era - “I will be shocked if our beaches are not open, but with very specific guidance, just as we opened county and state parks,” Murphy said during a wide-ranging live interview with NJTV. “You should expect we’ll give guidance on beaches before Memorial Day.” (NJTV) 

Boardwalks in the Coronavirus Era - The next — and far more challenging — step that Shore towns must confront is how to reopen retail and food service businesses, hotels and amusement parks, all of which are vital to municipalities’ survival, especially their ability to pay their quarterly property taxes. (NJ Spotlight) 

New Jersey Has Made a Comeback, in Securing Small Business Loans - Where have the small-business relief loans gone under the federal government’s coronavirus relief package? Midwestern businesses got an outsized share during the first lending round. New Jersey businesses have received more in the second round. (The New York Times) 

Hospitals in New Jersey Get (Cash) Infusion - Operators of 15 hospitals and health systems in New Jersey each will get more than $10 million in federal COVID-19 relief. (NJ Spotlight) 

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,759 new cases; 137,085
  • NJ - 166 new deaths; 9,116 total
  • Union County - 83 new cases; 13,984 total cases
  • Union County - 9 new deaths; 852 total  
  • Berkeley Heights: 41 active cases (increase of 2)
    • 34 LTCs (increase of 1)
    • 145 closed cases (same): 32 recovered from LTC (same), 38 LTC deaths (same), 3 community deaths (same)
    • Total of 186 cases (increase of 2)

Due to aggressive testing at BH LTCs, positive cases could increase significantly over the next few days.

 Hospitalizations

  • 4,628 patients hospitalized
  • 1,416 in critical condition
  • 1,054 on ventilators
  • 364 new admissions
  • 422 discharges

To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov.

The state set up a 24-hour hotline where health care professionals are answering questions about coronavirus. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222. From outside the state, call 1-800-962-1253.

May 6, 2020

Home Another 30 Days 

Governor Murphy on Wednesday signed Executive Order No. 138 which extends the Public Health Emergency another 30 days.  

“Extending this declaration ensures that we can continue using every resource at our disposal to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “But I want to ensure that this extension is not interpreted to mean that we are reconsidering our path forward or changing course on the principles I laid out last week in the Road Back plan. We will continue to stand by these principles and protect public health as we responsibly take steps to get the economy moving again.”

In addition, the state announced the deployment of 127 New Jersey National Guard men and women to long-term care facilities (LTCs) across the state.  

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 1,513 new cases; 131,890
  • NJ - 308 new deaths; 8,549 total
  • Union County - 128 new cases; 13,604 total cases
  • Union County - 32 new deaths; 800 total  

Hospitalizations

  • 5,221 hospitalizations
  • 1,549 ICU
  • 1,146 ventilators
  • 36 field hospitals
  • 439 admissions to hospitals
  • 435 discharged from hospitals

Numbers are Looking Better - Hospitalizations related to the coronavirus in New Jersey — a figure officials say is a key to how quickly the state reopens — have dropped 36 percent since peaking three weeks ago, according to numbers released by the state. (nj.com) 

Businesses Need Access to Cash and Clear Safety Guidelines - As the state moves towards reopening its economy, businesses will need two things: access to cash, and clear safety guidelines from the CDC so returning employees and customers feel safe, said Tom Bracken, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “We need to address these two major concerns and build the economic reopening from there,” Bracken said.  

Good Fiscal News - A day after he warned that New Jersey was facing a “fiscal disaster” because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that the state won’t have to return $2.4 billion in federal aid after the Trump administration relaxed its restrictions on how the state could spend the money. (nj.com) 

Road to Recovery - Union and business leaders are pushing a $24 billion infrastructure plan to improve roads and boost New Jersey’s post-pandemic economy. (ROI-NJ) 

Long-Term Care Facilities Under the Microscope - Universal COVID-19 testing is coming to all long-term care facilities in New Jersey, Gov. Murphy said. Meanwhile, the state attorney general is seeking help from families and staffers in an ongoing probe into why so many people have died at New Jersey nursing homes. (NJTV News) 

Resources

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce Webinar with Neil Bradley, chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provides valuable details on the federal loan programs designed to help businesses navigate the pandemic.(April 23)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo provides vital information on the state unemployment insurance program and tips for applying. (April 16)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with Al Titone, SBA district director of New Jersey provides vital information on SBA coronavirus relief loan programs. (April 14).

For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.

The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

The IRS posted information on ’stimulus checks’ here. 

The state’s jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates. For employers to participate, click here.

New Jersey’s website for information on all of the state’s business resources during the pandemic.

New Jersey’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

Have Questions About the Status of an Unemployment Claim? - You can send a message to the state Labor Department through its website – www.myunemployment.nj.gov. Then follow these instructions:

  • On the top of the page, scroll to the right for “Need Help” and unveil the drop-down menu
  • Choose Send an Email
  • Choose Email: Submit a message through the new online form.
  • Follow the prompts

To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov.

The state set up a 24-hour hotline where health care professionals are answering questions about coronavirus. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222. From outside the state, call 1-800-962-1253.

May 5, 2020

Our Berkeley Heights Board of Health has taken steps to ensure that local businesses are following both federal and state public health mandates and guidelines regarding cleaning, sanitizing, and hygiene practices - this includes food workers wearing masks and gloves. The CDC has stated that face coverings must fit snugly, and gloves be worn when handling food. Food businesses should also follow this and other CDC guidelines, such as cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and other measures, which can be found on the CDC website here. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, through Executive Order 122, also mandated that workers and customers of essential businesses such as those that provide food, need to wear masks and gloves, which are to be provided by the business. Businesses were asked to contact the Township if they needed help securing masks or gloves for their employees. 

We would like to thank the restaurants that are providing takeout food or providing deliver to residents. We know it’s been a difficult time and we sincerely appreciate your dedication to this community!

Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday said more progress needs to be made in the state’s battle against COVID-19 before the state lifts additional restrictions and reopens nonessential businesses, regardless of those lobbying for a faster plan as Memorial Day nears. There’s no "magic date" for reopening, he said. 

The governor stressed that without a vaccine or significant treatment, social distancing continues to be the best tool to fight COVID-19 and save lives.

“I’m sorry we can’t give you more definitive guidance yet,” Murphy said during his daily coronavirus press briefing. “We still have people getting sick, going to the hospitals, and sadly more than 300 we’re reporting (today) have died. So with all due respect, this is the fight of our lives.

“We gotta do it right,” he added. “We’ve got to do it responsibly, we’ve got to do it safely, and we are committed to that ... frankly, whether you like that or not.”

Berkeley Heights Deaths

Once again, we report the loss of two beautiful souls from one of our LTCs. Deaths were people in their 70s. Perhaps, we sound like a broken record but please pray for their family and friends. These are difficult times for our neighbors.

Berkeley Heights

  • 35 active cases (decrease 2)
  • 30 from LTCs (same)
  • 138 closed cases (increase of 6): 31 recovered from LTC (same), 33 LTC deaths (increase 2), 3 community deaths (same)
  • Total of 173 cases

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 2,494 new cases; 130,593
  • NJ - 334 new deaths; 8,244 total
  • Union County - 163 new cases; 13,503 total cases
  • Union County - 31 new deaths; 768 total  

Hospitalizations

  • 5,328 people are hospitalized - a 36% drop since peaking three weeks ago, a "steady decline"
  • 1,534 are in critical condition – this number has been declining in the last week
  • 1,169 people are on ventilators
  • 35 people are being treated at field hospitals – so far 400 people total have been treated at field hospitals
  • 385 new admissions
  • 232 discharges

Regarding LTC’s (long-term care facilities)

  • 509 facilities with positive cases
  • Total of 22,602 positives in LTC’s
  • If you want information as to whether an LTC in your community is affected, you can visit the Dept of Health website, there is a dedicated tab for LTCs.

May 4, 2020

Covid-19 Update, May 4, 2020, Berkeley Heights Numbers:

The weather has been beautiful and many residents are looking to get out and socialize. But this virus is still killing people. It spreads quickly, and while many of our deaths have been in our long-term care facilities (LTCs), we are are ALL responsible for saving lives by staying home. We have many, many years ahead of us of backyard BBQs, get togethers and social events. But we have ONE opportunity to save lives.

With that, and with a heavy heart, we report the death of two more residents of our LTCs. Please note that we think this number is low as the Department of Health reporting system "crashed" this weekend. These members of our greater Berkeley Heights community were people in their 80s & 90s. Please pray for their friends and family.

  • 37 active cases (increase of 1)
  • 29 from LTCs (increase of 1)
  • 132 closed cases (increase of 3): 31 recovered from LTCs (increase of 3). 31 LTC deaths (increase of 3), - 3 community deaths (same)
  • 169 total cases (increase of 4)

Click here for more information on NJ LTCs.

By the Numbers

Hospitalizations:

  • 5,287 people are hospitalized - ↓ 1,000 in the last 5 days
  • 1,610 people in critical condition
  • 1,189 people on ventilators
  • 41 people being treated in field hospitals
  • 362 new admissions to hospitals
  • 335 discharged from hospitals

The state reporting system was down on 5/3/20 and likely skewed today’s numbers of new cases. Please check back tomorrow for an update. For more detail on today’s numbers visit the NJ Department of Health website.

Remote Learning for Rest of Year for Jersey Kids

Citing the need to protect the health of New Jersey’s 1.6 million public and private school students as well as thousands of educators and support staff, Governor Phil Murphy today announced that statewide school closures will be extended through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Private schools with longer academic years will remain closed until at least June 30.

While the prohibition of in-person instruction will be maintained through the end of the school year, public schools will continue to provide remote learning for students to allow districts to meet the state-required minimum of 180 instruction days.

“This is a difficult decision and I know that many students, parents, and staff would like to be able to return to school,” said Governor Murphy. “However, I have been unwavering on the message that we need to make decisions based on science, not emotion. And while New Jersey is making great strides in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, science tells us that at this point, we can’t safely re-open our schools.” 

The Administration will create a steering committee consisting of a diverse group of stakeholders in the education community to explore summer learning opportunities for all students, including school-sponsored summer programming and Extended School Year for students with disabilities. The committee will provide recommendations to the Administration as to which services need to continue to be provided remotely should the public health emergency extend past the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year.

The committee will also explore approaches for the safest and most efficient re-opening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

In other news...

  • Governor Murphy issued a directive allowing for municipalities top open tennis courts for singles play only, private tennis clubs must remain closed; Berkeley Heights is still evaluating this. 
  • We are hoping to have guidance from the state about municipal pools by the end of this week.
  • Teaming Up - New Jersey is joining six other states to develop a regional strategy to acquire personal protective gear, medical equipment and test kits. 

    Construction Delays - The coronavirus is forcing New Jersey to adjust a few environmental rules, and the change could slow some construction projects across the Garden State. (nj.com).

  • For more details on the environmental rule changes, click here.

  • Join Us for a Webinar with the Assembly Speaker this Wednesday, May 6 - Join the N.J. Chamber of Commerce and NJBIA as Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin shares his views on the New Jersey business community and the COVID-19 crisis. He will also take questions from the audience. To register, click here.

  • Nursing Homes in Crisis - New Jersey will ask the National Guard to help nursing homes that have been decimated by the coronavirus. (nj.com)

    Resources
  • The N.J. Chamber of Commerce Webinar with Neil Bradley, chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provides valuable details on the federal loan programs designed to help businesses navigate the pandemic.(April 23)
  • The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo provides vital information on the state unemployment insurance program and tips for applying. (April 16)

  • The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with Al Titone, SBA district director of New Jersey provides vital information on SBA coronavirus relief loan programs. (April 14).

  • For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.

  • The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

  • The IRS posted information on ’stimulus checks’ here. 

  • The state’s jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates. For employers to participate, click here.

  • New Jersey’s website for information on all of the state’s business resources during the pandemic.

  • New Jersey’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

  • Have Questions About the Status of an Unemployment Claim? - You can send a message to the state Labor Department through its website – www.myunemployment.nj.gov. Then follow these instructions:

    • On the top of the page, scroll to the right for “Need Help” and unveil the drop-down menu

    • Choose Send an Email

    • Choose Email: Submit a message through the new online form.

    • Follow the prompts

  • To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov.

  • The state set up a 24-hour hotline where health care professionals are answering questions about coronavirus. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222. From outside the state, call 1-800-962-1253.

Over 830 companies are hiring for over 57,000 jobs during this health crisis. Click here for job listings.

May 3, 2020

Enjoy the weather this weekend, everyone, but PLEASE REMEMBER to maintain safe social distancing so we can all show the County and state that we CAN follow the rules and they can reopen more for us - sooner!


May 1, 2020

Parks OpenLocal, Board of Ed and County Parks Open to Passive Recreation Only Beginning May 2

Union County parks will partially re-open beginning at dawn tomorrow (Saturday, May 1) for limited and passive activities only. State parks and golf courses can also reopen with restrictions. The County’s two golf courses will open next week, after routine maintenance is conducted. However, all group activities and any activity that does not allow for proper social distancing is NOT allowed.

What’s a Passive Activity?

A passive activity is essentially anything you can do that does not require another person: fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing, hiking, walking, running or jogging, biking, birding, and horseback riding. This does NOT include:

  • Any type of group activity or sport (soccer, basketball, lacrosse, group running,
  • Gathering on fields
  • Any type of game
  • Or similar activities with others

Here in Berkeley Heights

Fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball and pickleball courts will remain closed. Passaic, Horseshoe, Sansone, and Snyder fields will be closed, along with the Snyder parking lot. Trails are open for walking, running and biking.

As it pertains to Berkeley Heights Public Schools outdoor facilities, the only areas that will reopen on May 2nd are the track at Governor Livingston High School and the walking path near the Lower Columbia Fields. The turf field and athletic fields on the High School property remain CLOSED, the basketball courts, tennis courts, fields and playground at Columbia remain CLOSED. We ask that residents respect the order and not use these unopened spaces even as access to them becomes more accessible. We can only reopen the track and walking path with these restrictions in place. If residents violate the restrictions, we will be forced to close these areas again. As a reminder, all group activities and any activity that does not allow for proper social distancing is not allowed.

In spaces that are open for use, everyone needs to properly social distance, except if you are with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

We encourage everyone to follow the rules regarding social distancing, masks, and permitted activities, so as to give confidence to local, county and state governments that more spaces can slowly reopen. Thank you for your cooperation. Enjoy the beautiful weekend!

More Support for Food Assistance, Seniors, Child Care & More

This week, NJ Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson announced new funding to help support New Jerseyans’ health and well-being during this public health emergency, including:

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 2,651 new cases; 121,190
  • NJ - 311 new deaths; 7,538 total
  • Union County - 214 new cases; 12,779 total cases
  • Union County - 24 new deaths; 714 total   

Hospitalizations in NJ

  • 5,972 total
  • 1,724 in ICU
  • 1,286 on ventilators
  • 46 in field hospital
  • 432 admissions
  • 571 discharged

Over 830 companies are hiring for over 57,000 jobs during this health crisis. Click here for job listings.

Call-in number for Union County Residents Only for testing site appointments at Kean University 908-214-7107.

More Money for Businesses is Coming - Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released guidelines for its soon-to-open Main Street Lending Program that will offer four-year loans starting at $500,000 for small- and medium-sized businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify, a business must have had fewer than 15,000 employees or less than $5 billion in revenue in 2019. Lending institutions are administering the program, and a high percentage of each of the loans will be guaranteed by the Fed. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year. 

Act Now - Once the Federal Reserve opens the Main Street Lending Program, qualified businesses should apply quickly. To prepare, the New Jersey Chamber encourages members to review the information and reach out to lenders now. For the Fed’s press release, click here. For frequently asked questions, click here

New Jersey Businesses Are Not Getting Their Fair Share of Paycheck Protection Program Loans - New Jersey is one of the states hardest hit by COVID-19, but less than 20% of small firms here got an award from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to offset COVID-19 losses. (NJ Spotlight) 

More Tests Coming- New Jersey will at least double its daily number of tests for the coronavirus after the federal government agreed to send 550,000 testing kits and 750,000 swabs, Gov. Murphy said. This development, he added, could be critical to reopening the state. (nj.com) 

At the White House - Gov. Murphy made a plea to President Trump yesterday that New Jersey needs federal money to help make up for what could be a $20 billion to $30 billion hit to the state government’s finances as businesses close and tax revenues plummet. (nj.com) 

Washing Machine - New Jersey has “secured” a system that can decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 respirators a day, Gov. Murphy announced. This helps address the current shortage of critical Personal Protective Equipment. The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System is centrally located in Edison and can service the entire state.  

Resources

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce Webinar with Neil Bradley, chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provides valuable details on the federal loan programs designed to help businesses navigate the pandemic.(April 23)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo provides vital information on the state unemployment insurance program and tips for applying. (April 16)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with Al Titone, SBA district director of New Jersey provides vital information on SBA coronavirus relief loan programs. (April 14).

For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.

The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

The IRS posted information on ’stimulus checks’ here. 

The state’s jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates. For employers to participate, click here.

New Jersey’s website for information on all of the state’s business resources during the pandemic.

New Jersey’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

Have Questions About the Status of an Unemployment Claim? - You can send a message to the state Labor Department through its website – www.myunemployment.nj.gov. Then follow these instructions:

  • On the top of the page, scroll to the right for “Need Help” and unveil the drop-down menu
  • Choose Send an Email
  • Choose Email: Submit a message through the new online form.
  • Follow the prompts

To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov.

The state set up a 24-hour hotline where health care professionals are answering questions about coronavirus. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222. From outside the state, call 1-800-962-1253.


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