***Please see the latest BH COVID case numbers on our COVID statistics page here***
May 27, 2021
Despite Mask Mandate Lifting, BH Town Hall Not Yet Open - While it's great that many mask mandates are being lifted in New Jersey, our new municipal complex here in Berkeley Heights - including the new library - is not yet open widely to the public. This is not COVID related at this point, it's because we do not yet have a certificate of occupancy (CO).
Our elevator still needs to be inspected by the state; and it must pass inspection. In addition, we still need the push-button access system for the front doors to be functioning properly for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This push-button functionality has also been yet another thorn in our side; something that we continue to push for week after week after months of back and forth on wiring, hardware and other issues.
There are simply too many liability issues associated with opening up fully without those two key pieces falling into place. We hope the public can understand as we continue to work our hardest pushing the developer and subcontractors on both items. We can't wait to welcome you when we are able!
Masks will be Optional for Vaccinated Workers in N.J. Offices and Businesses, Starting June 4, Gov. Murphy said. Further, Employers Can Bring Remote Workers Back to the Workplace. - New Jersey businesses, starting June 4, can let their employees work maskless if they’ve been vaccinated for the coronavirus, while people who have been working remotely can now be called back to the office under a pair of new orders yesterday from Gov. Phil Murphy. The announcement came two days after the state announced that mask mandates in most places will end Friday. That order specifically said that businesses that aren’t open to the public needed to require workers to wear masks when they couldn’t social distance. Wednesday’s update tweaks that. (nj.com)
The State Lifts Capacity Limits at Child Care Facilities, but Masks Must Be Worn - New Jersey is lifting capacity limits on child care classes, but masks are still required both inside and outside at child care facilities, Gov. Murphy announced yesterday. Child care facilities were closed at the start of the pandemic except for kids of essential workers. Since a limited reopening in June, class sizes have been capped at 15. (nj.com)
Get Your Grants Here: Next Phase of N.J.’s Emergency Assistance Grant Program Opens Today - Pre-registration reopened for Phase 4 of the state's Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides grants of up to $20,000 to eligible small- and medium-sized businesses and nonprofits that have been hurt by the pandemic.
Interested business owners and non-profits will need to pre-register access the application. Pre-registration will remain open for five weeks, until Wednesday, June 30th, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. For more information, click here. (State of New Jersey)
Interested? Check out the Phase 4 Small Business Emergency Grant Program Pre-Registration Walkthrough!
The SBA Launches a Grant Program for Businesses Owned by Veterans, Women and Economically Disadvantaged People - The U.S. Small Business Administration launched the ‘Community Navigator Pilot Program,’ a $100 million grant program, that also provides counseling and networking, for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women and veterans. For more information, click here. (U.S. Small Business Administration)
May 25, 2021
Mask and Social Distancing Mandates in Stores and Restaurants End Friday. Businesses can Choose to Continue a Mask Policy. - The indoor mask policy will be lifted as of Friday, as will the 6-foot social distancing requirement, Gov. Phil Murphy announced yesterday. Businesses can continue to have their own mask-wearing policies, the governor said. Those who aren’t fully vaccinated are still encouraged to wear face coverings. individual businesses can decide if they want to keep indoor mask requirements in place and workplaces can also keep mask mandates.
There will Still Be Places Masks Must be Worn - There will still be places in New Jersey where masks must be worn, like indoor worksites that are not open to the public, elementary and secondary schools, summer camps, and in child care and health care facilities. Read the details here. (N.J. Governor’s Office)
In Berkeley Heights ... all visitors to Town Hall must continue to wear masks while indoors until further notice.
Unvaccinated People are Encouraged to Keep Wearing Masks and Socially Distance. Employers Cannot Require People to Take Off Masks. - Gov. Phil Murphy said unvaccinated people are strongly encouraged to keep wearing face coverings and socially distance. Businesses will be allowed, but not mandated, to keep requiring employees and customers to wear face coverings. The governor’s administration said businesses would not violate laws if they ask employees or patrons to prove their vaccination status. Conversely, Murphy said the state would punish any business that requires people to remove masks before entering, though he didn’t say what the penalties would be. (nj.com)
N.J. to Drop 6-Foot Distancing Rule for Restaurants, Businesses and Other Venues. Indoor Gathering Limits will be Lifted. - New Jersey will no longer require restaurants, retail stores, gyms and other businesses to keep 6 feet of distance between patrons beginning Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. Under the new executive order, dance floors at bars and restaurants can also reopen Friday, and patrons will no longer be required to stay in their seats while ordering and eating or drinking. Large outdoor venues, such as MetLife Stadium and minor league baseball parks, will be allowed to have full crowds starting the same day. (nj.com)
It's Good News for Concerts and Pro Sports: All N.J. Live Entertainment can Resume at Full Capacity on Friday - It’s the announcement New Jersey’s performing arts communities have waited 15 months to hear: All state-mandated capacity and social distancing limits for both indoor and outdoor entertainment venues will soon be lifted. Outdoor restrictions disappear Friday, May 28, indoor goes away June 4. The news comes as New Jersey’s entertainment venues have suffered tens of millions of dollars in lost box office revenue since shutdowns took place in March 2020. (nj.com)
Moderna says its COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Kids as Young as 12 - Moderna said Tuesday its COVID-19 vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12, a step that could put the shot on track to become the second option for that age group in the U.S. (The Associated Press)
May 21, 2021
NJ To Reportedly Drop Indoor Mask Rules - Gov. Phil Murphy will announce Monday that New Jersey will lift its indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated people and follow recent federal guidelines from the CDC
We Love all the Zeros, BH! - We've had many days of ZERO cases, Berkeley Heights! Check out the chart below, and more local COVID statistics here.
Berkeley Heights' to Get its Share of Federal Stimulus Funds - New Jersey is slated to receive nearly $190 million from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, which is part of the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden in March; of that $190 million, Berkeley Heights is expected to get about $1.3 million over the next two years, in two installments. We are awaiting final guidance/restrictions on how we spend the money - as is every other town - but we are examining plans that involve drainage and paving.
CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19 - Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss. Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
Find a COVID-19 Vaccine: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
The State is Planning to Set Up Vaccine Clinics Hosted by Employers - The state Health Department is pairing vaccine providers with employers to create on-site vaccine pop-up clinics. The Health Department is asking employers interested in hosting a clinic at no cost to take this survey. (The New Jersey Department of Health)
New Jersey Released an Employers Guide to Promoting the COVID-19 Vaccine - The guide recommends actions employers can take to promote COVID-19 vaccines. The guide calls the vaccines "a key enabler of the new normal and New Jersey’s economic recovery from the pandemic." To read the report, click here. (The New Jersey Department of Health)
Small Businesses and Nonprofits Can Get Big Discounts on PPE Products - Small businesses and nonprofits can get big discounts on personal protective equipment through the state’s PPE Access Program. For more information, click here. (State of N.J.)
May 20, 2021
Here are the Outdoor Spaces in N.J. where Masks are Still Required - They include elementary and secondary school grounds, youth summer camps, child care facilities, health care facilities, long-term care facilities, and state correctional facilities. (nj.com)
A Big Step Toward Normalcy: New Jersey Lifts Many Restrictions - New Jersey lifts most indoor capacity limits and ends outdoor gathering limits. Most notably, restaurants, retail stores, gyms, salons and more will be allowed to operate without fixed, percentage-based capacity limits - though indoor masking is still required and establishments must still keep parties 6 feet apart. That means some places may not be able to reach full capacity. For all of the reopening steps New Jersey is taking today, click here. (nj.com)
What Powers Gov. Phil Murphy would Keep Under N.J.’s New Plan to End the COVID-19 Emergency - State lawmakers on Tuesday began advancing a plan that would formally end New Jersey’s public-health emergency but would allow the Murphy administration to retain many powers to battle the pandemic through the end of the year. The administration would retain the authority to oversee certain things including masking and social distancing, expanded outdoor dining at restaurants, workplace safety protocols and moratoriums on evictions, utility shutoffs and insurance cancellations. (nj.com)
A Guide to Reopening Your Business - As businesses look to reopen safely and keep employees and customers healthy and informed, employers are facing countless new questions and unprecedented new challenges. Get sector-specific guidance, small business advice, and other tools and resources to help employers and employees return to work safely and successfully. To see the reopening guide, click here. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
NJ Travel Advisory Lifted for Interstate Travel - However, the CDC is requiring all air passengers entering the United States from a foreign country to provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 or of recovery from COVID-19.
Governor Murphy Announces New Incentives to Encourage COVID-19 Vaccinations, Including Free Entrance to State Parks and Free Wine at Participating Wineries - Several new vaccination incentives are part of “Operation Jersey Summer”, the statewide public awareness campaign aimed at vaccinating all eligible individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey against COVID-19. The new incentives include a State Parks Vax Pass, providing free access to New Jersey’s 51 state parks and facilities including Island Beach State Park; a free glass of wine at participating New Jersey wineries; and dinner with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy.
NJBPU and DCA Announce “Utility Assistance Week” - The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced that May 17-21 is “Utility Assistance Week,” dedicated to increasing residents’ awareness of the various programs available to support those who have fallen behind on their utility bills and may be newly eligible for financial assistance. Beginning Monday, May 17, NJBPU, DCA and the state’s regulated utilities will be amplifying promotion of their assistance and deferred payment programs to reach customers who may not be aware assistance for past-due utility bills is available.
The State's Latest Easing of Restrictions (State of N.J.)
Federal Grants for Restaurants and Bars (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Vaccine Guide for Businesses: From Communicating about Vaccines to Developing a Vaccine Strategy.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's website with guidance and details on forgivable business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
New Jersey small businesses can buy PPE at a 10% discount through this state program.
The state is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses.
The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.
For the U.S. Chamber's return-to-work playbook for employers, click here.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's report on reopening and preparing workplaces for COVID-19.
The CDC's recommendations for employers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when they reopen their offices.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of coronavirus resources for small businesses.
The New Jersey Business Action Center's guide to opening a business in N.J.
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 17, 2021
The Long Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 Should End Next Month, Gov. Phil Murphy and Legislative Leaders say - With the number of new COVID-19 cases decreasing and vaccinations continuing, Gov. Phil Murphy and top state lawmakers said they are working on a plan to end the public-health emergency that has given the governor sweeping powers over the last 14 months to combat the coronavirus. Murphy signed an executive order Friday extending the emergency another 30 days. But he said he would let it expire next month if the state Legislature passes legislation that gives the state the “tools and flexibility” to keep battling the virus. (nj.com)
Gov. Murphy doubles down on N.J. indoor mask mandate as N.Y., Pa. switch to adopt CDC guidance - Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday doubled down on saying it’s too soon to drop New Jersey’s indoor public mask rules for vaccinated people, despite neighboring states adopting new federal coronavirus guidelines — though he did sign an executive order to formally eliminate the Garden State’s 10-month-old outdoor public mask mandate. (NJ.com)
N.J. parents must send kids to in-person school this fall, Murphy says - Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order allowing for virtual school during the coronavirus pandemic will not be renewed after this academic year, officially ending the option for online learning, the governor said Monday. “Neatly stated, through this action, we are declaring that all students will be back in school for full-time, in-person instruction come the start of the 2021-2022 school year,” Murphy said during a COVID-19 media briefing in Trenton
Gov. Murphy's Decision to Maintain Mask Mandates is Applauded by Food, Retail Workers Union - Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to maintain mask mandates for everyone indoors — which goes against the recently released guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — drew criticism from those who feel the reach of government is extending too far. It was applauded, however, by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents more than 1.3 million food and retail workers, including more than 50,000 frontline workers in New Jersey. (ROI-NJ)
Small Businesses and Nonprofits Can Still Get Big Discounts on PPE Products - May 28 is the last day that small businesses and nonprofits can get discounts on personal protective equipment through the state’s PPE Access Program. For more information, click here. (State of N.J.)
Isolated Over a Year, Reunions Now Allowed in Long-Term Care - After 14 months in various stages of lockdown, residents at long-term care facilities in New Jersey can once again hug their friends and relatives who come to visit. They can even remove their masks if everyone involved is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (NJ Spotlight News)
Hotline for Residents - 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
In Other News...
May 14, 2021
N.J. to keep indoor mask mandates despite CDC change - New Jersey will still require all people — vaccinated or not — to wear masks indoors in public to protect against the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday, even after federal health officials released updated guidance Thursday that says masks are not needed for fully vaccinated Americans in most circumstances. But those who are fully vaccinated in the state no longer need to wear a mask outside, while those who aren’t vaccinated are strongly encouraged to keep wearing masks when social distancing isn’t possible, Murphy announced.
Making it Official: Gov. Murphy Signs Order to Ease Pandemic Restrictions - Gov. Phil Murphy last night signed an executive order moving forward with the COVID-19 restriction easing announced last week. It includes an increased indoor gathering limit; and the removal of all percentage-based capacity limits for indoor and outdoor businesses. For all of the changes, click here. (N.J. Governor’s Office)
Kids Line Up for COVID-19 Vaccine Shots - At least 900 12-to 15-year-old New Jersey kids lined up, accompanied by their parents, to get COVID-19 shots at Valley Health Plaza in Paramus on Thursday, with hundreds more scheduled for Friday and walk-ins welcome. (NJ Spotlight News) Union County will be administering the PFIZER vaccine to ALL eligible residents at the Dunn’s Sports Center in Elizabeth at various times over the next few weeks. Please see flyer to the right on how to book appointments.
Lawmakers Push Bills to Combat COVID's Impact on Schools - One bill requires districts to provide summer school for lagging students. Another allows retired teachers to return on a short-term basis to fill staffing needs while still collecting their pensions. Yet another would require teachers to be trained in remote instruction. Read more here. (NJ Spotlight News)
Here in Berkeley Heights, as COVID eases up...
Rescue Squad’s Virtual (COVID-friendly) Flower/Plant Sale Fundraiser for Relay for Life – Plant/Flower Pick-up This Sunday! You can pick up your order on Sunday, May 16th, between 11 AM and 4 PM at the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad building, located at 378 Snyder Avenue in Berkeley Heights. At pick-up, please follow social distancing rules and a mask/face-covering will be required to be worn at pick-up. If you have any questions about the plant/flower sale, please reach out to the BHVRS at (908)-464-0013. Visit and like the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BHVRS) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/bhvrs42/).
Summer Playground Camp WILL run this year from 8:30 - 3:30pm Monday thru Friday. Please read all protocols put forth, prior to registering for camp. Protocols will most likely change again by the time camp begins and summer is underway.
Summer Concerts in the Park. This year we added some fresh new bands to the line-up which may bring a semi younger crowd. There will be 5 weeks of concerts instead of 4. A notice will go out separately for the line-up. Please make an effort to come out and have a great time and listen to some awesome music! Every Wed between June 30th - August 4th.
May 13, 2021
Latest From the CDC -
If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, including local business and workplace guidance. If you haven't received a COVID-19 vaccine, get one as soon as you can. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3btJaFU
But in New Jersey... A
little more than an hour after the federal CDC announced the update
, Gov. Phil Murphy’s office would not say whether the state will adopt the changes; state officials are still examining the guidelines. NJ currently requires all people to wear masks indoors in public and outdoors in public when you can’t socially distance. The CDC’s new guidance is simply a recommendation. It would still be up to New Jersey’s government to comply with the changes. Murphy’s administration has often followed the CDC’s guidance in the past.
Kids 12 & Older Can Get Vaccinated - Did you know? Everyone 12 years and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky answers some common questions you might have:
• Is the vaccine safe and effective for children?
• Why do children also need to be vaccinated?
• Where can children receive the vaccine?
The County of Union is transitioning to a new vaccination portal that will allow greater flexibility in scheduling appointments and convenient other features such as a printable vaccination card. As the County transitions, please use the links below to check on vaccination sites, dates and availability:
Need Assistance or Want to Speak With Someone?
- Call 908-613-7VAX (7829)
- Monday-Friday, 9 am to 7 pm
- Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm
- The hotline can provide assistance in making and managing appointments for our County residents.
Age Requirements for Vaccinations
- Johnson and Johnson – 18 years and older
- Pfizer – 12 years and older
- Moderna – 18 years and older
Homebound residents who have not yet connected with their local health department, or a home health agency, and who need an in-home vaccination should visit www. covid19.nj.gov/HomeboundVax or contact the call center. The state Department of Health will follow up with them to assist in connecting them with a vaccine provider.
As a reminder anyone 16 and older living, working, or studying in New Jersey is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. The State hotline, 855-568-0545, continues to assist residents, with live agents from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in getting information on how to register, as well as how to schedule vaccine appointments as people become eligible. The agents remind residents that there is no out-of-pocket expense to get vaccinated and that the two vaccines are not interchangeable.
All six of New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine mega-sites are now offering walk-in vaccinations. A person does not need an appointment to get vaccinated nor do they need to be a resident of a specific county to get vaccinated at the mega-sites.
New Jersey has also launched a COVID-19 vaccine appointment finder to assist in scheduling an appointment.
May 12, 2021
NJ Cases Continue to Decrease, More Reopening Next Week - New Jersey officials on Tuesday reported another 858 confirmed coronavirus cases and an additional 31 confirmed deaths as daily new cases keep trending downward while vaccinations continue, with at least 3.5 million people now fully vaccinated at sites in the state. More here from NJ.com.
Here in Berkeley Heights, we've had several days of 0 new cases and zero to no active cases. Let's keep it going, BH!!!
Big Boost: N.J. is Getting $10.2 Billion in Federal Aid this Month - New Jersey's state and local governments will begin getting $10.2 billion in federal aid this month, the U.S. Treasury Department announced Monday. Berkeley Heights is due to get about $1.3 million. The money can be used to make up lost tax revenue, fund increased health costs due to COVID-19, rehire laid off public employees, assist residents who are hungry or face eviction, help small businesses, and provide extra pay for essential workers. In addition, the money can be used to help communities hardest hit by the pandemic, including addressing long-standing problems; expanding high-speed internet; and improving water and sewer systems. (nj.com)
FDA: Adolescents Between 12 and 15 can Get Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine - The FDA said Monday that children 12 to 15 years old are now eligible to receive a key COVID-19 vaccine as the agency expanded its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine previously had been authorized only for people 16 and older. Pfizer asked the FDA to broaden its emergency use authorization for the vaccine after announcing in late March that clinical trials found "100% efficacy and robust antibody responses" in study participants who were 12 to 15. (National Public Radio)
N.J. Now Shares Local COVID-19 Vaccination Rates – and It’s Naming the Towns that are Lagging - New Jersey is sharing municipal-level immunization rates online for the first time, and naming towns that are lagging. New Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Trenton saw their vaccination rates rise by 6 points since the state drew attention to their low rates. This data — which appear as a set of maps, with darker colors indicating higher vaccination rates — is just one of several factors New Jersey officials have recently added to their COVID-19 dashboard, a website designed to help the public track the state’s pandemic response. (NJ Spotlight News)
Big Grants for Restaurants and Bars - On May 3 the SBA began accepting applications for grants under the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The program offers grants of up to $5 million to restaurants and $10 million to restaurant groups. Apply here. (SBA)
A Guide to Applying for the Restaurant Grants - Our April 28 webinar breaks down how operators of restaurants, bars and other eateries can apply for grants under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. It features Al Titone, of the SBA, discussing the rules, requirements and eligibility for this federal program. Watch it here. For slides from the webinar, click here. For a U.S. Chamber of Commerce guide to the grant program, click here. (N.J. Chamber of Commerce)
The National Restaurant Association has just posted three resources for restaurant owners completing grant applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).
- An updated FAQ document, reflecting the latest guidance we have received from the Small Business Administration.
- A new step-by-step guide to completing an RRF grant application.
- An archive of past webinars we have held with the SBA on the RRF. Yesterday, we hosted the SBA Administrator and the President of the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance for a discussion on how the 21-day priority period works for restaurant owners from economically and socially disadvantaged communities.
The application portal on SBA’s RRF site is now live. Even if you do not qualify for the 21-day priority period, you should submit your grant application as early as possible.
May 5, 2021
With New Jersey Now Slated to Lift Many COVID-19 Restrictions, Here's What You Should Know - The announcement Monday that the state is lifting many COVID-19 restrictions was a lot to digest. What’s changing and when? What will be different for restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses? Here is a condensed summary. (NJ Spotlight News)
A Detailed Look at the Easing of Restrictions - Here are the details on the state's easing of restrictions, including a removal of all percentage capacity limits for indoor and outdoor businesses, a lifting of the ban on indoor bar seating, and an end to the outdoor gathering limit. (New Jersey Governor’s Office)
Pfizer Expects to Seek Vaccine Authorization this September for Kids between 2 and 11 - Pfizer expects to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine for children between 2 and 11 in September, the company said during an earnings call on Tuesday. A study to examine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine among those between 6 months and 11 years old is ongoing. Additionally, Pfizer said it's expecting to seek authorization for its vaccine among children between 6 months and 2 years in the fourth quarter of 2021. (Yahoo! News)
How to Claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which Offers Tax Relief to Companies that Lost Revenue in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 - Eligible companies can receive as much as $7,000 per employee per quarter for four quarters in 2021, or $28,000 per employee. The ERTC has changed over time, so it can be confusing to track where things stand. Here’s what you need to know about the ERTC and how to take advantage of it. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Big Grants for Restaurants and Bars - The SBA is now accepting applications for grants under the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The program offers grants of up to $5 million to restaurants and $10 million to restaurant groups. Apply here. (SBA)
Live Map Tracks Spread of Coronavirus in Each County
May 3, 2021
N.J. to drop many COVID restrictions May 19 - Restaurant, indoor capacity limits eliminated, but social distancing rules remain. New Jersey will join New York and Connecticut in lifting many of its largest remaining coronavirus restrictions May 19, including eliminating set indoor capacity limits at restaurants, retail stores, and gyms, while also ending all outdoor gathering caps — though indoor mask and social distancing regulations will remain. More here.
Bar seating may return May 7! - The ban on buffets and other self-service foods at restaurants ends that day as well. “The (state) Department of Health is currently finalizing its guidance, but all impacted restaurant, tavern, and bar owners should be prepared to ensure proper social distancing between patrons at their bars,” Murphy said at his latest COVID-19 briefing in Trenton. “Either 6 feet distancing between groups seated at the bar or physical partitions.”
Business is Increasing at New Jersey Restaurants, but Owners say they’re Struggling to Find Workers - Restaurants are calling all job candidates. Some chains, including Chickie’s and Pete’s and Wawa, are offering big incentivesto start as soon as possible. Making matters urgent, two big business days are coming - Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day. (CBS Philly)
With Vaccinations Lagging Among Long-Term Care Workers, Residents Pay a Price - While 84% of all residents at nursing homes and assisted living centers are vaccinated for COVID-19, the vaccination rate among staff is 56%. That lag has an impact on residents. Under current guidelines, when even one staff member tests positive for the virus, facilities must shut down for outbreak testing. That means no visitors. (NJ Spotlight News)
Despite COVID-19 Losses, Atlantic City Casinos are Reinvesting Millions in their Post-Pandemic Future - The strategy: The virus won’t last forever, and when customers do return, the casinos, dealing with competition in Atlantic City and in bordering states, want them to come to their upgraded facilities. (The Associated Press)
Apply Today for Big Grants for Restaurants and Bars - Today, Monday, May 3, at noon, the SBA begins accepting applications for grants under the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The program offers grants of up to $5 million to restaurants and $10 million to restaurant groups. Apply here. (SBA)
Union County Vaccination Site
The Union County vaccination site at Kean University is offering the Moderna vaccine, while the Dunn Center is offering Pfizer, and County mobile vaccination units offer Johnson & Johnson. A new scheduling system is on the way to allow people to pre-register for to the vaccination type of their choosing. There are open appointments are Kean; please visit the County vaccination website at https://www.ucnjvaccine.org/ to schedule.
For those who may not have internet access, the County COVID-19 Vaccination Call Center will work to answer questions from residents who need more information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, and can also help arrange transportation if necessary for residents with a confirmed vaccination appointment. The phone number is 908-613-7VAX (7829), and the hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For Union County Homebound Residents...
Residents with mental and physical restrictions who are homebound may get vaccinated in their homes. Providers will bring RNs to their homes to administer the vaccine. Please call the County Division on Aging number is 1-888-280-8226, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm to schedule a visit. The Moderna vaccine will be given at the start of the homebound program; the plan is to transition to the J&J vaccine.
In Berkeley Heights...
- We are working on formal hours for residents to visit our new municipal complex to conduct their business by-appointment only. Many municipal government buildings in towns throughout the state remain closed due to COVID19. Residents can continue to call and/or email the departments they need to do business with, or conduct their business online. We continue to have the dropoff box in the front vestibule of Town Hall for paperwork. The library continues to offer curbside service for our residents. Stay tuned for more details.
- Residents can drop their tax payments off in our old friend, the Santa Mailbox, inside the front vestibule at Town Hall, 29 Park Avenue.
- We are now working on protocols for the 2021 Summer Playground Camp program; stay tuned for more details on this wildly popular program. The Recreation Department has also planned several Summer concerts and other great events for 2021!
Other Helpful Resources