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Posted on: November 1, 2020

Coronavirus: News Updates November 2020

COVID-19 Updates

November 30, 2020

By the Numbers

Berkeley Heights Covid19 Update

  • NEW CASES: 6, community cases;0  Vulnerable Population Institute (VPI) cases
    • 1 Female 20s, Female 50s, Male 60s, Male 40s, Male 13-19 yrs, Female 13-19 yrs
      • 168 LTC Recovered
      • 60 LTC Deaths 
      • BH Resident Deaths
        TOTAL of 517 Cases
      • New Jersey: 337,304 total
      • Union County; 28,437 total
      • Deaths in New Jersey; 15,164 total
      • Confirmed deaths in Union County; 1,264 total
Indoor Gatherings Reduced Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday he’s lowering New Jersey’s outdoor gathering restrictions for the second time this month to 25 people ahead of the busy December holiday season, though there are some exemptions. The governor’s latest order takes effect at 6 a.m. on Dec. 7 and will be in place indefinitely. Rules include:Limiting group sizes to no more than 25 people, down from 150 peoplehe ordered earlier in the month. The limit had previously been 500 people.
  • There are exceptions for religious or political activities, as well as for and funerals, memorial services, and wedding ceremonies.
  • Murphy clarified "separate groups who are dining outdoors at our restaurants do not constitute a single 'gathering.'"
  • Outdoor amusements continue to be subject to 50% capacity limits. If there is a special event (i.e., a birthday party) held at one of these amusement businesses, however, it would be subject to the 25 person limit.

Department of Community Affairs Issues Outdoor Dining Guidance to Help Restaurants, Similar Establishments Adapt to Ongoing COVID19 Pandemic (regarding use of tents for outdoor dining) 

Statement from Gov. Murphy on latest travel advisory: "As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout our nation, New Jersey will no longer utilize previously outlined metrics to inform its travel advisory. Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time. Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging for the CDC recommended period, which is currently 14 days. The Department of Health will issue additional information in the coming days regarding travel precautions. Individuals should continue to abide by the state's current guidance until a new policy is issued."

Safe Santa for Berkeley Heights Families - On December 12, 2020 Santa will be out on patrol with the Berkeley Heights Police Department, on a special operation.  If you would like Santa to drive by your house after the operation is completed, please fill out the form here.  REGISTRATION DUE BY DECEMBER 5, 2020. You must be home on December 12, 2020. A schedule with estimated DRIVE BY times will be provided approximately one week before Police Santa. We look forward to our special mission on December 12th!!

Kids Caught in the Act of Masking UpThe BH Cares program is in week eight of drawing five winners from the community members that have taken the pledge to wear a face covering around town, use social distancing when necessary and wash or sanitize your hands often.  Taking this pledge shows that you care about the safety of our community and that you are doing your part to keep our local businesses open during this pandemic. Thanks to Dunkin Berkeley Heights, Starbucks at The Park [Embassy Suites] and Smith Chiropractic Foundation, BH Cares has extended the program to draw five student winners to be awarded a $10 gift card to Dunkin or Starbucks.  Also, the Berkeley Heights Police Department is looking to catch kids in the act of masking up and will reward them on the spot with a $10 gift card to Dunkin or Starbucks.  Read more in TAP here. 

November 29, 2020

By the Numbers:

  • Berkeley Heights: 

    • 2 new Community Cases: 2 Females, 30s

    • 168 LTC (long-term care cases) recovered; 60 LTC deaths; 4 BH resident deaths

    • TOTAL of 511 Cases

***Important message for BH Health Office***

We will be unable to provide further “active/recovered” cases due to the increase in Union County Covid-19 cases. As per the latest guidance by the NJDOH, we are working to close out cases passed their isolation dates. And focus on all new positive cases coming in daily. We will provide the daily number of cases with gender and age range, as well as a total number of cases.
 

November 22, 2020

  • BH has 1 new positive community case

  • The transmission rate has fallen to 1.16


By the Numbers:

  • 3,924 new cases in New Jersey; 330,275 total

  • 103 new cases in Union County; 27,803 total

  • 62 new deaths in New Jersey; 15,136 total

  • 4 new deaths in Union County; 1,263 total

  • Rate of Transmission: 1.16

  • Berkeley Heights: All 21 NJ Counties Now High Risk in COVID-19 Activity

    • Total active and recovered cases unknown due to increase in Union County cases

    • 1 New Community Case

      • Male in 50s

    • 168 LTC Recovered, 60 LTC deaths, 4 BH deaths

    • Total of 509 cases


Hospitalizations:

  • 2,830 people remain hospitalized

  • 560 people are in intensive care

  • 305 people are on ventilators


NJ Recommends Full Remote Learning in Schools - With rising cases, all 21 NJ counties are now considered orange, high risk in COVID-19 activity. As a result, schools should consider implementing full remote learning, meaning shutting down in-person classes. However, schools can remain open to in-person classes unless their region becomes red, very high-risk. Governor Murphy does not intend to mandate statewide remote learning.


NJ Weekly Unemployment Claims Fall - For the sixth week in a row, NJ weekly unemployment claims have fallen and have reached the pre-pandemic low. In October, the unemployment rate in NJ had risen to 8.2%. 


What’s Reopening - For a summary of the arts/entertainment venues and other recreational destinations throughout NJ, please read the following article.

November 22, 2020

  • BH has 1 new positive community case

  • The transmission rate has fallen to 1.35


By the Numbers:

  • 3,998 new cases in New Jersey; 306,007 total

  • 280 new cases in Union County; 26,043 total

  • 44 new deaths in New Jersey; 14,949 total

  • 3 new deaths in Union County; 1,249 total

  • Rate of Transmission: 1.35

  • Berkeley Heights: 

    • Total active and recovered cases unknown due to increase in Union County casesMASK UP!

    • 1 New Community Case

      • Female 

    • 168 LTC Recovered, 60 LTC deaths, 4 BH deaths

    • Active Cases in the School District 

      • 6 GL 

      • 1 CMS

      • 1 MP

      • 1 WW (all-remote)

      • 1 Staff Member

    • Total of 493 cases


Hospitalizations:

  • 2,568 people remain hospitalized

  • 466 people are in intensive care

  • 237 people are on ventilators


Second Wave Surge in NJ - Hospitalizations have risen for the 23rd consecutive day, which is expected to get worse as it gets colder and people gather to celebrate for the holidays. Continue to wear masks, social distance, and limit gatherings during the holidays.


Report COVID-19 Violations - If someone or a group of individuals violate COVID-19 rules, please visit this form to report it. With a transmission rate above 1 and a growing number of cases, please remain vigilant to stop the spread.


Governor Murphy Unlikely to Shut Indoor Dining Down - Although all options are on the table, Governor Murphy is unlikely to shut indoor dining down without additional federal aid. Indoor dining remains limited to 25% capacity. 

November 19, 2020

  • BH has 4 new positive community cases

  • The transmission rate has risen to 1.42


By the Numbers:

  • 4,320 new cases in New Jersey; 293,744 total

  • 327 new cases in Union County; 25,235 total

  • 62 new deaths in New Jersey; 14,877 total

  • 5 new deaths in Union County; 1,243 total

  • Rate of Transmission: 1.42

  • Berkeley Heights: NJ Transmission Rate Rises to 1.42

    • Total active and recovered cases unknown due to increase in Union County cases

    • 4 New Community Cases

      • Female 70’s

      • Male 70’s

      • Female 20’s

      • Male 40’s

    • 168 LTC Recovered, 60 LTC deaths, 4 BH deaths

    • Total of 481 cases


Hospitalizations:

  • 2,471 people remain hospitalized

  • 456 people are in intensive care

  • 216 people are on ventilators


CDC Advises To Stay Home During Thanksgiving - With surging cases across the country, especially in NJ, the CDC advises people to stay home this Thanksgiving. If you do decide to travel for Thanksgiving, please exercise proper health protocols and be aware of the travel restrictions.


Winter High School Sports Pushed to 2021 - The NJSIAA has pushed winter sports back to 2021. Except for ice hockey, practices will begin in either January, February, or March depending on the sport. For specifics, please check out the following article.


NJ Borrows $4B to Balance Budget - With declining tax revenues, NJ has borrowed $4B to make up the deficit in the state budget. 

November 16, 2020

  • BH is currently reporting 54 active cases

  • The transmission rate has risen to 1.4

  • Starting Nov. 23, the indoor gathering Limit will fall to 10 people; outdoor gathering limit will fall to 150 people


There are now 54 active cases in Berkeley Heights. Please wear masks in Berkeley Heights AND when travelling, keep large indoor gatherings to a minimum, and practice proper health protocols.

 

By the Numbers:

  • 2,232 new cases in New Jersey; 281,493 totalBH Now Has 54 Active Cases

  • 192 new cases in Union County; 24,350 total

  • 41 new deaths in New Jersey; 14,779 total

  • 4 new deaths in Union County; 1,228 total

  • Rate of Transmission: 1.4

  • Berkeley Heights: 

    • 54 active cases (0 Vulnerable Population Institution)

      • 46 Positive GLHS cases, 35 recovered

      • 4 Positive CMS cases, 3 recovered

      • 2 Positive MP cases, 1 recovered

      • 2 Community cases

    • 297 GLHS students quarantined

    • 68 Teaching Staff members quarantined

    • 0 new district cases within the past two days

    • 411 closed cases (167 recovered from LTC, 59 LTC deaths, 4 community deaths)

    • Total of 465 cases


Hospitalizations:

  • 2,115 people remain hospitalized

  • 417 people are in intensive care

  • 137 people are on ventilators


NJ Lowers Indoor, Outdoor Gathering Limits - Effective on November 23, the limit for indoor gatherings will fall from 25 to 10 people, and outdoor gatherings fall from 500 to 150 people. There is no change to the 25% capacity limits on indoor dining, and outdoor weddings, funerals, religious services, and political activities will continue to have no limit.


NJ Youth and High School Sports Included in New Limits - The 10 person indoor limit applies to indoor sport practices and games, with exceptions for people necessary for competition. Spectators will likely not be permitted in indoor sports, and likely less than 150 will be allowed to attend outdoor sports gatherings.


Every NJ County Sees Increase in Cases - All 21 counties in NJ have experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases. To see the spread in your county, please check out the following article.


NJ Jury Trials Suspended - Due to rising cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, NJ has suspended jury trials and in-person grand jury proceedings. The court plans to use remote court sessions again.


Bars, Restaurants Cited for COVID-19 Rule Violations - The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is inspecting restaurants across the state. Restaurants that fail to comply with COVID-19 rules will be cited.


November 11, 2020

  • BH is currently reporting 69 active cases

  • The transmission rate has risen to 1.27

  • The quarantine advisory list has been expanded

    • The only states not on the list are Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Vermont


There are now 69 active cases in Berkeley Heights. Please wear masks in Berkeley Heights AND when travelling, keep large indoor gatherings to a minimum, and practice proper health protocols. BH Now Has 69 Active Cases


By the Numbers:

  • 3,078 new cases in New Jersey; 263,495 total

  • 239 new cases in Union County; 24,606 total

  • 35 new deaths in New Jersey; 14,676 total

  • 2 new deaths in Union County; 1,215 total

  • Rate of Transmission: 1.27

  • Berkeley Heights: 

    • 69 active cases (3 Vulnerable Population Institution)

      • 42 cases in the district (37 GL students, 4 CMS students, 1 Mountain Park student)

    • 365 closed cases (164 recovered from LTC, 59 LTC deaths, 4 community deaths)

    • Total of 424 cases


Hospitalizations:

  • 1,801 people remain hospitalized

  • 334 people are in intensive care

  • 104 people are on ventilators


NJ Imposes Indoor Dining Curfew, Bar Seating Ban - Except for inside airports, restaurants, bars, clubs, lounges, and other businesses that serve food/drinks cannot operate indoor dining between 10:00 P.M and 5:00 A.M.  Additionally, patrons will not be allowed to sit at indoor bars.


Updated Quarantine Advisory - Governor Murphy has now expanded the quarantine advisory list to 45 states and territories. The only states not on the list are Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Vermont. Although not on the list, travel through these states is highly discouraged.  All individuals travelling to NJ from the states on the list should self-quarantine for 14 days. 


What’s Reopening - For a summary of the arts/entertainment venues and other recreational destinations throughout NJ, please read the following article.

November 9, 2020

Berkeley Heights COVID-19 Update, 11-9-20

Berkeley Heights Cases Update:

Official Numbers:
  • 54 active cases
        3 Vulnerable Population Institution 
  • NEW CASES
    • Male ( 13-19 YO)
    • Female (40’s)
365 Closed Cases: 164 LTC Recovered, 59 LTC Deaths, 4 BH Resident Deaths

Total of 417 Cases

School District cases: 
 (Awaiting Updated Superintendent's Report) 

***Message to the BH Community regarding discrepancies of numbers***

The reported number of positive COVID-19 cases are the numbers that have been officially documented within the Union County Department of Health.  Please note that the process of receiving the medical documentation from healthcare providers and/or directly from the individual is not necessarily an immediate process and therefore, may not accurately reflect positive cases that are directly reported to the school.

November 6, 2020


BH Sports Suspended for Two Weeks 

Mayor Angie Devanney provided an updated message to the community after the recent uptick of COVID-19 cases reported. Her message stated: 

As many of you know the school district reported seven positive cases earlier in the week of Covid-19 at Governor Livingston High School. In addition, the Township is reporting 37 new community cases since November 1st.  As a result of the community spread, report of cases at GLHS and lack of reporting positive cases directly to our Health Officer, I am suspending all organized sports for all Township residents until November 19th

This is a decision that I did not come to lightly. 

Read more here.

This includes sports in BHPAL, BH Recreation, SDA and other leagues. If everyone does their part, sports may resume. We do not want to shut parks down or anything else in our community; we won't have to if everyone maintains vigilance. We cannot stress enough the importance of proper COVID protocols and conveying those protocols to your children, particularly teenagers.

Contact Tracing FAQs 

Berkeley Heights and other towns cannot get their numbers under control if people do not cooperate with contact tracers. For COVID-19, the ability to scale our contact tracing capability is absolutely crucial to break the chain of transmission, slow community spread and restart the economy. Contact tracing is a long-standing process; if you're getting called, it's because you tested positive for COVID-19 or may have come into close contact with someone who has. Contact tracing goes hand in hand with testing. It is part of the process of supporting patients with suspected or confirmed infection. Here's how it works.

Contact tracers will reach out via phone, text message, or letters dropped off at your door. Contact tracers will provide their name, agency, and a phone number.

If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of your conversation with a contact tracer, you may hang up and call your local health department. You should also feel free to request the name and ID of anyone who calls.

Our Berkeley Heights Health Officer can be contacted at: (908) 518-5620.

What A Contact Tracer WILL Ask...

To ensure you have the care you need and the support to keep you and your family safe, you may be asked:

  • To confirm your date of birth, address, or other basic information.
  • Discuss any symptoms you may have had, whether you were hospitalized, or any underlying health conditions that might put you at greater risk.
  • Details about your living situation so you can be informed on how to safely self-isolate or self-quarantine.
  • If you are uninsured, so we can give you additional information about free testing and care.
  • You may also be asked about your job to determine if you are a health care worker or essential worker and therefore must comply with additional safety requirements.

If you tested positive for COVID-19:

  • A contact tracer will work with you to identify your close contacts - anyone you spent 15 minutes or more with over a 24-hour period and were within 6 feet of while you were infectious (2 days before onset of symptoms to 10 days after).
  • If you don't have symptoms, we'll ask about your activity during the two days before your diagnosis.
  • We will also ask for the phone numbers of anyone you tell us about, so they can be called and cared for.

What a Contact Tracer Will NOT Ask...

  • A contact tracer will never ask for your social security number
  • A contact tracer will never ask for confidential financial information like your bank or credit card number.
  • A contact tracer will never ask about your immigration status and ICE will not be notified about your location.
  • The information you share will not be used for the purposes of law enforcement or immigration enforcement in any way.
  • The information you share will not negatively affect your public charge assessment or be used to deny access to health care or any other essential service.
  • Your cell phone is never tracked, a GPS location is not followed, and geolocation data is not collected or used.

If someone is requesting personal information covered above, it is likely a scam. You can report these calls online to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs or by calling 973-504-6240.

Your information is confidential. Neither your name or your COVID status will not be released to your contacts, or your COVID-19 status; that information will only be known to public health officials and our local health departments.

Berkeley Heights Cases Update:

  • 36 active cases, inclusive of three in the vulnerable community
  • The new cases include:
    • Male (40's)
    • 7 Males (13-18 yrs)
    • 5 Females (13-18 yrs)

Quarantine List

As of Wednesday, November 4, 43 states and U.S. jurisdictions are on the list of "impacted states". NJ State Updated quarantine advisory list 

NJ Interim Vaccination Plan

The New Jersey Department of Health collaborated with health care partners and immunization stakeholders to submit a vaccine plan to the CDC last month. This plan encompasses suggested priority groups for vaccination, logistics of vaccine storage and handling, health care provider recruitment, tracking and reporting of immunizations, etc. Since no vaccine is currently available, the Dept of Health is closely following progress on COVID-19 vaccine trials and potential U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized vaccine(s).

Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Defense to help develop, make, and distribute millions of vaccine doses for COVID-19 as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and that they work. Learn more about Operation Warp Speed here.

Click here for more on the NJ interim COVID-19 vaccination plan. 

New Employer Safety Guidelines
Beginning November 5, employers must adhere to new employee protection guidelines, summarized here. Detailed requirements, as well as exemptions for certain employers, can be found in Executive Order No. 192. 

Most businesses can reopen, while following appropriate mitigation requirements. Links to industry-specific guidance can be found below. For a timeline of reopening dates and more information about the framework guiding the State's decisions, visit the state's Reopening Page. For additional information on COVID-19 and its impact on businesses, please visit the State of New Jersey's COVID-19 Business Information Hub.  More here.

Murphy Weighs "Broader Action'

New Jersey health officials reported about 2,199 new <>coronavirus cases and 13 additional deaths on Friday as Gov. Phil Murphy continues to weigh potential "broader action" to deal with the surging second wave of the outbreak. Murphy said Thursday he’s “close” to ordering new coronavirus restrictions, but has not disclosed any specifics. Read more.

November 4, 2020

UPDATE 4 pm: There are five more cases in Berkeley Heights now being reported; this is in addition to the five reported earlier today - so total of 10 new cases being reported today. More information coming tonight. 

Berkeley Heights not has: 

  • 23 active cases, including 12 in vulnerable population institutions (VPI)
  • 377 cases total since the onset of COVID19, 354 closed cases (154 LTC recovered, 58 LTC deaths, 4 BH resident deaths)

EARLIER: Mayor Angie Devanney issued a COVID-19 message today after receiving a report of five new community cases in Berkeley Heights.

New Cases include:

  • Male (50's)
  • Male (18-23)
  • Female (50's)
  • Female (40's)
  • Female (late 40's)

There are 23 active cases in Berkeley Heights with 12 of those cases in vulnerable population institutions according to the report recently released by Mayor Devanney. There have been a total of 377 cases in Berkeley Heights since the onset of the pandemic with 354 closed cases, 58 LTC deaths and four Berkeley Heights resident deaths.

Click here to read Mayor Devanney's message in its entirety.

It is imperative that residents and visitors to BH of all ages practice safe COVID protocols; this includes kids ranging from the very young to teenager. Masks NEEDS to be worn when congregating in groups when staying 6 feet apart is not possible, even outside.

COVID Alert NJ - Add Your Phone to the COVID Fight COVID Alert

COVID Alert NJ is New Jersey's free and secure mobile app that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app also provides users with up-to-date information on New Jersey reopening news, key COVID-19 metrics, and a user-friendly symptom tracking tool. COVID Alert NJ uses Bluetooth proximity technology. The app will never record any identifying data. All users will remain anonymous.


How it Works:

  1. Download COVID Alert NJ on the App Store or Google Play Store. Opt-in to receive "Exposure Notifications"
  2. As you go about your day, the app will use Bluetooth to sense any "close contacts"—other app users who are within 6 feet of you for more than 10 minutes
  3. When your app senses a close contact, your phone will exchange a secure random code with the close contact's phone. It's important to note that your location and name are never disclosed
  4. If you test positive for COVID-19, a public health representative will call you and ask if you're willing to anonymously notify your "close contacts" by uploading your app's close contact codes
  5. Each day, the app will compare your list of close contact codes to the list of codes associated with positive COVID-19 app users. If there's a match you will get an Exposure Alert, along with appropriate next steps

Governor Livingston Senior Desmond Lam contributed to these reports. 

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