COVID-19

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FAQ:

Trying to find a location to get a COVID-19 test?   Click here: NJDOH Test Site Finder

Questions about masks and how to wear and clean them?   Click here:  CDC: How to Select, Wear, and Clean Masks

Observed a violation of state Executive Orders?   Please call the Montville Police Department at 973-257-4300, or the Montville Health Department at 973-331-3316, or you can file it online at: NJ Executive Order Violation Report

Questions about the NJ State COVID-19 Vaccination Plan?    Click here: https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/covid2019_vaccination.shtml

Looking for data on cases in Montville?    Please see the "Data and Reports" section below.

Looking for information on case investigation and contact tracing?    Please see the "Case Investigation and Contact Tracing" section below.

Looking for news items, including Executive Orders and other state directives?    Please see the "News Items" section below. 

Looking for additional resources?    Please see the "Additional Resources" section below.

Other questions?   Please call the Montville Health Department at 973-331-3316 or email us at health@montvillenj.org.

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The Montville Health Department, along with other Township Departments, continues to closely monitor the continuing COVID-19 global pandemic. We are in regular communication with the Morris County Office of Health Management and the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) to ensure that accurate and timely information is being provided to residents, businesses, organizations, and visitors to our community.

This page includes:

  • An executive summary of COVID-19 in Montville to date
  • Data and reports about cases among Montville residents (updated regularly)
  • General information about COVID-19, case investigation, and contact tracing
  • News items (updated regularly)
  • Additional resources for more information

Please check this page regularly for the most up to date information about COVID-19 in Montville. Alternatively, you can also sign up for notifications of changes to this page by clicking on the top of this page on "I Want To..." and then selecting "Notifications".

  1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

COVID-19 is spread from person to person, and there is not yet an effective treatment or vaccine available for this virus. The only method currently available to break the chain of transmission and prevent new infections is to prevent people from coming into contact with other people, and when that is not possible, practicing social distancing, wearing effective face coverings, and practicing good hand-washing hygiene. 

On March 21st, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 107, which directed residents to stay at home, prohibited gatherings, and closed non-essential retail businesses. As can be seen in the charts below, after a steep increase in March, the highest number of current COVID-19 cases (the person has received a positive result from a laboratory, has not yet cleared their isolation period, and the investigation is not yet closed) were seen during the month of April. This means that new cases were coming in faster than current cases were able to be closed. 

At the beginning of end of April, approximately one month after the closing of businesses, activities, and programs by the state at the end of March, and the resulting decreased number of opportunities for people to come into contact with and infect other people, the number of current cases began to decrease significantly. This trend continued in the first half of May, then remained steady from mid-May and June, to the end of the first week in July, never going above 12 current cases (the person is still under isolation and the investigation not yet closed) on any given day throughout that period.  

The number of current cases in the Township reach its lowest number, zero, in mid-July, and again in late July. The state began to allow a variety of businesses, activities, and programs to gradually resume in mid-June. Approximately one month after this resumption began, with a resulting increased number of opportunities for people to come into contact with and infect other people, a slight increase in the number of current cases was observed. There were some fluctuations, but the number of current cases did not exceed 10 from the end of June until the beginning of October.

Since the beginning of October, Montville Township, as has been seen on the county, state, national, and global level, has experienced a significant increase in cases, as was expected to occur in the fall. With other viruses such as influenza and the common cold, increases are seen as the temperatures drop, and people start spending more time indoors. It is likely that this is also a factor for the increase in COVID-19 cases. 

Also since October, as can be seen in the new chart included in the "Data and Reports" section below, Montville Township, similarly to other communities throughout the state, has experienced a sharp increase in the percentage of positive results (cases) among the age group 0-20 years.

Although an increase in COVID-19 cases was expected in the fall, it is hoped that, armed with the knowledge that we now have and the safety measures that have been put into place throughout the state, we avoid the uncontrolled surge in cases here in Montville that was experienced at the beginning of the pandemic during March and April.

We urge our community to continue to practice social distancing, wear effective face coverings, practice good respiratory and hand-washing etiquette, and avoid large in-person gatherings. With us all doing our part, together we can keep the number of infections, illnesses, and severe outcomes as low as possible.

  1. DATA AND REPORTS

For State data, please go to:  https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

For County data, please go to: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/ 

Montville Township data:

Please note that data and reports are updated daily Monday through Friday (with the exception of Township holidays), with data received up until 8:30am the date of reporting (unless otherwise noted).


Current Lab-Confirmed Positive Cases (Daily Totals): This graph represents the total number of current positive PCR test results (cases) on each individual day that have not yet cleared isolation and have not yet been closed. This number can vary daily (either increasing or decreasing) depending on the number of cases that we have received, and the number of cases that we have closed. The exact number for each individual day can be found in the "Current Cases" column of the Daily Case Numbers table shown below these charts. 


Total Lab-Confirmed Positive Cases: This graph represents the cumulative total of positive PCR test results (cases) as per each individual day since our first confirmed case in March 2020. This number can vary daily, and increases whenever new positive cases are identified. The exact cumulative total for each individual day can be found in the "Total Cases" column of the Daily Case Numbers table shown below these charts. 

Cases Grouped by Age: This graph represents the ages of all positive PCR test results (cases) for each 7-day period and is updated every Tuesday (except Township holidays). The red data at the bottom of the graph represents the percentage of cases that fall into the age group 0-20, the blue data in the middle of the graph represents the percentage of cases that fall into the age group 21-59, and the yellow data at the top of the graph represents the percentage of cases that fall into the age group 60-plus. Please note: This demographic information only represents those persons who sought testing, and received positive results from that test. It is not possible to know how many additional people who were also positive for COVID-19, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, and who did not get tested, or to know how the demographics of that group would affect the information represented on this chart. 

7-Day Percent Positivity: This graph represents the percent of positive PCR test results for each 7-day period and is updated every Tuesday (except Township holidays). Percent positivity is calculated by dividing the number of positive results (cases) by the sum of both positive and negative results, then multiplying by 100 to get a percentage. To ensure the highest possible accuracy in this reporting, there is a 2-week delay in order to allow time for laboratories to enter all negative results. For New Jersey, a recommended level of percent positivity is yet to be established, and is still under consideration by the New Jersey Department of Health. However, the recent travel quarantine advisory that Governor Murphy announced applies to any state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. Further, a Johns Hopkins University website that tracks percent positivity for states in the U.S. states that the World Health Organization on May 12, 2020 recommended that before reopening, percent positivity should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.

Daily Case Numbers: updated daily Monday through Friday (with the exception of Township holidays), with data received up until 8:30am the date of reporting (unless otherwise noted). 

Date
New cases
Total cases
Recovered/cleared cases
Total recovered/cleared cases
Current cases
11/25
9
458
8
409
49
11/24
8
449
6
401
48
11/23
5
441
0
395
46
11/22
4
436
1
395
41
11/21
5
432
5
394
38
11/20
5
427
4
389
38
11/19
5
422
7
385
37
11/18
19
417
10
378
39
11/17
8
398
21
368
30
11/16
4
390
2
347
43
11/15
4
386
0
345
41
11/14
5
382
3
345
41
11/13
4
377
4
342
35
11/12
7
373
2
338
35
11/11
3
366
0
336
30
11/10
3
363
5
336
27
11/09
0
360
0
331
29
11/08
0
360
0
331
29
11/07
3
360
2
331
29
11/06
1
357
0
329
28
11/05
2
356
0
329
27
11/04
3
354
2
329
25
11/03
0
351
1
327
24
11/02
0
351
0
326
25
11/01
0
351
0
326
25
10/31
8
351
15
326
25
10/30
1
343
0
311
32
10/29
2
341
0
311
31
10/28
1
340
2
311
29
10/27
3
339
0
309
30
10/26
5
336
3
309
27
10/25
5
331
0
306
25
10/24
11
326
7
306
20
10/23
3
315
1
299
16
10/22
5
312
5
298
14
10/21
6
307
0
293
14
10/20
1
301
1
293
8
10/19
0
300
0
292
8
10/18
0
300
0
292
8
10/17
0
300
0
292
8
10/16
0
300
0
292
8
10/15
7
300
4
292
8
10/14
0
293
5
288
5
10/13
1
293
5
283
10
10/12
1
292
0
278
14
10/11
0
291
0
278
13
10/10
2
291
0
278
13
10/09
2
289
1
278
11
10/08
3
287
3
277
10
10/07
2
284
0
274
10
10/06
2
282
0
274
8
10/05
3
280
1
274
6
10/04
0
277
0
273
4
10/03
2
277
0
273
4
10/02
0
275
0
273
2
10/01
1
275
2
273
2
09/30
1
274
0
271
3
09/29
1
273
0
271
2
09/28
1
272
0
271
1
09/27
0
271
0
271
0
09/26
0
271
0
271
0
09/25
0
271
0
271
0
09/24
2
271
2
271
0
09/23
1
269
2
269
0
09/22
0
268
0
267
1
09/21
0
268
1
267
1
09/20
0
268
0
266
2
09/19
0
268
0
266
2
09/18
2
268
1
266
2
09/17
0
266
0
265
1
09/16
0
266
0
265
1
09/15
1
266
0
265
1
09/14
0
265
0
265
0
09/13
0
265
0
265
0
09/12
0
265
0
265
0
09/11
0
265
1
265
0
09/10
0
265
0
264
1
09/09
0
265
4
264
1
09/08
0
265
0
260
5
09/07
0
265
0
260
5
09/06
0
265
0
260
5
09/05
0
265
0
260
5
09/04
1
265
1
260
5
09/03
4
264
4
259
5
09/02
2
260
2
255
5
09/01
0
258
0
253
5


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05/14*0214820014
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05/100214018727
05/090214218727
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05/071212518329
05/060211217833
05/0552111317635
05/041206016343
05/032205016342
05/023203016340
05/0122001216337
04/3021981815147
04/292196213363
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04/273191011675
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04/254184111668
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04/232174310668
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* 05/14/2020: At the beginning of the pandemic, in an abundance of caution, all cases received in CDRSS were being added to the case count, and included in the raw data on this table. During the week of 5/11/20, time allowed for a careful, quadruple-checked, line-by-line review by the Health Department of all data received since the beginning of the pandemic. Upon that review, 9 past cases were identified that originally were included in the case count as Montville cases, but had been determined by contact tracers during the investigation to be residents of other jurisdictions, 2 past cases were identified that we received verbal notification from the cases that they were positive but lab results received after that were negative, and 1 past case was identified where the person contracted the virus in a different state and then returned home to Montville to recuperate. Accordingly, on 5/14/20, these 12 past cases were subtracted from the total case count of initially-reported 226 on that date and from the closed case count of initially-reported 212 on that date. The removal of these 12 past cases does not affect the number of current cases still active within the Township on 5/14/20.

  1. CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING

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How are cases reported to the Health Department? How do they investigate these cases? How is contact tracing conducted? The answers to these questions, and much more information, is contained in this section.

While the majority of COVID-19 patients do not experience serious outcomes, the two groups that are most at risk for serious outcomes are the elderly, and those with other underlying health conditions.

While children do not appear to generally experience serious outcomes from COVID-19, they can and do become infected with the virus, and they can and do transmit the virus. There is also a rare but potentially fatal condition known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS) that is suspected to be associated with COVID-19 infections in children.

Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 are under isolation from the public in their homes or in a healthcare facility. Persons who may be positive for COVID-19 and who don’t have any symptoms, or who do not yet have any symptoms, are not under isolation and are still able to move in public. Therefore, for your protection and the protection of those around you, please continue to stay home, comply with social distancing measures, frequently wash hands, cough/sneeze into elbows instead of hands, and monitor yourself for symptoms. If you experience symptoms of illness, especially fever, cough, difficulty breathing, please telephone your healthcare provider for guidance.

Reporting of cases to the health department:

If a New Jersey resident has a nasal swab or saliva sample tested for COVID-19, the laboratory enters the results of that sample into a computer system called the Communicable Disease Registry and Surveillance System (CDRSS). CDRSS has been used by public health officials in New Jersey for many years to track all communicable diseases that are legally required to be reported, and is maintained by the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH). For everyone except long-term care facility residents and employees, positive COVID-19 test results in CDRSS are also automatically copied into NJDOH's new CommCare system, which COVID-19 contact tracers have access to. 

Case investigation and contact tracing:

PLEASE NOTEFederal and NJ State laws strictly prohibit the release to the public of any private health information of any individual, including the name, address, or any other identifying information specific to those who test positive for COVID-19 or any other health condition. The Montville Health Department acts at all times in accordance with all applicable municipal, county, state, and federal laws. 

The Montville Township Health Department's public health nurses and health officer monitor both CDRSS and CommCare 7 days a week for new positive results of COVID-19 among Montville residents. Once a positive result is received, our public health nurses or contact tracers will contact the individual who tested positive (or in the case of a minor, their parent/guardian) to conduct a case investigation. During this investigation, they collect a brief health and illness history, information on locations and businesses that were visited, and information on household and close contacts. They also provide guidance on COVID-19, and answer any questions the person may have. Our department then continues to monitor the health of the individual who tested positive through their isolation period, and monitor the health of their household contacts and close contacts through their quarantine periods, and continue to provide guidance and answer any questions that may arise.

If a person who tests positive provides us with information on household and close contacts, we will contact those household and close contacts and advise them that they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and provide guidance and answer questions. In order to comply with HIPAA requirements, we do not disclose the name of the person who tested positive, or any information that could directly or indirectly lead to the identification of the person who tested positive.

  • A household contact is defined as: a person who lives in the same household. Household contacts will be contacted by our department during a COVID-19 case investigation.
  • A close contact is defined as: being within approximately 6 feet of a case for a prolonged period of time (for instance, caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room) or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a case (such as being coughed or sneezed on), in the time period from 3 days (72 hours) prior to onset of a case’s symptoms until the beginning of isolation of the case. Walking past a person who has tested positive, or just being in the same room with a person who tests positive, or just being in the same building as a person who tests positive does NOT qualify as being a close contact. Please note that the use of effective face coverings and/or the presence of barriers between persons does not affect the definition of a close contact. Close contacts will be contacted by our department during a COVID-19 case investigation. In order to comply with HIPAA requirements, we do not disclose the name of the person who tested positive, or any information that could directly or indirectly lead to the identification of the person who tested positive.
  • A casual contact is defined as: other persons who may have come into casual contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, for instance, being in the same indoor environment such as a lobby or office for a prolonged period of time, or walking past the person or being in the same room briefly with them, will not be contacted by the Health Department, and do not need to be under quarantine. These persons should, along with the rest of the public, continue to follow recommendations to stay home, comply with social distancing measures, maintain hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and monitor themselves for symptoms. They will not be contacted by our department during a COVID-19 case investigation. 

If the person who tests positive is a Montville K-12 student, our department will work closely with the Montville school district for information on any other students or staff at the school who would be considered a close contact according to the above definition. In order to comply with HIPAA requirements, we do not disclose the name of the person who tested positive, or any information that could directly or indirectly lead to the identification of the person who tested positive.

What Should I Do If I’m Called by a Contact Tracer from Montville Township or from the State?

Please #TakeTheCall and speak with the contact tracer. The reason you have been called is because you may have tested positive for COVID-19, or you may have come into close contact (closer than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes) with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19. Contact tracers are here to help, and want to let you know about the risk to you and your family and what you can do to protect them and your community.

When we call, a contact tracer will work with you to identify your "close contacts" - anyone who was within six feet of you for more than 10 minutes starting two days before you first had symptoms. 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 that is a close contact, so they can be called and provided with basic information and guidance. Your identity and information is confidential private health information, and is kept anonymous. We will never share with contacts who gave us their information. If you tested positive, your contacts will NOT be told that it was you that provided their information to us.

We will encourage you to let your contacts know about your illness, and we will call your contacts to let them know they have been exposed and what steps they should take to protect themselves and their loved ones. But again, we will not tell them your name.

If you are staying at home during the isolation period, the contact tracer will discuss any needs you may have and connect you with additional support should you need it.

We want to underscore that your name will not be released to your contacts. Your information is strictly confidential and will be treated as the private medical record it is.

We strongly urge you to speak with our public health nurses and contact tracers, as that is the only way to track and reduce community transmission, and to ensure accurate information on COVID-19 cases in municipalities, counties, and the state. Please do not hesitate to call the Montville Health Department at 973-331-3316 for verification of any of our staff, or if you have any questions about the case investigation or contact tracing process. 

Testing:

Many health experts believe that more people — including those with no symptoms of the virus — need to be tested to help prevent the virus’s spread. Testing is now widely available throughout the state, and does not require a prescription. If you're not able to get tested by your healthcare provider, or you don't have a healthcare provider, the NJ COVID-19 Information Hub has a Test Site Finder that can be searched by zip code. Testing is especially important if:

Documents and resources regarding case investigation and isolation/quarantine:

Document (9/24/20): NJDOH: COVID-19 Resources for Individuals Who Are Undocumented or Uninsured

Document (9/24/20): SAMHSA: COVID-19: Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health

Document (9/24/20): CDC: 3 Key Steps to Take While Waiting for Your COVID-19 Test Result

Document (9/18/20): Timeframe for Isolation/Quarantine by Test Result

Document (9/15/20): NJDOH: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS) Fact Sheet

Document (9/14/20): NJDOH: COVID-19: Health Actions To Protect You and Your Family

Document (updated 9/14/20): NJDOH: Instructions for New Jersey residents who test positive

Document (updated 9/14/20): NJDOH: Instructions for New Jersey residents who test negative

Document (updated 6/30/20): NJDOH: Contact Tracing - What It Is, and Why It's Important

Document (updated 6/30/20): NJDOH COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Document (updated 6/30/20): NJDOH COVID-19 Hoja de datos

Documents (6/30/20): NJDOH: Isolation vs Quarantine     NJDOH: Aislamiento vs cuarentena      NJDOH: 隔离与隔离

Additional documents and other resources can be found at: NJ Department of Health COVID-19 website.

  1. NEWS ITEMS

Please note that news items are updated daily Monday through Friday (with the exception of Township holidays).

11/25/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release with a statement on NJ Travel Advisory Guidance: “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.”

11/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that NewBridge Services and Christian Health Care Center are offering a Free Zoom Webinar on "Coping During Covid-19: Dealing with Holiday Stress Amidst a Pandemic" at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Webinar topics include:

  • Stress and anxiety related to COVID
  • Tips for families on celebrating safely
  • Managing Holiday Stress
  • Ways to Cope – Strategies, Tools and Resources

The virtual presentation will give some ideas on how to mitigate holiday stress which is now compounded by Covid and restrictions, said Beth Jacobson of NewBridge Services, who will be one of the presenters. Alternative ways of celebrating, mindfulness practices will be discussed. They will also share hotline numbers for anyone who is really struggling to cope.

Join this informative event! To register go to: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/holidaystresswebinar

For more information, contact Beth Jacobson at (973) 686-2242 or ejacobson@newbridge.org.

11/23/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that County College of Morris has both federal and state grant funds to help students stay on track with their higher education. Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars are available for students who are currently registered at CCM to cover a wide range of expenses so they can move forward with a high-quality education. Those dollars can be used by those impacted by the pandemic to cover such expenses as tuition, technology, housing, child care and more. Those who previously received CARES funds also may apply again due to continued pandemic related hardship. To review eligibility requirements and to apply, go to www.ccm.edu/admissions/financialaid/ccmcares-studentemergencygrant/.

11/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 200, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order No. 103, which was previously extended on April 7, May 6, June 4, July 2, August 1, August 27, September 25, and October 24. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed.

Executive Order No. 200 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

11/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-23, which clarifies that athletes, coaches, referees, trainers, and other individuals necessary to the performance of an outdoor high school sporting event are not included in the total number of individuals present at the gathering for purposes of the limit on outdoor gatherings. The order will take effect immediately and sunset on Monday, November 30, 2020.

11/20/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 198, which extends certain election-related deadlines. The EO extends the deadline by which counties must certify the results of the election from Friday, November 20, to Wednesday, November 25 for those counties that are unable to meet the initial deadline because COVID-19 has had a significant impact on their boards of election staff and facilities, with only Ocean and Salem counties being eligible.  The EO also extends, for all counties, the date by which statutorily-required election audits must occur, from Friday, December 4 until Friday, December 11.

11/19/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Delaware Governor John Carney, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today announced they will encourage residential colleges and universities in their respective states to provide testing for all students traveling home for Thanksgiving break to the maximum extent possible before they leave campus. Any student who tests positive will be encouraged to isolate on campus before they can travel or detail arrangements of their safe travel home with the local department of health. These efforts will help mitigate the threat of college students returning home for the holidays importing COVID-19 into their communities. In addition, colleges should inform students and their families of relevant quarantine policies in their home state.  

For a copy of the full New Jersey Department of Health guidance for college and university students traveling home for winter break, please click here.                  

11/17/20: Montville Township issued a press release announcing that:

"Along with the rest of the state, and the nation, we are experiencing a steep increase in the number of COVID-19 cases here in Montville Township. Additionally, the average age of cases has decreased dramatically over the past two months, indicating a higher percentage of cases occurring among children and young adults. The increase among these younger age groups has a direct correlation to a variety of outside group activities.

Accordingly, out of an abundance of caution to protect the well-being of our entire community, with the input of the Health Department, the Recreation Department, and Administration, the following decision has been made by the Township:

Effective November 17th, Montville Township is suspending all outdoor Township recreation programs, and closing the community basketball courts, playing fields, playgrounds, pavilions, and Dog Park. Please note that this was a very difficult decision, but it has been made for the protection of public health and safety concerns, and to further mitigate the increase of Covid-19 cases Montville Township is currently experiencing. 

We greatly appreciate your cooperation in taking the appropriate steps to notify your board members, coaches and players that all outdoor recreational activities will be suspended effective Tuesday, November 17th. Recreation offerings will be re-opened in the future in accordance with all guidance provided by the local health department. 

The walking paths at Camp Dawson and the Community Park will remain open, however, all persons using these walking paths will be required while doing so to wear masks at all times, and to follow all established safety protocols, including maintaining safe social distancing from others also using the paths. The Montville Township Police Department will be patrolling the parks to assist the Parks and Recreation Department in making sure all persons using these walking paths are complying with these directives."

11/17/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 196, which lowers indoor and outdoor gathering limits. Effective Tuesday, November 17 at 6:00 a.m., the indoor gathering limit will decrease from 25 to 10 peopleThe outdoor gathering limit will decrease from 500 people to 150 people, effective Monday, November 23 at 6:00 a.m.

Indoor Gatherings 

The limit for weddings, funerals, memorial services and religious and political activities remain unchanged and will be limited to 25% of the capacity of the room in which the gathering takes place, up to a maximum of 150 individuals. 

Indoor sporting competitions and practices will be permitted to exceed the 10 person limit only for individuals necessary for the practice or competition, such as players, coaches, and referees, but may not exceed 150 individuals.  For most indoor sports, this will mean that there can be no spectators.

Legislative and judicial proceedings are not subject to the indoor gatherings limits. 

Outdoor Gatherings

Weddings, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities are not subject to the outdoor gatherings limit. All other types of gatherings, such as a high school football game or an outdoor concert, will be limited to 150 individuals.  Athletes, coaches, referees and other individuals necessary for a professional or collegiate sports competition are not counted towards the 150 person limit.  

Outdoor gatherings continue to be subject to strict social distancing restrictions, including the requirement to wear masks whenever it is not possible to social distance.

11/16/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Department of Health today issued health and safety guidance for the state’s long-term care facilities, which provides measures for residents who leave the facility for a holiday gathering, including a 14-day quarantine at the conclusion of their visit.

To protect the health of this vulnerable population, the Department strongly recommends against families taking residents out of facilities for holiday celebration events or gatherings. Instead, the Department recommends visitation outdoors or possibly indoors in facilities that meet the requirements for indoor visitation. Long-term care facilities should plan to accommodate increased virtual communications for residents.

“Small family gatherings are a significant driver of increasing cases, and bringing your loved one’s home could put them at risk,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “We remain concerned about the number of outbreaks we are seeing in long-term care, so we need to be especially vigilant to protect this population. We continue to partner with the industry to improve quality and infection control in these facilities.”

Long-term care facilities need to develop a plan for holiday visits and gatherings which estimate the number of residents who can be cohorted for a 14-day quarantine period from Nov. 25 through Dec. 31.

Long-term care facilities should create a reservation process tied to the number of individuals the facility can quarantine on their return. Residents who leave the facility for family visits must be quarantined upon return to the facility either in their own room, if they have a private room, or in an observation room.

A waiting list should be created once the reservation list is full. However, residents and families should be informed that residents who leave without a reservation or while on a waiting list may not be guaranteed readmittance to the facility at the end of their visit.

Residents and families must certify that they will follow masking, social distancing and hand hygiene practices, and that they will notify the facility if anyone who attended the holiday gathering tests positive for COVID-19 or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of the resident’s visit/stay outside the facility.

11/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 195, which permits municipalities and counties to impose additional restrictions on the hours of operation of non-essential retail businesses, food and beverage establishments, and recreation and entertainment businesses after 8:00 p.m. The Order prohibits municipalities and counties from imposing restrictions that prevent dining establishments from arranging for the pickup or delivery of goods or otherwise limiting their scope of operations. The Order will take effect immediately.

Governor Murphy’s Executive Order states that any county or municipal restriction that in any way conflicts with any provision of statewide rules will be invalidated. Examples of such restrictions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Any additions to or deletions from the list of retail businesses deemed essential or that have been identified as essential through Administrative Orders authorized by the Governor’s Executive Orders;
  2. Any limitations imposed on any business’s scope of service;
  3. Any density or social distancing requirements;
  4. Any orders relating to the gathering of individuals; and
  5. General restrictions on the freedom of movement within that county or municipality, including but not limited to the imposition of curfews.

Nothing in the Order shall supersede the provisions of Executive Order No. 108 that currently remain in effect, which includes the ability of municipalities and counties to impose additional restrictions on online marketplaces for arranging or offering lodging and on municipal parks, or the provisions of any other order that explicitly permits municipalities and counties to impose additional restrictions.

11/12/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that seniors and adults with disabilities can pick up one of 500 free emergency supply kits. Each contains four shelf-stable meals and a first aid kit. The distribution will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23, at the Morris County Library, 30 East Hanover Ave., Whippany. Homebound residents can call 973-285-6848 to determine if a kit can be delivered. All Morris County residents who are 60 or over and adults with disabilities qualify.

Navigating Hope, Morris County’s mobile social services vehicle, will be on site during the distribution for anyone who would like more information on county services. Funding for this program was made possible through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

11/12/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he, along with the Governors of Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, will support a regional approach to interstate competitions. As case numbers increase in many states across the country, it is critical that neighboring states coordinate a regional approach to limit further community spread of the virus. 

The seven states will suspend interstate competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey effective this Saturday, November 14, 2020 through at minimum December 31, 2020. The prohibition will not impact interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and/or restrictions. 

As public health data continues to evolve, the states will reassess the need for continued restrictions on interstate sports activities. 

11/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing a commitment of at least $60 million in additional Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to fulfillment of grants under Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. This funding is in addition to $70 million in federal funds already allocated for the current phase of the program and will enable the NJEDA to fulfill grants for the entire pipeline of eligible businesses that applied for Phase 3 funding prior to the application deadline. Without this supplemental funding, approximately 13,000 of the nearly 22,000 businesses that applied for Phase 3 grants would have been declined based on the program being oversubscribed. In addition to the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, the NJEDA administers a variety of technical assistance and low-cost financing programs for small and mid-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. More information about these programs and other State support is available at https://covid19.nj.gov.

11/10/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Board of Freeholders will launch at-home and mobile COVID-19 testing programs for Morris County residents and workers within the next week, as the number of new cases in the county continues to increase in correlation with a spike in the virus statewide.

“Our task force saw weeks ago that our cases were starting to increase, and we asked our Department of Law and Public Safety to begin preparing a plan for new testing in the event a second wave of the pandemic. It appears we are there,” said Freeholder Director Deborah Smith, referring to the Morris County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force formed to develop strategies to assist businesses and communities overcome pandemic impacts.

The purpose of the expanded testing is to:

  • Identify Asymptomatic Individuals
  • Increase Test Availability for Symptomatic Individuals
  • Detect Clusters or Outbreaks
  • Provide Trending Data for Proactive Measures

At-Home Testing

The at-home testing will be the first phase, but Morris County is not yet ready to go live with it.

The testing will involve going to the Morris County website and accessing a portal, but the county still is in the process of developing the on-line portal. Please do not call the county or your municipal officials at this point. Once the portal is active, announcements will be made and further information will be shared with the public, media and municipal officials.

"Once the at-home testing is up and running, we will begin mobile testing. Our hope is within the next week or two we will have everything ready. The goal is that there will be no out-of-pocket costs to Morris County residents for this testing," said Scott DiGiralomo, Director of Morris County's Department of Law and Public Safety, who briefed municipal leaders in a phone conference yesterday. 

“The costs will be covered by individual insurance plans, federal aid and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding we were able to secure in August,” said Freeholder Douglas Cabana, the board liaison to Law and Public Safety. “The federal money we received will reimburse Morris County for the response efforts we launched with our own funding at the start of the pandemic, including the drive-through testing station we set up at the County College of Morris. The remaining dollars should help us continue testing through the year.”

The drive-through testing facility will not be reactivated at this time.

The on-line portal for at-home testing will enable individuals to determine whether to order a nasal or a saliva test, and then begin the process of scheduling at-home delivery of testing kits.  Individuals will be required to provide their insurance information, Medicare or Medicaid data, or indicate that they are uninsured. However, no one will be billed for accessing the tests.

The nasal swab, which is restricted to individuals who are age 18 and older, is one already available to the public through LabCorp, and it is known as their Pixel test. It will be shipped overnight to individuals, who will be asked to follow directions on how to take a sample and return-mail it in a prepaid package. Results generally are available within 48 hours of receipt by the testing company.

The other test, provided by Vault Health, is a saliva test developed by Rutgers University. It too will be shipped to an individual’s home overnight. There is no age restriction, but guardians and parents must obtain the sample while participating in a tele-visit by computer or phone with an advisor at Vault. The advisor will guide participants on how to conduct the test and return it through the mail.

At this time, participants are only allowed two (2) tests per month. Anyone who tests positive will be directed to contact his or her healthcare provider and will receive a call from a contact tracer.

Mobile Testing:

Morris County will deploy mobile testing units in cooperation with local health authorities, particularly in areas where outbreaks are being detected or suspected. Vulnerable populations, including people without healthcare, in Dover and Morristown will be among the first targeted for testing in cooperation with Zufall Health Center.

11/10/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Maine and New Hampshire, bringing the total to 45 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, November 10, there are currently 45 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon;  Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; West Virginia; Washington; and Wyoming.  

Due to the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, a 14-day quarantine is not reasonable in all instances. Non-essential travel to and from these states, however, is highly discouraged at this time. 

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

11/10/20: Morris County Emergency Management Coordinator Scott DiGiralomo issued Morris County Order Pursuant to a Declaration of Emergency #8, which modifies the Morris County Declaration of Emergency issued on March 19, 22020 to the extent that it is now superceded in relevant part by the terms and conditions enumerated in Executive Order 194, and as modified by Executive Orders 156, 161, and 183, and to note that the County or local municipalities are authorized by the terms of Executive Order 152, paragraphs 6 and 7, to impose any additional conditions that it may deem fit to protect the safety and health of the community as it relates to county or municipal parks.

11/10/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 194, which includes new COVID-19 mitigation measures. The measures include restrictions on seating and hours for restaurants, bars, clubs, and lounges, and prohibition of interstate indoor K-12 and youth sports.

The measures being announced today include:

Restrictions on Hours for Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Lounges, and Casinos –

  1. Restaurants, bars, clubs, lounges, and other businesses that serve food or drinks will not be able to operate their indoor premises between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.  Outdoor dining can continue after 10:00 p.m., as can takeout and delivery services. 
  2. Casinos will not be able to serve food or drinks between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., with the exception of room service delivered to guest rooms and takeout.  Other casino operations would be unaffected.

Restrictions on Bar Seating, Increased Flexibility for Restaurants –

  1. Seating at the physical bar in the indoor areas of bars and restaurants will be prohibited during all operating hours.
  2. Due to the impact this may have on restaurants with small seating areas, restaurants will be allowed to have groups at tables indoors that are closer than six feet together, if they are separated by barriers that comply with guidance from the Department of Health. 
  3. Restaurants will be allowed to set up plastic domes outdoors, limited to one group each, as additional outdoor dining space.

Restrictions on Interstate Indoor Sports Competitions –

  1. All interstate games and tournaments involving indoor sports, up to and including the high school level, will be prohibited. 
  2. Collegiate and professional sports will be unaffected.

The measures will take effect on Thursday, November 12th, at 5:00 a.m.

11/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Oregon and Washington, bringing the total to 43 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 As of Wednesday, November 4, there are currently 43 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon;  Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; West Virginia; Washington; and Wyoming.  

Neighboring states Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware now meet the criteria for New Jersey’s travel advisory. Due to the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between New Jersey and the three states, a 14-day quarantine is not reasonable in all instances. Non-essential travel to and from these states, however, is highly discouraged at this time. Connecticut is also discouraging non-essential travel to and from New Jersey, but are not mandating that travelers quarantine due to the interconnected nature of the region and economy. Massachusetts will be included on New Jersey's advisory, but not Connecticut’s based on the same criteria. 

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

11/03/20: OneMontville has announced OneMontville Unites, a podcast geared toward empathy, unity and happiness among the community of Montville Township. Entertaining topics are targeted towards having positive, engaging conversations and experiences among neighbors with guest speakers from different pillars of community leadership representing the broadest cross section of viewpoints in the township. Past episodes features interviews with Superintendent of Schools Dr. René Rovtar, Police Chief Andrew Caggiano, and Health Officer Aimee Puluso. The podcast is hosted on Anchor, and can be found by clicking here.

11/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-22, which clarifies restrictions on professional and college athletic competitions, indoor mall services, self-service food and drink, and private tutoring facilities. The order will take effect immediately. The order clarifies that athletes, coaches, referees, trainers, and other individuals necessary to the performance of a professional or collegiate sporting event are not included in the number of individuals present at a gathering for purposes of the limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings. The order also permits vending machines and stroller rentals to operate at malls, prohibits self-service food at retail businesses including grocery stores, and opens private tutoring facilities to students and clients.

10/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 192, which provides mandatory health and safety standards to protect all New Jersey’s workers at work during the pandemic. The executive order will take the following actions:

Workplace health and safety standards to cover all NJ workers

The executive order will require both private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols that will serve to protect their in-person workforces. The Order mandates that as of 6:00 a.m. on November 5th, all employers, at minimum, require individuals at the worksite to maintain at least six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible and require employees and visitors to wear masks when entering the worksite, subject to certain limited exceptions.

 Other protocols require employers to:

  • Provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;
  • Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide sufficient break time for that purpose;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
  • Conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, prior to each shift, consistent with CDC guidance;
  • Exclude sick employees from the workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
  • Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.

Collaborative enforcement mechanism to address complaints

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) will support the Department of Health’s efforts to address worker complaints from their employers. NJDOL’s roles will include establishing an intake form on the NJDOL website to receive complaints and developing an investigation and inspection protocol to review complaints.

Training program to inform workers of their rights and to encourage employer compliance

The executive order also directs NJDOL to provide compliance and safety training for employers and employees. The department will provide materials to inform workers of their rights and businesses of their obligations as well as coordinate with workforce training partners to create and provide training.

10/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of California and Massachusetts, bringing the total to 41 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, October 27, there are currently 41 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming.   

Neighboring states Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware now meet the criteria for New Jersey’s travel advisory. Due to the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between New Jersey and the three states, a 14-day quarantine is not reasonable in all instances. Non-essential travel to and from these states, however, is highly discouraged at this time. New York and Connecticut are also discouraging non-essential travel to and from New Jersey, but are not mandating that travelers quarantine due to the interconnected nature of the region and economy. Massachusetts will be included on New Jersey's advisory, but neither New York’s or Connecticut’s based on the same criteria.  

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

10/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing New Jersey's state COVID-19 vaccination plan, designed to provide equitable access to approved vaccine(s), achieve maximum community protection and build public trust in advance of an approved vaccine(s)

New Jersey submitted its draft COVID-19 vaccination plan to the CDC on Oct. 16th. The plan calls for an all-of-government approach to a wide-scale vaccination program.

An EUA allows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to facilitate the availability of unapproved medical product to be used to prevent serious or life-threatening diseases when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. The FDA may issue an emergency use authorization for one or more COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year or the first quarter of next year.

Several vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials. Some of the vaccines will require a two-dose regimen, 21-28 days apart.

The initial allotment of vaccine to states is expected to be limited. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has drafted recommendations for the first phase of the vaccination effort, prioritizing health care workers who have the potential for direct exposure and essential workers and individuals at risk, including those 65 and older. It will be up to states to determine the final allocation. The Department of Health anticipates that, following initial rounds of distribution: There will be enough supply to meet demand during Phase II. Phase III will allow open access to the vaccine. How much vaccine New Jersey will receive will depend on several factors including the population of essential and healthcare workers, current spread or prevalence of the disease, and vaccine(s) availability.

The Department of Health has been working to ensure an equitable wide-scale vaccination program since July and established the New Jersey Department of Heath COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force with nine teams. The Task Force is chaired by Dr. David Adinaro, Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services.

In addition, a Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) meets weekly to monitor the progress of vaccines development and ensure that all discussions are made through the lens of equity. Commissioner Persichilli convened the PAC in March to provide guidance to the Department to ensure that its COVID-19 response is based on the latest scientific, medical, ethical, and public health evidence. The 28 public members and its subcommittees include healthcare leaders, academics, infectious and chronic disease healthcare practitioners, former commissioners, epidemiologists, quality experts, local health and equity leaders and ethicists representing geographic, demographic, and professional diversity. The PAC is chaired by former Deputy Commissioner and State Epidemiologist Dr. Eddy Bresnitz. After leaving the Department, he spent nearly a decade at Merck in Global Vaccine Medical Affairs.

The nine focus areas of Department’s Vaccine Task Force are:

  • Logistics & PODs or points of dispensing/delivery including local partnerships, state & mobile sites; cold chain management and PPE & supply requirements
  • Federal interoperability, IT & data flow management to monitor & track all doses delivered and administered
  • Specific Population Planning for vulnerable, high risk & essential workers
  • Enabling Policies for directives or other regulatory or policy tools
  • Management & Administration for workforce, contracting and budgeting
  • Analytics & Reporting
  • Strategic Communication
  • Public Confidence to include stakeholder calls, bringing up a call center for questions & a public awareness campaign
  • Flu vaccination. During the last flu season, 50% of the population in the state received the vaccine.

The Department of Health reminds the public that information about COVID-19 and the vaccines currently in development is still evolving and that the Department will continue to release information as it becomes available. The Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination plan has been partly informed by the state’s experience with pandemic influenza vaccination during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

The Department has a COVID-19 Vaccination webpage that includes FAQs, the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, and an executive summary of the plan.

10/26/20: Montville Township has announced that the Municipal Building and its parking lot, located at 195 Changebridge Road, will be closed to the public on Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm for a drive-through influenza vaccination clinic for Montville senior citizens. This vaccination clinic is open only to Montville senior citizens. You must have an appointment to be granted access to the clinic.

A limited number of appointments are still available, please call the Montville Health Department at 973-331-3316 to secure your appointment. Again, all participants must have an pre-arranged appointment to participate in the clinic, all others will not be allowed to enter the clinic. 

As in previous years, if you are a senior citizen, and unable to leave your home to receive your flu vaccination, please call the Montville Health Department at 973-331-3316 to arrange for one of our Public Health Nurses to come to your home to administer your vaccination.

To protect yourself, and our community, the Montville Health Department strongly encourages everyone who can do so to receive their influenza vaccination this year. Vaccinations are widely available at national-level pharmacies and supermarkets. Please visit https://www.nj211.org/get-flu-ready for more information, and to find a flu shot near you.

10/26/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing extended, weekend office hours to help voters navigate the 2020 General Election. The Morris County Clerk’s Office will be open on Saturday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 31, from 8:00 a.m. to noon to assist voters seeking a new ballot, needing to vote early, reporting a ballot issue or having other problems in casting a ballot.
Due to the current pandemic, all voters entering the building will be subject to a temperature check and must wear a face mask. Pandemic protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also require limited access to the building in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.The Morris County Clerk’s Office is located on the 1st Floor of the Morris County Administration and Records Building at 10 Court Street, Morristown, N.J.

10/24/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 191, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order No. 103, which was previously extended on April 7, May 6, June 4, July 2, August 1, August 27, and September 25. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Executive Order No. 191 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

10/23/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing two bills (S2712 and S2785) ordering reforms to the long-term care industry. The bills implement recommendations from the Manatt Health Report, released on June 3, 2020. S2712 requires minimum direct care staff-to-resident ratios in New Jersey long-term care facilities. Additionally, the legislation will establish the Special Task Force on Direct Care Workforce Retention and Recruitment. S2785 requires long-term care facilities to institute policies that prevent social isolation of residents, addressing issues experienced by LTC residents and their families as a result of prohibitions and limitations on visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

10/23/20: Fall celebrations, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, often include crowded parties and other large gatherings of families and friends that may put people at increased risk for becoming infected with COVID-19. The CDC has issued guidance and recommendations for upcoming holiday celebrations and travel meant to supplement (not replace) state and local safety laws, rules, and regulations that must be complied with. This CDC guidance includes considerations for planning both indoor and outdoor holiday celebrations and gatherings, as well as a breakdown of lower risk, moderate risk, and high risk activities associated with holidays.

10/22/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing several fraud alerts that involve the SNAP program, bail bonds, IRS, stimulus checks, and COVID-19 contact tracing. 

In this scam, criminals pretend to be contact tracers. The scammers send messages to potential victims saying they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19/Coronavirus, and need to click on the link to learn more. When that link is clicked, malicious software is downloaded onto a person’s smartphone or other device, giving hackers access to their target’s private information. 

Please note that legitimate contact tracers, including those working on behalf of the Montville Health Department, will only send text messages to let a person know that they will be calling and to answer that phone call. Messages from legitimate contact tracers DO NOT include any links. Messages that include a link to click on should be viewed as illegitimate and deleted immediately.

10/21/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that Morris County authorities are reporting a moderate increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases, consistent with a statewide uptick, citing a correlation with increased indoor gatherings prompted by cooler outdoor temperatures.

“New Jersey is seeing moderate increases in community spread of COVID-19 and the New Jersey Department of Health has indicated that it is anticipating a second wave. There has been an increase in transmission associated with gatherings, especially gatherings held indoors,” said Morris County Health Officer Carlos Perez.

As the weather turns cooler, people need to be reminded that indoor gatherings should be limited to immediate household members, he explained. Additionally, as people plan for seasonal holidays and celebrations, they should limit the number of close relatives and friends in attendance and, if possible, plan parties outdoors around a fire pit or patio heater, according to Perez.

The slight rise in county numbers was first reported at a Morris County Board of Freeholders meeting last week by Scott DiGiralomo, Director of Morris County’s Department of Law and Public Safety. He said the county remains vigilant and poised to assist the community should there be any significant resurgence of the virus, which had its greatest impact on the county back in April.

The County Office of Health Management and local health departments continue to perform essential duties to prevent the spread of infections, including enhanced surveillance and contact tracing, which is the process of identifying and notifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to prevent further spread of the disease.

“It is important that persons instructed to quarantine and isolate by their local health department and/or healthcare provider do so to prevent the spread of infection,” said Perez. Contact tracers, he said, will not ask for social security numbers, bank or credit card information, health insurance information, immigration status, or criminal history. “They are only following up about potential exposure to COVID-19 cases, to determine if a person has symptoms and needs to self-isolate. Report any calls from persons identifying themselves as contact tracers and requesting such information to your local police department,” Perez said.

Health professionals emphasize that COVID-19 is preventable if individuals:

  1. Wear a cloth face covering when in public (both indoors and outdoors).
  2. Practice social distancing (maintain a 6-foot space between you and others).
  3. Follow good respiratory hygiene recommendations.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands.
  5. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or eyes with unclean hands.
  6. Get a flu shot.
  7. Stay home if you are sick and avoid sick people.
  8. If you become ill, call your healthcare provider before going to a doctor’s office or emergency department of a hospital.

Planning to travel during the upcoming holidays?

Remember: There are 38 states/territories on a state issued travel advisory list, and the list is updated and changes regularly. Anyone leaving New Jersey to travel to a state/territory on the travel advisory list should quarantine for 14-days upon their return to the state.

More information is available at the NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/index.html

Review and follow CDC travel advisories when planning travel abroad: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

10/21/20: NJ Communications Director Mahen Gunaratna issued a press release announcing: “A member of the Governor's senior staff recently tested positive for COVID-19. Per guidance from public health officials, the individual is currently quarantining at home. We have begun the contact tracing process to notify everyone who may have come into contact with our colleague during the potential infection window. Out of an abundance of caution and in line with the highest levels of commitment to protecting public health, the Governor and First Lady will be canceling their in-person events and voluntarily quarantining through the end of the weekend, and each will take an additional COVID-19 test before they resume any in-person engagements. The Governor received a coronavirus test on Monday as part of his regularly-scheduled testing regime, which came back negative. The Governor and First Lady were also tested this afternoon, which came back negative. From the beginning, the Governor's Office has taken every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. Today's exceedingly cautious steps are part of that ongoing commitment."  

10/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing $14 million in additional Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to develop workforce development programs. The programs are designed to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 replenish their workforce and help jobless residents learn new skills that lead to successful reemployment. The CARES Act funding has been divided to a three-pronged plan to bolster workers’ skills and get them back on the job. The programs will be implemented by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  

10/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Arizona and Maryland, bringing the total to 39 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, October 20, there are currently 39 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming. 

Neighboring states Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware now meet the criteria for New Jersey’s travel advisory. Due to the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between New Jersey and the three states, a 14-day quarantine is not reasonable in all instances. Non-essential travel to and from these states, however, is highly discouraged at this time. New York and Connecticut are also discouraging non-essential travel to and from New Jersey, but are not mandating that travelers quarantine due to the interconnected nature of the region and economy.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

10/20/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing legislation (S2519) which requires public health emergency credits to be awarded to certain inmates and parolees during a public health emergency. The legislation includes certain exclusions and prohibits inmates or parolees to contact their victims upon their release. Under the bill, public health emergency credits would be awarded to any adult inmate or juvenile who is within 365 days of their scheduled release. Credits would accrue at the rate of 122 days (four months) for each month, or portion of each month, served during the declared emergency with a maximum of 244 days (eight months) of remission to be awarded for any declared emergency period. Credits would not to be awarded to anyone who is serving a sentence for murder or aggravated sexual assault or who has been deemed a repetitive, compulsive sex offender.

10/19/20: Although Montville Township was unable to secure a veterinarian for the rabies clinic that is usually held here in Montville Township, Lincoln Park and their contracted veterinarian have graciously agreed to extend the hours of their clinic for the convenience of Montville Township residents. 

The Lincoln Park / Montville Township free rabies clinic will be held on Friday, November 6, 2020, at the Lincoln Park Fire Department Hose Company #1 at 20 Boonton Turnpike (next to the Lincoln Park Municipal Building) in Lincoln Park, and will be open to Montville Township and other NJ residents from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

A list of the many other free rabies vaccination clinics that will be held throughout Morris County can be found at: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/public/rabies/. These clinics are free, and open to all NJ residents. Please contact the municipality in question for more information.


10/19/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the launch of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Transparency website, providing oversight and public confidence in the expenditure of federal recovery funds as the State continues to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement of the website follows the Governor’s signing of Executive Order No. 166 on July 17, 2020, which established the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office (GDRO) and COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Task Force. The site can be accessed here.

10/16/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 190, which extends a moratorium preventing New Jersey residents from having their utilities disconnected through at least March 15, 2021. The moratorium applies to all residential gas, electric and water utilities, both public and private. Further, the utilities will not be charging late fees nor fees to reconnect services that have been disconnected. The Order also requires that all residential services that were disconnected after social distancing measures went into effect on March 16 be reconnected. The Governor and legislative leadership further announced that $15 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be allocated to assisting low income households in paying off utility arrearages.

10/16/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 189, which extends the filing deadline for 2019 Corporate Business Tax (CBT) calendar year returns being filed under extension to November 16, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The previous filing deadline for calendar year returns being filed under extension was October 15, 2020.

10/15/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Freeholders today reported that the rate of COVID-19 cases in the county remained consistent with the rest of New Jersey, which reported an uptick of cases. The data, discussed at a regular freeholder meeting tonight, continued to show cases well below the devastating high in April, while a statewide increase has been reported. Scott DiGiralomo, Director of Morris County’s Department of Law and Public Safety, said his office has seen the number of cases go up, but not significantly, suggesting it may be related to school openings. He and the freeholders said the county remains vigilant and poised to assist the community should there be any resurgence of the virus.

10/14/20: Although Montville Township will not be able to hold their regularly scheduled free rabies vaccination clinic this November due to the lack of an available veterinarian, there are numerous nearby municipalities in Morris County that will be holding upcoming clinics. A list of these clinics, which are free, and available to all NJ residents, can be found at: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/public/rabies/.

10/14/20: According to the CDC, getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flu season begins in October and continues into early spring (peak season is in January and February). All residents are encouraged to be aware, and to take precautionary and preventative measures. That includes getting your flu vaccine. 2-1-1 NJ has a list of resources you can explore to find a convenient location for you and your family to get vaccinated against the flu, which can be found at: https://www.nj211.org/get-flu-ready

10/14/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Clerk's Office is experiencing a record volume of phone calls and is urging residents to use the Morris County Clerk's website for voting questions. Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi urged voters with simple questions regarding the election to use her website, noting her office is experiencing an exorbitant volume of phone calls. One employee’s phone system recorded 2,008 messages over the weekend, according to the Clerk. Additionally, the office is experiencing on average more than 100 phone calls per hour on all election staff phone systems. 

Their website, www.morriscountyclerk.org, can answer most of the questions being asked, and contains:

Detailed information on all aspects of this election, such as:

  1. ballot box locations,
  2. polling locations,
  3. dates when ballots were mailed, written instructions on what to expect when you receive your ballot package,
  4. methods of returning your ballots, and

Videos on:

  1. How to Vote,
  2. What to do if you receive duplicate ballots, ballots for persons who are no longer living at your address and deceased parties, and
  3. mail-in ballot updates.

“We always want to answer all calls, and provide timely and accurate information, but with this unprecedented volume it becomes difficult. That is why we are urging people to use our website first before calling for routine questions,” the County Clerk explained. If, after looking at the website, a voter still feels a need to call the Clerk, please feel free to do so at 973-285-6066. However, please be mindful that the overwhelming number of calls coming into the office may require a longer than normal wait time.

10/14/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the launch of the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, is now open to residents to browse health plans, compare prices and find out if they may qualify for financial help ahead of the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period that begins Nov. 1. New Jersey residents will no longer use HealthCare.gov to enroll in Marketplace health insurance plans. Instead, Marketplace plans and financial help will only be available through Get Covered New Jersey at getcovered.nj.gov.  

10/14/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia bringing the total to 38 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, October 13, there are currently 38 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Colorado; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

10/13/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that Morris County and its 39 towns will share $8,415,816 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding out of $60 Million released by Governor Phil Murphy today for severely impacted county and local governments not qualified to receive direct federal aid. Morris County will receive $2.3 million while $6.1 million is being shared among the municipalities. Of that $6.1 million, Montville Township will receive $238,883. The funding is intended to help the towns deal with unexpected costs caused by the pandemic, including increased costs in health benefits, health and human services, public safety, overtime, equipment and supply expenditures.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services also is providing up to $10 million to support the state’s County Boards of Social Services with COVID19-related expenses such as technology to adapt to remote work requirements, meeting the growing demand for services, and supplies and materials to meet COVID19 health and safety standards. Qualifying expenditures for the municipal funding include public safety and health-related expenses, COVID19-related overtime, increased residential and health-related garbage collection and services, remote working technology, signage and information technology related to the COVID19 response and recovery, and public health-related retrofit expenses for reopening.

The Governor said the allocation formula to determine the amounts provided used a variety of relevant metrics, including the municipal COVID19 infection rate, fiscal stress, the Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI), population, and public safety and health and human services expenditures share of the budget to determine the amount of funds counties and municipalities receive. Funds awarded may not be used for government revenue replacement, including the provision of assistance to meet tax obligations.  Eligible expenditures must be incurred during the covered period between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.

10/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing $100 million in additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bulk of the money, $70 million, will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program; an additional $10 million will be used to help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program; $15 million will go to support renters through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program; and $5 million will support food banks and other hunger relief efforts.

Launched in early April, the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program provides grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. To date, over 19,000 small businesses have benefited from the program.

Phase 3 of the Grant Program expands eligibility to any business with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and increases the amount of funding businesses can receive. To ensure funds flow to businesses that need them most, Phase 3 includes set-asides for grants to restaurants and micro-businesses. $35 million will be dedicated to support businesses classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” under NAICS code 722 and $15 million will be directed to support “micro-businesses” that have five or fewer employees. The remaining $20 million will be available to support any eligible business.

In line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to a stronger, fairer recovery, one third of each of these pools of will be directed to support entities that are located in census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone.

The Administration is also providing $10 million of additional CARES Act funding to support the Authority’s Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. Launching in late October, this program will utilize an innovative public-private partnership model to enable businesses with 100 employees or fewer to receive grants in the form of automatic discounts on PPE purchased through NJEDA-approved “Designated Vendors”.

The Administration will also provide $15 million more in rent relief for New Jersey tenants through the DCA’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program reduces the burden renters face by paying landlords directly for up to six months. The funding announced today will cover rent incurred from August 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020. Payments per household will depend on a variety of factors such as location, rental market, family size, and average per household income.

The remaining $5 million will be used to provide relief for New Jersey residentsfacing food insecurity. These funds will build off of the $20 million announced in July that the Department of Agriculture (NJDA) used to support Emergency Feeding Organizations, which have been supporting food banks, food pantries, hunger relief centers, and soup kitchens that provide food to those in need.

The $100 million announced today will supplement the $115 million in CARES Act funds already allocated for economic development and re-employment programs and the $100 million allocated for housing assistance programs. On Friday, the Department of Human Services announced its new Housing Assistance Program, which will use $12 million from the CARES Act to provide rental or mortgage assistance payments on behalf of eligible households that have suffered a financial hardship due to COVID-19. More information on that program is available here.

10/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 187, which allows the resumption of contact practices and competitions in indoor settings for organized sports defined as “medium risk” and “high risk” by the New Jersey Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities.”   The order encompasses sports including hockey, basketball, cheerleading, group dance, rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, and wrestling.  Governor Murphy previously signed Executive Order 149 and and Executive Order 168, which permitted the resumption of outdoor sports activities, “low risk” practices and competitions in indoor settings, and non-contact indoor practices for “medium risk” and “high risk” sports.

All indoor practices and competitions are limited to 25% of the capacity of the room, but not more than 25 or less than 10 persons. However, if the number of individuals who are necessary for practice or competition, such as players, coaches, and referees, exceeds 25, the practice or competition may proceed if no unnecessary individuals such as spectators are present.  Even if this exception applies, the number of these necessary individuals at the practice or competition cannot exceed 25% of the capacity of the room, and such limit cannot exceed 150 persons.

Facilities and participants must abide by a number of health and safety protocols outlined in the Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities,” such as screenings for athletes, coaches, and staff; limitations on equipment sharing; and requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces and equipment. Additionally, sports under the oversight of either the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association or the NCAA must continue to abide by those associations' rules. All sporting activities must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders. The order will take effect immediately.

10/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for the Local Government Emergency Fund to aid counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct CRF allocation plan. The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted county and local governments in New Jersey, and they are facing increased costs in health benefits, health and human services, public safety, overtime, equipment, and supply expenditures. These relief funds will help to address necessary and unexpected expenditures necessitated by the pandemic.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) is also providing up to $10 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to support the state’s County Boards of Social Services with COVID-related expenses such as technology to adapt to remote work, expanding to meet growing demand, and supplies and materials to meet COVID-19 health and safety standards.

Qualifying expenditures for the Local Government Emergency Fund include public safety and health-related expenses, COVID-19-related overtime, increased residential and health-related garbage collection and services, remote working technology, signage and information technology related to the COVID-19 response and recovery, and public health-related retrofit expenses for reopening.

The Local Government Emergency Fund allocation formula uses a variety of relevant metrics, including the municipal COVID-19 infection rate, fiscal stress, the Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI), population, and public safety and health and human services expenditures share of the budget to determine the amount of funds counties and municipalities receive.

Funds awarded may not be used for government revenue replacement, including the provision of assistance to meet tax obligations. Eligible expenditures must be incurred during the covered period between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.

The fund allocations by county (including distributions to municipal governments) are listed below. For a full list of municipal allocations broken down by county, please click here: http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/lgef.html

10/09/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that Professor Brian Olson, of the Department of Biology and Chemistry at the County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph, has had his research on COVID-19 published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design to assist with the development of drugs to combat the virus.

10/07/20: The Montville Health Department is strongly urging all residents to get their flu vaccination. As noted in a recent Harvard Health Publishing article, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever this year to be vaccinated against the flu. Late September through October is the best time of year to get the vaccination, and flu vaccine is widely available at pharmicies, supermarkets, and doctor's offices. Click here for a recent nj.com article listing where flu shots can be obtained. The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) issues weekly respiratory virus surveillance reports that describes activity levels of influenza and influenza-like illnesses throughout the state, which can be found here.

10/06/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of New Mexico, bringing the total to 35 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, October 6, there are currently 35 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Colorado; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming. 

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

10/05/20: Governor Murphy and NJDOH issued Halloween 2020 Celebration Guidance. The document includes recommendations for adapting traditional celebrations, and considerations for ways to celebrate Halloween safely, including for traditional outdoor door-to-door trick or treating; outdoor trunk or treating; Halloween parties; and haunted houses, hayrides, and corn mazes. The guidance also includes examples of Halloween activities that would require only minimal or no additional health and safety protocols.

10/05/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that effective Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the Morris County Surrogate’s Office will begin accepting appointments for in-person probate in our newly designed COVID-19 compliant probate rooms. No walk-in appointments will be permitted and all appointments must be scheduled in advance by calling the Morris County Surrogate’s Office at 973-285-6500.

Please be advised that to maintain public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, appointments will be limited considerably, as compared to the past.  We will be accepting a maximum of four (4) appointments in the morning and four (4) appointments in the afternoon each day, Monday through Friday. Clients are limited to having a maximum of one additional person at their appointment (usually their attorney) and no one under the age of 18 will be permitted in the probate rooms. Clients will be required to go through Morris County screening procedures upon entering the building, which includes a temperature check as well as passing through a metal detector.  COVID-19 protocols require that masks are worn in the building at all times for everyone’s safety.

For more information, please visit www.morrissurrogate.com.

10/01/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing with NY Governor Cuomo the launch of COVID-19 exposure notification mobile apps in their respective states that will serve as crucial tools to supplement the effort to trace and contact individuals subject to a COVID exposure. The apps, COVID Alert NJ and COVID Alert NY, notify users of potential COVID-19 exposure while maintaining user privacy and security. With today’s launch, New Jersey and New York join Pennsylvania and Delaware in creating a regional COVID Alert app network that operates across state lines to stop the spread of COVID-19. Connecticut has also announced it will launch an app in the near future using the same technology.

The free mobile apps–available to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or attends college in New Jersey or New York — are available for download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 

The apps use Exposure Notification System technology developed by Google and Apple to strengthen New Jersey and New York’s contact tracing programs statewide. The COVID Alert apps will notify users if they have been in close contact – within six feet for at least 10 minutes – with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure can help individuals quickly make a plan to stay safe, including contacting their physician or the State Health Department hotlines to get more information about quarantining and testing to prevent community spread.

COVID Alert NJ and COVID Alert NY are completely anonymous and do not track or collect any location data or personal data from your phone. The COVID Alert apps do not use GPS location data. The Exposure Notification System uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to detect when another phone with the same app is within six feet. Proximity is measured, but not geographic location. COVID Alert app users must explicitly choose to turn on exposure notifications – and can turn it off at any time.

After downloading the app, users must opt-in to receive “Exposure Notifications.” When the app senses a close contact, your phone will exchange a secure random code with the close contact’s phone. Of note, your location, name or personally identifiable data are never disclosed. If you test positive for COVID-19, a public health representative from the local health department will call as part of the states’ contact tracing programs and ask if you are willing to anonymously notify your “close contacts” by uploading your app’s anonymous close contact codes. 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 to stay safe and prevent community spread like self-quarantining and getting tested. COVID Alert apps never reveal the identity of the COVID-19 positive individual.

The COVID Alert NJ app will work in conjunction with similar apps in Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania, allowing New Jerseyans to continue to receive exposure notifications when exposed to residents of those states. If a New Jersey resident travels to one of those states and is exposed to someone with COVID-19 who has an equivalent app, the resident will receive a notification.

COVID Alert NJ and COVID Alert NY provide users with the latest information about COVID-19 in their states, including publicly reported testing data. In addition, the app features a symptom checker where users can anonymously record daily symptoms.

Visit covid19.nj.gov/app for more information about COVID Alert NJ.

Visit ny.gov/covidalerts for more information about COVID Alert NY.

09/30/20: Montville Pet Parents (MPP) sponsors a Spring and a Holiday Boutique each year at the Montville Senior House to raise money to help the animals at the shelter. This year, due to the  COVID-19 pandemic, they were unable to hold these "in-person" events, which are their largest fundraising opportunities. 

MPP Boutique was created on Facebook as a virtual replacement for the Holiday Boutique that cannot be held due to Covid-19. Items usually sold at the boutique will be available for purchase in this group. Payment can be made via Venmo or PayPal (please be advised that PayPal will add a small service fee). We will have several dates/locations where items can be picked up. Items can be purchased at any time from this group. 

100% of the sale of these items will be used by Montville Pet Parents to support the care of the animal at the Montville Animal Shelter. 


09/30/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing the expansion and reopening of its Small Landlord Emergency Grant (SLEG) Program, which is designed to assist families struggling to meet rental payments due to COVID-19.

The state program reimburses qualified landlords for rent payments missed by families from April through July 2020 due to hardships created by the pandemic. The program reopened on Monday and will run through Tuesday, October 13th at 4:00 p.m., according to the NJHMFA, a state agency that helps to increase the availability of and accessibility in New Jersey to safe, decent, and affordable housing. Landlords approved for SLEG funds must forgive any back rent or late fees incurred by their tenants.

To be eligible for the 2nd round of the SLEG Program:

  • Applicants must own a residential property in New Jersey with three to 30 rental units;
  • Applicants must be registered with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Bureau of Housing Inspection;
  • The property must not bea seasonal or vacation rental property;
  • The property must have at least one non-vacant rental unit impacted by COVID-19 between April and July 2020;
  • The property must have low-to-moderate income rent levels

The first and second rounds of the SLEG Program are supported by $15 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. All completed eligible applications will be randomly sorted by computer to give each applicant an equal chance of being funded. Grant funding will be allocated on a case-by-case basis, based on the number of COVID-impacted units and the amount of missed rent.

A list of all successful landlord applicants will be posted to the NJHMFA website, and letters will be sent to all tenants of awarded landlords. There is a range of tools available on NJHMFA's website to assist property owners in preparing their applications. Potential applicants with specific questions can call NJHMFA’s toll-free hotline at 866-280-9756 or email sleg@njhmfa.gov.

09/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Colorado — with Arizona and Virginia removed from the list — bringing the total to 34 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, September 29, there are currently 34 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Colorado; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Nevada; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming. 

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

09/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 186, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order 103, which was previously extended every 30 days since. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Executive Order 180 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

09/25/20: Atlantic Health Systems issued an announcement titled "Why It's Important to Take Charge of Your Health" detailing how early detection can save lives. An estimated 41% of adults have delayed or avoided medical care due to concerns related to COVID-19, according to a survey administered in June. That estimate includes 12% who avoided urgent or emergency care and 32% who avoided routine care, according to the survey conducted by Qualtrics, LLC.

In a local survey by Atlantic Health System, 34% of respondents said they chose to cancel, delay, or reschedule an appointment for routine care. Though infection rates have decreased in the region, fears of getting COVID-19 are still keeping some patients away from important screenings, diagnosis, and treatment for non-COVID-19 diseases. 

Experts are concerned about a second epidemic associated with COVID-19. Scott Lauter, MD, MBA, FACP, FHM, chief medical officer of Atlantic Medical Group, said this would include cancers not screened, detected and treated in an earlier and curable stage. Uncontrolled chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and high cholesterol can also become very serious if left untreated. “The time to avoid or delay is over,” he said.

09/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the rate of COVID-19 cases in the county continued on a flat curve through the summer and into September. The data, presented at a regular Freeholder meeting, continued to demonstrate a 95% reduction in cases since a devastating high in April, despite data showing a slight uptick in the number of weekly cases attributed to some increased school activities. The Freeholders said the county remains poised to assist the community should there be any resurgence of the virus. 

Morris County went from being one of New Jersey’s most seriously virus-impacted regions to having one of the lowest COVID-19 spread-rates due to a rigorous, organized response to the pandemic. Morris County authorities worked closely with local health officials and medical providers, boosted stockpiles of personal protection equipment, monitored the virus spread and opened a testing center. 

09/23/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes five additional states — Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming — bringing the total to 35 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, September 22, there are currently 35 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Arizona; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Nevada; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

09/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that applications are now open for the new NJ Department of Human Services (NJDHS) COVID-19 child care tuition assistance program to help families with child care costs as schools open remotely. The $150 million program will provide child care tuition assistance to New Jersey families with incomes up to $75,000 that are in need of either full or part-time child care due to their child’s remote learning schedule.

Families can learn more and apply for this assistance by completing the online application at www.ChildCareNJ.gov. Those applying will need proof of income and a notice or announcement from their child’s school of a remote learning schedule. Tuition assistance will be available through December 30, 2020 for eligible residents with school-age children, 5 to 13 years old. Families may submit applications and NJDHS will provide the tuition assistance to eligible participants until funding is exhausted.  Recipients will be eligible for either full- or part-time support based on their families’ needs.

The tuition assistance is part of $250 million plan announced last month to support working families and child care. As part of that plan, NJDHS is also providing state child care subsidies for families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty line during the school day for children aged 5 to 13 through December 30, 2020. Families that currently receive state child care subsidies for before and after school care for school age children are being contacted directly to identify their needs during the school day. Child care providers will be paid the subsidy rate for school-age children based on the hours of care needed. NJDHS is also supporting child care centers that make it a priority to serve children receiving the child care subsidy by providing supplemental payments of $75 per subsidy-eligible child, per month, including infants, toddlers, and school-age children to providers through the end of the year.  

NJDHS is also making funding available to licensed child care centers and registered family child care providers in New Jersey that are open or will open by October 1st to manage added operational costs due to new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. These funds will be available to nearly 6,000 child care providers in New Jersey with increased COVID-related costs, such as purchasing PPE and other supplies and materials, cleaning and sanitation, and other operational needs related to COVID-19 that are eligible expenses for the Coronavirus Relief Fund.  Funds will be available through an application process that will open in the upcoming weeks through the New Jersey Child Care Information System (NJCCIS).

09/17/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that veterans and their families who are experiencing a housing crisis may be eligible for emergency assistance such as motel/hotel stays, security deposits, rent, rental arrears, groceries and utilities through Community Hope.

Community Hope’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program is currently providing assistance remotely. Urgent community-based services such as critical supplies and veteran wellness-checks are provided in person. The increase in support services to veterans and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic is possible thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

To make a referral, please call the referral hotline at 1-855-483-8466 or email SSVF@communityhope-nj.org, or email Gema Diaz at gdiaz@communityhope-nj.org.

09/17/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that acting on a commitment to reform and build a more resilient long-term care industry, Governor Phil Murphy today signed a legislative package to address systemic challenges, mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and strengthen preparedness for future outbreaks. The legislative package enacts several recommendations made in Manatt Health’s rapid review of the state’s long-term care facilities, including wage enhancements for front-line staff, improved response coordination, and robust data reporting procedures. The legislative package received bipartisan support. 

The Governor signed the following bills into law: 

A4476/S2790 - Establishes certain requirements concerning State's preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

A4481/S2787 - Establishes New Jersey Task Force on Long-Term Care Quality and Safety. 

A4482/S2758 - Establishes minimum wage requirements for certain long-term care facility staff; establishes direct care ratio requirements for nursing homes; requires nursing home care rate study. 

A4547/S2813 - Authorizes temporary rate adjustment for certain nursing facilities; appropriates $62.3 million.

09/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes one additional territory, Puerto Rico— with California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, and Ohio removed from the list, bringing the total to 30 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, September 14, there are currently 30 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; and West Virginia.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

09/11/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the COVID-19 curve remains flat and low as businesses reopen. As a precaution, the Morris County Freeholders are preparing Morris County to handle potential spikes and/or a second surge of cases. The Morris County Board of Freeholders provided a COVID-19 update showing the case rate has remained flat over the past few weeks and throughout the summer, even with a steady increase in business re-openings and general activity. Data presented to the board by Freeholder John Krickus demonstrated not only a sharp reduction in virus rates for Morris County has held, but also that average human mobility in New Jersey increased, nearing pre-pandemic levels, as COVID-19 cases dropped statewide over the past few months.

The freeholders adopted Resolution 2020-345 on May 13 urging Governor Phil Murphy to reopen New Jersey, which was under an extensive shutdown at the time and is still operating under restrictions imposed by executive orders.  The freeholders had echoed calls for a statewide reopening of the economy made by two other organizations at the time. In May, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, state Sen. Anthony Bucco and others released a joint report, “It’s Time to Get Back to Business in Morris County,” that outlined a safe reopening plan for the Governor. https://morriscountynj.gov/2020/05/covid-19-morris-chamber-and-sen-bucco-release-business-recovery-report/. Simultaneously, Unlock New Jersey, an organization of business owners and public officials throughout North Jersey, presented its own plan for a speedier reopening of state businesses. http://www.unlocknewjersey.com/

Last month, Morris County released data showing a 95% drop in COVID-19 cases in the county since a devastating April peak and the launch of a highly successful county mobilization of local resources to combat the pandemic spread. Morris County’s rate of COVID-19 cases is now 40 percent lower than the state average due to cooperative efforts among local, county and state agencies and strengthening county public health and public safety resources. At a freeholder meeting yesterday, a data chart was presented showing the sharp decline in daily cases, dipping into the low teens in mid-June and remaining there for the past three months. Freeholder Director Deborah Smith said the data is encouraging, but underscored the importance of continuing to recognize proper precautions as we move through the pandemic, even outdoors.

09/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he today signed legislation (A4486) which authorizes the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to use stored driver's license or identification card photos for longer than eight years and limits certain appointment times at MVC locations to senior citizens and persons with certain medical conditions during COVID-19 pandemic.  The Governor also signed A4520, which temporarily extends deadlines to register vehicles and obtain driver's licenses for new State residents during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

A4486 extends the validity of all driver’s license and identification card photographs from a maximum of eight years to a maximum of 12 years. The bill further allows residents 65 years of age or older to be eligible to use a stored photograph for each standard driver’s license or standard identification card renewal. The legislation also requires the chief administrator, during the COVID-19 public health emergency, to reserve one day per week or a certain time each day or each week, to be determined by the chief administrator, at certain commission agency locations to offer appointments exclusively to the following individuals to register a newly purchased, newly acquired, or transferred motor vehicle: (1) senior citizens, and (2) customers who, due to a medical condition diagnosed by a licensed medical doctor or osteopathic physician and evidenced by proof, in a form prescribed by the chief administrator, cannot wear masks or face coverings.

A4520 provides that a person who is allowed to operate a motor vehicle as a non-resident has 120 days (up from 60 days) to obtain a New Jersey driver’s license and to register a motor vehicle upon becoming a resident of the State, if that person becomes a resident during the Coronavirus 2019 public health emergency, which is defined as the period of time during which Executive Order No. 103 of 2020, and any subsequent executive order extending the public health emergency, is in effect. 

The legislation will take effect immediately.

09/09/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County MUA will hold a Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in Parsippany. The final drop-off for the year will be Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chatham High School 255 Lafayette Ave., Chatham.

SPECIAL COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all participants dropping off household hazardous materials must wear face coverings, keep their vehicle windows closed, and stay in their vehicles for the duration of the event. The MCMUA is requesting patrons to store all materials in the trunk, cargo area, or bed of the vehicle for easy access by the MUA’s contractor, whose team will remove it from the vehicle. Please plan your visit accordingly.

The list of acceptable hazardous materials that can be disposed includes pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, oil-based paints, stains, paint thinners and removers, solvents, automotive fluids, lead acid and rechargeable batteries, pool chemicals, and darkroom chemicals. Also accepted are aerosol cans (not empty), propane and helium cylinders, small quantities of asbestos (wetted, double bagged and sealed with duct tape to a 100 pound limit), driveway sealant, roofing tar, fluorescent bulbs, PCB-ballasts, mercury thermometers and switches, household cleaning products, muriatic acid.

Latex paint is not considered hazardous, so it is not accepted. Latex paint should be dried out and disposed of in the trash. Explosive or highly reactive materials, such as picric acid or nitro compounds, will not be accepted. E-waste (used consumer electronics) will not be accepted. Click here  or call 973.829.8006 for E-Waste disposal information.

These events are for residential household waste only. Businesses are not permitted to attend these disposal events. Businesses can visit the permanent facility in Mount Olive by appointment only.

09/09/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that Morris Arts will present Morris Arts Fest, an outdoor festival featuring an art exhibit and sale of works by Morris County area visual artists and crafters. The festival will take place from 3-7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12, at Lewis Morris County Park, Mendham Rd., Morristown. Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 13. Face coverings and social distancing is required for all vendors and attendees.

The event is held in collaboration with the Morris County Park Commission. The Sugarloaf area at Lewis Morris Park has restrooms and parking. For more information on Lewis Morris Park visit: https://www.morrisparks.net/. Click here for a map of the Sugarloaf Area at Lewis Morris Park.

More than 40 visual artists and crafters, working in a wide variety of media including pottery, origami, oils, acrylics, watercolors, printmaking, fiber art, sculpture, pen and ink, photography, cartooning, collage, jewelry, decorative accessories, chalk, ceramics and stoneware will showcase and sell their works in the park that day.

Live music will also enliven the event. Attendees can hear Gwendolyn Fitz, a jazz-pop singer-songwriter with folk influences — imagine Nora Jones on the ukulele.  Also performing is the band Secret Sound, which mixes funky blues and rock by members Kevin Hill on guitar/vocals, Adam Alexander on drums, Dave Ferraro on bass, Bob Larsen on percussion and Andy Feldman on keyboard.

For questions, please contact Kaity De Laura at kdelaura@morrisarts.org or (973) 285-5115 ext.14.

09/09/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the state will offer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (commonly called Narcan) for free to residents at participating pharmacies throughout New Jersey from September 24th through 26th. As part of the Administration’s continued effort to combat the opioid crisis, New Jerseyans can visit participating pharmacies and anonymously obtain naloxone for free with no prescription and no appointment. Each naloxone pack contains two doses. Naloxone can reverse overdoses from opioids by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain. Those who obtain naloxone will also be given information regarding addiction treatment and recovery.

The free naloxone will be available at 322 pharmacies, including several locations of Acme, CVS, Rite Aid, Sav-On, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Walgreens, Walmart, Weis Markets and independent pharmacies. For participating pharmacies, please visit nj.gov/humanservices/stopoverdoses.

The naloxone will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last. Those who pick up free naloxone will be given information regarding the state’s addiction treatment helpline, 1-844-ReachNJ, a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week addictions help line, where people facing addiction or their friends and family can get immediate assistance and support from live, New Jersey-based, trained addiction counselors. ReachNJ assists callers regardless of their insurance status.

09/09/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the Baby Bonds initiative in his Revised Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, which will provide a $1,000 deposit into an account for every baby born into a household with income less than 500 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($131,000 for a family of four) in 2021. Advanced at the federal level by U.S. Senator Cory Booker and prominent economists, the proposal is a critical investment to address longstanding economic and race-based wealth disparities that have only been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The parameters of the proposal require newborns to either be born in New Jersey or born to parents who are New Jersey residents to be eligible for an account. Baby Bond recipients would have to be New Jersey residents to withdraw funds from their accounts, although they would not have to spend these funds in New Jersey.

Under the Governor’s initiative, the State would establish the Baby Bonds Initiative Fund, which would include individual accounts for eligible residents. Funds in each child’s account would be invested so that they generate returns that are at least equivalent to thirty-year US Treasury bonds. Recipients would be able to withdraw funds when they turn 18 for allowable uses that build wealth such as homeownership, higher and continuing education, or entrepreneurship.

09/09/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-21, which which clarifies that health club facilities located in hotels, motels, condominiums, cooperatives, corporate offices, and other businesses can open their indoor premises.  The Order also states that health club facilities that are open to the public, and not only to guests, residents, and employees, must conform to the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Executive Order No. 181 (2020) and associated guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Health.

09/09/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes four additional states — Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia — with Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands removed from the list, bringing the total to 35 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, September 8, there are currently 35 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; California; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Hawaii; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; and West Virginia. 

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

09/08/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-19, which prohibits smoking in the indoor areas of any casino or casino simulcasting facility that are open to the public. The order was issued in consultation with Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli, who has advised that smoking on casino floors poses a particularly high danger of COVID-19 transmission, and that a temporary ban on smoking on casino floors is necessary to protect the large number of individuals on casino floors, including casino employees and other casino patrons. The order takes effect at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 5, 2020.

09/04/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that following a successful pilot program by United Way of Northern New Jersey, unpaid family caregivers across Morris and Warren counties can apply for 100 grants of assistive technology devices such as smart plugs, video cameras, a video doorbell and a smart speaker connected to a virtual assistant. The initial program gave the devices to 22 unpaid family caregivers across Morris and Essex counties.

Applicants who apply to the United Way for a needs assessment may receive assistive technology and virtual tech support to install and learn how to use the equipment. The program is funded thanks to grants from the Morris County Department of Human Services, the Morristown Medical Center Community Health Committee and the Warren County Division on Aging.

Studies show that caregivers are at greater risk for depression and compromised physical health than the general population. These are the family members or friends who care for a loved one who is ill, frail or living with a disability, performing duties as wide ranging as day-to-day basic needs care to driving to doctor appointments and administering medication.

The United Way pilot program was designed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the need has grown exponentially due to the health risks associated with COVID-19 for vulnerable populations, according to United Way’s Stephanie Howland, who oversees the program. From medication reminders to remotely checking in on a loved one, United Way tailors the services to meet the needs of each family, she said.

For 15 years United Way has provided education, resources and a network of support for family caregivers through caregiver coalitions in the northern New Jersey region. There are an estimated 53 million family caregivers in the United States, according to AARP. With 80 percent of long-term care provided in the home, family caregivers are the backbone of the health care system.

For more information or to apply for the assistive technology program, email Stephanie.Samuel@UnitedWayNNJ.org or call 973.993.1160, x115 or Susan.Cohen@UnitedWayNNJ.org or call 973.993.1160, x108

09/03/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Borough of Wharton is hosting it's 9th Annual Local Job Fair,
with the event being held outdoors this year at the MacKinnon Middle School on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Located at 137 East Central Avenue, Wharton, NJ 07885, the event is open to the public and attendees are being advised to abide by all CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions. 

Please wear a mask, observe a 6-feet distancing protocol and do not attend if you have any symptoms of the virus.  Remember to bring a resume, although one is not required.

The goal of the Job Fair is to facilitate meetings between employers seeking new talent and residents of the area who are interested in embarking on new careers. Employers may have employment opportunities for candidates with the skills they are seeking or who are interested in attaining the required skills. The employers who have signed up for the event, to date, include: Avidd Community Services, Express Employment, U.S. Navy, Ronetco, Home Instead, Morris County Office of Hispanic Affairs, Sussex Meat, Metro Supply and Service, North Jersey Media, and Zufall Health.

For any and all updates on the Job Fair and future employment events in Wharton, go to: http://whartonnj.com/index.php/easyblog/2019-job-fair.

09/03/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing Morris Arts "Great Conversations from Home", an annual interactive event featuring leaders from the arts, media, tech, science, sports and more. This year, the event is a virtual Zoom event on October 8th. From the comfort of home, guests can converse with one of 28 luminaries such as an award-winning TV news correspondent, a scientist studying deadly diseases and pandemics, a 3D experimental visual light artist, a TV and movie set decorator, a prominent climate scientist, a symphony president, a celebrity chef, a former NY Jets president as well as innovators and leaders in business, finance, communications, tech, healthcare, law, pharma and real estate.

Each virtual table will feature a “host conversationalist” whose experiences will catalyze intriguing and memorable conversations. Guest can learn about their work, their thoughts on the world, their insights into their fields, and the experiences that shaped their lives. How did they get to where they are now? What lessons can they impart? Explore the connections between science and art or learn how fast one needs to run with the bulls in Spain. How does it feel to actually “beat Bobby Flay” or to meet seven presidents or attend 22 Super Bowls?  Do basketball skills help a CEO navigate business decisions? This is an evening to ask questions, exchange ideas, learn, and to interact personally with fascinating and accomplished people. You may be surprised by what you discover.

At registration, guests select their top five conversationalist choices. Virtual table assignments are made on a first come, first serve basis. Visit www.morrisarts.org to find out more about each of the host conversationalists and to purchase tickets for this special event. Tickets purchased by Sept. 13 are $125. After that price goes up to $150. For information please call Gina Moran at (973) 476-3643 or email gmoran@morrisarts.org. Proceeds from Great Conversations help to support the many programs and services provided by Morris Arts, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 dedicated to building community through the arts.

09/03/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the state will provide CARES Act funding for the reopening of 26 Sheltered Workshop programs throughout the state. Sheltered Workshop programs provide employment, job, and skills training to people with disabilities.  Statewide, there are 26 programs operating 28 sites. All have been closed since early March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

09/03/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing he signed legislation (S2455), which prohibits lawful presence in the United States as a qualification to obtain a professional or occupational license, provided that the applicant meets all other requirements for licensure. The bill impacts the roughly 500,000 undocumented residents in New Jersey, who will now be eligible for professional licenses such as nursing, counseling and cosmetology.  

09/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes two additional states Alaska and Montana, bringing the total to 33 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, September  1, there are currently 33 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; California; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Hawaii; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Nevada; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Virgin Islands; and Wisconsin.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

09/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 183, which establishes rules for the resumption of indoor dining on Friday, September 4 at 6:00 a.m., provided businesses comply with NJDOH health and safety standards. The Governor’s Executive Order also contains requirements for movie theaters and other indoor entertainment businesses, where the number of patrons for a performance will be limited to 25 percent capacity, up to a maximum of 150 people.  The Governor’s Order also increases the limits for indoor gatherings that are religious services or celebrations, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, or memorial services to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people, an increase from the current limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people. Other indoor gatherings, including house parties, remain at the limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 25 people. 

Under the Department of Health’s Health and Safety Standards, food or beverage establishments offering in-person service must adhere to the following protocols, among others:

  1. Limit the number of patrons in indoor areas to 25 percent of the food or beverage establishment’s indoor capacity, excluding the food or beverage establishment’s employees;
  2. Limit seating to a maximum of eight (8) customers per table (unless they are from a family from the same household) and arrange seating to achieve a minimum distance of six feet (6 ft) between parties;
  3. Require customers to only consume food or beverages while seated;
  4. Require patrons to wear face coverings while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, except when eating or drinking at their table;
  5. Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that customers be seated in order to place orders;
  6. Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that wait staff bring food or beverages to seated customers; and
  7. Keep doors and windows open where possible and utilize fans to improve ventilation.  

The Governor’s Executive Order includes requirements for theaters and indoor performance venues to reopen to the public on Friday, September 4, which include: 

  1. Any particular showing is limited to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people;
  2. Groups that buy tickets together can sit together, but must be at least 6 feet apart from all other groups; and
  3. Individuals must wear masks, unless they are removing them to eat or drink concessions.

09/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing he signed legislation A3971, which authorizes municipalities and counties to borrow funds to cover revenue shortfalls and expenditures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, by issuing bonds and notes. The final legislation included improvements recommended by Governor Murphy in his prior conditional veto issued on July 30, 2020.

08/31/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing the County College of Morris' online art exhibit: "Inexorable Creators", which features work by students, faculty, and staff during the pandemic and nationwide protests. The exhibition includes the work of 73 students, professors and staff from nine academic departments from the college’s three schools, the School of Business, Mathematics, Engineering and Technologies, the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences. 

The works include written works, ethical questions, documentaries, multimedia works, dance performances, photography, game design, digital paintings, a documentation of a community service project, videos, web design, app design, multidisciplinary projects, graphic design, drawings, representations of 3D objects and a virtual reality interactive tour. 

08/31/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing remote support services for businesses in Morris County to deal with the COVID-19 crisis are being offered by the Morris-Sussex-Warren Workforce Development Board. The board can advise help businesses on finding employees with unique skills, covering costs of employee training, re-tooling your workplace, and other important items. The Morris-Sussex-Warren Workforce Development Board is responsible for planning, policy guidance and oversight of the workforce development system in the three-county region of Northwest New Jersey. 

For information on services, contact Beth Rodgers, Associate Director of Business Services at 973-631-5145 or brodgers@co.morris.nj.us. Other support services include: New Jersey Career Connections for comprehensive support for employers and jobseekers at https://careerconnections.nj.gov/careerconnections/for_businesses.shtml, and state assistance for employers in critical industries with urgent hiring needs related to COVID19 at https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake.

08/31/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing he signed legislation A299, which allows alcoholic beverages to be consumed from open containers on certain outdoor property located within the Atlantic City Tourism District, upon authorization by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The bill defines an “open container area” as portions of the beach, boardwalk, and other areas within the Atlantic City Tourism District, as determined by CRDA, in which pedestrians are permitted to carry and consume open containers of alcoholic beverages.

08/31/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing plans to dedicate $250 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, which will provide additional support to children and their families as well as for thousands of child care providers with resources. These plans are highlighted in the Governor's FY2021 revised Budget Proposal as part of the state's spending plan for the $2.39 billion federal Coronavirus Relief Fund.

08/28/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that Morris County COVID-19 cases are down 95% since the April peak in cases. The board emphasized that the results should not be a cause for any residents to stop following safety precautions or guidelines on socially distancing as the pandemic continues. But the board applauded the data, which indicates Morris County went from a daily average of 210 cases on April 13 down to a current daily average of 10 cases. Recent daily reports have shown cases trending further downward, and Atlantic Health System reported today having only two COVID-19 patients being treated at Morristown Medical Center. Data charts are available at: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Morris-County-Covid-Update-082620.pdf

08/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 181, which permits gyms and health clubs, as well as amusement and water parks, to reopen their indoor premises to the public on Tuesday, September 1 at 6:00 a.m., provided these facilities comply with the health and safety standards issued by the Department of Health.

Under the NJ Department of Health’s Executive Directive 20-028, gyms and health clubs who reopen will be required to adhere to the health and safety standards listed in the NJDOH's "Guidance for Health Clubs/Gyms/Fitness Centers".  These standards, which will also apply to other recreational businesses that offer fitness classes and activities, include the following, among others:

  • Limit occupancy of any indoor premises to 25 percent of the stated maximum capacity;
  • Conduct a temperature screening and questionnaire of staff and clients upon entrance to the facility; 
  • Limit indoor group activities (e.g., classes) to no more than 1 individual per 200 square feet of accessible space or less, with all individuals being able to maintain 6 feet of distance from other individuals during the entire class;
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings at all times, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health, such as when in the water and in other situations where the presence of a mask would pose a risk to the individual's health, or where the individual is under two years of age;
  • Demarcate six feet of distance between equipment, or blocking off equipment (e.g. every other machine) to maintain six feet of distancing between individuals using equipment;
  • Require that reservations, cancellations and pre-payments be made via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions;
  • Limit occupancy in restrooms to avoid over-crowding;
  • Inform clients to arrive dressed to workout/train and bring their own hand towel, water, yoga mat, boxing gloves, and any other equipment;
  • Not permit the use of showers, with the exception of gyms with pools, which can have individually partitioned showers or communal showers with installed barriers/partitions at least six feet apart;
  • Limit locker room use to hand washing and restroom use only; and
  • Adopt infection control practices and enhanced sanitization protocols.

Activities such as swimming in an indoor pool, tanning, outdoor dining, pick-up of food or beverage, and retail sales, which are otherwise permitted but which are not governed by the guidance, remain subject to applicable standards outlined in Executive Orders, Executive Directives and guidance.

08/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 180, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order 103, which was previously extended every 30 days since. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Executive Order 180 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

08/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development submitted an application today to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Lost Wages Supplemental Assistance (LWA), which provides limited additional benefits to many of the state’s unemployed workers. LWA allows for temporary supplemental financial support to those whose jobs or wages have been adversely affected by COVID-19. LWA provides up to $300 per week to eligible individuals, in addition to the weekly benefit amount they receive from other unemployment compensation programs.

In New Jersey, the first tranche of the federal grant would provide up to $300 per week to claimants collecting unemployment for the weeks of Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. Only people whose unemployment is COVID-related are eligible, under terms of the memorandum the President issued on Aug. 8. Additionally, those receiving less than $100 in weekly unemployment benefits are excluded from the supplemental benefit. 

Of the states that have applied, 93 percent have sought grants at the $300 level, which the federal government pays, rather than kick in an extra $100, which would have cost New Jersey approximately $80 million a week. As of Tuesday, FEMA had approved 28 states’ applications for $300 payments and 2 states’ applications for $400 payments. One state, South Dakota, has declined to participate. 

This new program must be created from scratch, and run separately from New Jersey’s existing state and federal unemployment programs. This is not something New Jersey or any state will be able to do quickly or easily. The FEMA grant has a spending cap of $44 billion. Once the allocation is exhausted, benefits will end. Thus, states must reapply after the first three weeks, giving FEMA the opportunity to calculate the program’s remaining balance after the first round of grants. The program also would be halted if  FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund balance drops below $25 billion.  

08/26/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing his revised budget proposal, which was unveiled on Tuesday. Governor Murphy announced that funding for school districts will remain consistent with the figures announced in July, keeping the state on track to fully fund public schools. Additionally, the revised budget proposal includes almost $68 million in new funds over FY2020 for preschools in New Jersey. Governor Murphy also announced $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) funding to ensure schools can reopen safely. Additional information on district allocations of state aid is available on the Department of Education’s School Finance webpage.

08/26/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 179, which modifies this year’s primarily vote-by-mail (VBM) General Election. The order clarifies Executive Order 177.

Effective immediately, Executive Order 179 makes the following modifications:

  • Requires county clerks to publish a notice reflecting this year's primarily vote-by-mail process;
  • Permits county boards of elections to continue counting ballots every day until counting is completed; and
  • Requires election audits to be completed by December 4, 2020.

08/25/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) has introduced a new website - connecttomorris.com - which allows employers to post job openings and business profiles, and prospective workers to search for compatible open positions. The MCEDC, which is a division of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, launched the website with support from the Morris County Board of Freeholders, and in coordination with the Morris/Sussex/Warren Workforce Development Board.

08/25/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris-Sussex-Warren Workforce Development Board is seeking employer feedback for a COVID-19 business recovery survey. The Board provides funding to businesses in the tri-county area for programs and services that support hiring, training, restructuring, growth initiatives, and more. They work closely with local businesses, educational institutions, the N.J. Department of Labor, county government, and tri-county Chambers of Commerce/Economic Development agencies to bring various resources and funding that will benefit the region.

Businesses, now more than ever, find themselves in a position to rapidly adapt operations to new workplace models. To promptly and effectively assist with your business recovery, it is imperative that they identify current workplace needs. To best serve you, please complete the brief UnderstandingBusinessNeeds survey by no later than Sept. 15. For more information, contact: Beth Rodgers, Associate Director of Business Services at 973-631-5145 or brodgers@co.morris.nj.us

08/25/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing his revised budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021), including targeted cuts across State government, fair and equitable revenue raisers, an emergency borrowing proposal, and additional plans to invest federal funding received to date to help close what would have been a nearly $6 billion budget hole as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional details on spending plans for the full $2.39 billion in CRF funding, as well as the other components of the Governor’s revised FY 2021 budget proposal, may be found online here. For a one-page summary of the Governor’s budget proposal, please click here.

08/24/20: Morris County issued a press release that the Morris County Office of Information Technology is warning residents that cyber scammers are trying to take advantage of the COVID pandemic by tricking Morris County residents into divulging their email username and password. Cybercriminals rely on trickery and emotional reactions to bypass your security. A recent phishing email is a great example of how the bad guys try to catch you off guard. These deceptive emails have a generic subject lines, such as “COVID-19 Notification,” and include many grammatical errors. The message claims, “The pandemic has become a global issue and we’ll be deactivating your email for server propagation.” 

Propagation usually refers to making a change to a web domain, like changing the name of a website or moving it to a different server. You may be wondering how those two subjects are related, but the sender doesn’t clarify. Instead the scammers direct you to “confirm non-removal of your email” by clicking the link provided. Do Not Click the Link! The link in these emails leads to a phony login page that collects your username and password and delivers it to the criminals. Don’t fall for it!

Here’s how to stay protected:

  • Remember to think before you click. This email is both confusing and urgent, which could lead to impulsive clicks.
  • Be wary of emails with spelling or grammatical errors, especially when they supposedly come from a reputable source.
  • Never click on a link or an attachment that you are not expecting. Even if it appears to be from someone in your own organization, the sender’s email address could be spoofed.

Get more information on COVID-19 scams from the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams-consumer-advice

08/24/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the State’s public water, gas, and electric utility companies regulated by BPU have all agreed to extend their voluntary moratorium preventing shutoffs to both residential and commercial customers during the COVID-19 pandemic until October 15th. Additionally, the utilities will offer residential and commercial customers a flexible and extended Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) of at least 12 months and up to 24 months. No down payments will be required for this assistance.

The utilities have been communicating with customers about available assistance programs, account balances, and payment status. Beginning in September, the utilities will accelerate those outreach efforts. Customers may start to receive shutoff notices in September. Should that occur, those customers should contact their utility as soon as possible prior to October 15 to make arrangements to continue their utility service, to explore enrolling in a DPA, and to learn about what other assistance programs might be available. However, no customer will be shut off before October 15.

Although utility service shutoffs are still suspended, customers should make payments toward their utility bills if they can. If a customer is struggling to pay, they should ask their utility company about assistance programs and payment plans, and they can also check NJBPU’s “Assistance Programs” page for information about State programs that are available to eligible customers. 

Today’s announcement does not apply to cable and telecommunications companies. Those providers are covered by Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 126 that prohibits these companies from terminating Internet and voice service due to non-payment until 30 days after the current public health emergency has ended. 

NJBPU reminds and encourages all utility customers and ratepayers who have questions about their service to first contact their utility. A list of public gas and electricity utility company phone numbers is available here. If a ratepayer is unable to resolve an issue with their utility company, residents should contact NJBPU’s Customer Assistance team by filling out this online form, or by calling (800) 624-0241 and leaving a voicemail.

08/21/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the county has secured more than $7 million in aid for COVID-19 response. Grants will focus on future testing and reimbursement for costs already incurred in its diligent response to the pandemic.

The funding includes $3,819,380 in reimbursement dollars for expenses Morris County incurred as of June 30 and which were not covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dollars, insurance or other funding. An additional $357,500 is earmarked to continue testing operations until December and $2,915,033 to support the testing of vulnerable and priority populations moving forward.Morris County’s extensive response included, among other actions, opening a testing center, monitoring the virus spread, direct aid to food pantries, partnering with health providers and providing infrared thermometers to community and faith-based groups.

Morris County, along with 11 other counties, received no direct CARES Act funding from the federal government this past spring because direct aid was predicated on a requirement a county have a population of at least 500,000 residents. Morris County missed that threshold by a mere 8,000 residents, while nine other counties, two of which barely met the population requirement, shared in $1.05 billion in direct aid. 

Morris County freeholders flagged the population requirement as arbitrary, and urged the Governor in April to provide Morris County with a share of $2.4 billion the State of New Jersey received from the CARES Act. The freeholders’ request was supported in a joint letter by Republican State Sen. Anthony Bucco, Democratic State Sen. Dick Codey, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill. They argued it is unfair to deny aid to some counties and give millions to others, particularly when the counties have virtually the same populations. They also noted the pandemic’s impact on Morris County residents last spring was much higher than in other counties that each received nearly $90 million or more in direct aid.

The new funding provides opportunities for the county to conduct at-home testing programs and work with municipal health officials to establish scheduled mobile testing sites. A more detailed plan is already in development and will be available in the near future.

For more information on the initiatives taken by Morris County to address COVID-19 since February and other significant announcements about the virus in New Jersey, go to https://morriscountynj.gov/covidannouncements/.

08/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that acting on a commitment to deliver relief to communities who were not eligible for federal funding allocated through the CARES Act, $37 million in support for 12 additional counties will be provided to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be made available to counties in three separate tranches under one Memorandum of Agreement. The 12 counties include: Atlantic; Burlington; Cape May; Cumberland; Gloucester; Hunterdon; Mercer; Morris; Salem; Somerset; Sussex; and Warren. These counties were ineligible for Coronavirus Relief Funding because their populations are below 500,000.

The first portion of funding, approximately $15 million in total, provides counties with a reimbursement for COVID-19 related expenses to date. This money represents 25 percent of the county cost share with FEMA paying the remaining 75 percent, along with other eligible Coronavirus Relief Fund expenses. These funds will be made available to all 12 counties upon signing the MOU and upon proper documentation of the expenditures. were made available to all 12 counties upon signing the MOU.

The second portion of funding will help counties stand up and maintain testing sites. All 12 counties will receive $357,500 for this purpose.

The final allotment is based on population size, and each county will receive funds from the CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for the Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases to support ongoing testing of vulnerable and high-risk populations. Counties will receive this funding only after submitting a testing plan and gaining approval of that plan by the Department of Health. The sum total of this portion of funding is $17 million.

A breakdown of funding by county can be found here.

08/20/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the nonprofit Table of Hope, with support of the Morris County Board of Freeholders, Sheriff, and other officials and organizations serving Morris County, will hold a food and school supplies distribution event at County College of Morris on Saturday, Aug. 29 in Randolph.

All Morris County residents are welcome to attend the event, which will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Parking Lot 1 on the CCM campus. Visitors are asked to use the college’s Dover Chester Road entrance. Face coverings are required for everyone who comes to campus.

County residents and families can receive fresh produce, meat, dairy, canned goods and other groceries. It will operate as a contactless drive-through event with cars stopping at different food stations categorized by food type. Volunteers will place bags or boxes filled with food into automobile trunks. There also will be a separate station to distribute backpacks with school supplies.

In March, Table of Hope began operating weekly mobile food distribution programs in Morristown, Parsippany and Dover, along with additional grocery supply events in other Morris County communities.

Prior to COVID-19, its pantry in Morristown served about 65 people weekly. The number now being served each week at each mobile distribution event averages 500 to 600, reports Teresa Williams, executive director of the Spring Street Community Development Center. To date, more than 18,500 individuals and families have been helped and more than 899,300 pounds of food has been distributed.

Table of Hope also operates a soup kitchen that during the pandemic has continued to provide dinners as a take-out service.  Table of Hope receives food from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside, local farms and food service companies. To volunteer or make a donation, visit the Spring Street CDC website at https://springstreetcdc.org/.

Along with Table of Hope, numerous other services are available to assist residents in Morris County’s 39 municipalities who are in need of food. A list of available food services, including food pantries, volunteer shopper organizations, meal delivery services and take-out meal services, can be found at https://hs.morriscountynj.gov/food-services/.

08/19/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that small businesses in the county will share in the $15.3 million in Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Emergency Security (CARES) Act funding the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has made available to select businesses in 12 counties, including Morris, that did not receive direct aid from the federal government. The limited grant program is earmarked for business owners that did not get any direct federal CARES Act funding. Grants are to be provided to businesses that had already applied as of the July deadline for aid through the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

The NJEDA has a newly created "Small Business Dedicated Team" (SBDT) with a direct email: smallbusinessservices@njeda.com. More information on the SBDT can be found at: https://www.njeda.com/small_midsize_business/services.

08/18/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes two additional states — Alaska and Delaware, bringing the total to 35 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, August 18, there are currently 35 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alaska; Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Nevada; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Virgin Islands; and Wisconsin.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

08/18/20: Morris County issued a press release warning residents that cyber scammers are trying to take advantage of the COVID pandemic by getting Morris County residents to click on a internet link with “information” supposedly sent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warns the Morris County Office of Information Technology. 

The scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to find creative ways to weaken your defenses. In this instance, a supposed CDC email includes the following intense subject line: “NOTICE OF CLOSING YOUR FACILITY AND DISINFECTNG THE AREA – BY NCDC WH 20982 COV-19 Due To Recent Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic.”

You are instructed to download an attachment that is supposedly a letter from the CDC claiming they will close your workplace. If you download the file, however, you will find that it is actually a malicious program designed to gain access to your organization’s sensitive information.

How to beat the bad guys:

  • Think before you click. These malicious actors are playing with your emotions and this threat relies on panicked clicking.
  • Never click a link or download an attachment from an email you weren’t expecting. Remember, even if the sender appears to be from a legitimate organization, the email address could be spoofed.
  • If you receive a suspicious email that claims to be from an official organization, such as the CDC or World Health Organization (WHO), report the email to the official organization through their website.

Stop Look Think – Don’t be fooled! Get more information on COVID-19 scams from the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams-consumer-advice

08/16/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that drive-through farm tours at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township are underway, now through October 30th. From the comfort and safety of your vehicle, you can tour the circa 1900 farm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Tour times are 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.  Each tour will last approximately 45 minutes. 

See farm animals including Hobbes, the retired Belgian draft horse who worked the farm for years with his late partner Calvin, various breeds of sheep, Jersey cows, and Carl the ox. The farm’s vegetable gardens are flourishing, right around the corner from the barns and the farmer’s house. Overlooking the 213-acre farm is the Willows, the 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion that was once the home to the elite Foster family. This architectural gem, along with the farm, was bequeathed to Morris County by the adventurous Caroline Foster. Special demonstrations include corn cracking, butter churning, clothes washing and more. 

Preregistration is a required, and the cost is $10 per carload. Register and pay online here. Visit morrisparks.net for more information.

08/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 178, which temporarily extends certain statutory deadlines across state government that require review and action by agencies before a specified deadline. The statutory deadlines, in addition to certain effective dates that are being delayed, are included in the accompanying Appendix to the Order. 

08/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 177, which creates a modified vote-by-mail (VBM) election for the November 3rd General Election. The order suspends the sending of sample ballots and requires that each county’s elections officials send VBM ballots with pre-paid postage to all active registered voters for the General Election. Additionally, every voter will have the option to either return their ballot through a secure drop box or turn in their ballot at a polling location on Election Day. The Administration is working with the Department of State to implement a new online voter registration system where New Jersey residents will have the opportunity to register to vote. The online system will launch on September 4, 2020.

In order to address the influx of VBM ballots, the executive order will extend the deadline to allow ballots being returned through the United States Postal Service (USPS) with a postmark on or before November 3rd to be counted as a valid ballot by the County Clerk, if received by 8:00 p.m. on November 10th. Ballots without a postmark that are received by the county boards of elections within 48 hours of the closing of polls on November 3rd shall be considered valid.

Today’s executive order will also require a minimum of at least one polling place in each municipality and a minimum of 50 percent of polling places in each county to provide New Jersey voters with access to in-person voting opportunities, including accommodations for voters with disabilities. All public schools will close for in-person instruction on November 3rd to allow counties to use their buildings as polling locations, if necessary. Polling locations will be required to follow public health standards, including ensuring six feet of distance, requiring poll workers to wear face coverings and gloves, frequent sanitization of high-touch areas, and providing sanitization materials to all individuals at a polling place.  

08/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the Administration will award $150 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to New Jersey’s public and private colleges and universities to help offset costs incurred as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The application is available for eligible institutions to receive federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the state which can be used for costs such as those related to cleaning and disinfecting supplies, the transition to online learning, and support for testing, among other eligible costs.

Institutional awards will be based on an OSHE-developed allocation rationale that incorporates priority student populations from the New Jersey State Higher Education Plan, “Where Opportunity Meets Innovation: A Student-Centered Vision for New Jersey Higher Education.” This includes institutions’ share of Pell recipients, underrepresented minorities, and overall student enrollments. These priority populations have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, institutions serving larger proportions of these students will receive a larger share to ensure funding is distributed equitably. This funding rationale also aligns with the state’s focus on an equitable restart of campus operations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To receive these funds, institutions must submit an application to OSHE that outlines how institutions will use funds to cover eligible expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020. For more information, please see the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website.  

08/14/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that Governor Murphy has announced today that the General Election in New Jersey this November will employ primarily a vote-by-mail balloting system. The Governor, at his daily public briefing today, said that all active registered voters will automatically receive a prepaid, return-postage vote-by-mail ballot. The Morris County Board of Freeholders in a resolution sent to the Governor this week, unanimously asked the Governor and state Legislature to reject an primarily by-mail voting system for the November General Election and to consider safe COVID-19 options for in-person voting, instead.

According to the Gov. Murphy’s directive,  all ballots will be mailed from County Clerks by Monday, October 5. 

Voters will be able return ballots: 

  • By mail
  • By depositing it in a secure drop box
  • By handing it directly to a poll worker at a polling place on Election Day
He also announced that the state’s new online voter registration system will be up and running effective Sept. 4, giving new voters an added ability to ensure they can register to vote.

All ballots being returned through the U.S. Postal System must: 

  • Carry a postmark by Nov. 3
  • Be received by the County Clerk no later than 8 p.m. on Nov. 10

Ballots that lack postmarks due to postal error and received by 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 will be considered valid.

In addition, the Governor’s order  requires the following:

  • Each municipality will be required to open at least one in-person polling site;
  • All counties must ensure that at least 50 percent of their total polling places are open on Election Day;
  • Any voter who chooses to cast their vote in-person will do so on a provisional ballot.
  • All individuals with disabilities will have access to an ADA-conforming voting machine.

On Election Day, all public schools will close to in-person instruction to facilitate use of the building as an in-person polling place.

08/13/20: Morris County issued a press release  announcing that the Morris County Board of Freeholders, which is committed to helping to control the spread of  COVID-19, is announcing a COVID-19 program to make available infrared thermometers to requesting community organizations and faith-based groups for use at group gatherings that follow state social distancing and face covering guidelines. Recognizing that a congregation of individuals is sometimes unavoidable, county government will make 300 infrared thermometers available at no cost to community and faith-based groups that generally have gatherings that attract more than 20 persons, to better ensure overall public wellness. 

The freeholders, at the request of the Morris Communities Panel of the Morris County Recovery Task Force, have approved spending $32,100 to purchase the infrared devices. Infrared thermometers will be available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis – one per organization. Interested groups must fill out a required from to apply for thermometers. Visithttps://morriscountynj.seamlessdocs.com/f/thermometerRequest

The Board of Freeholders, Morris County Office of Health Management and local health departments partner with and rely on community groups for educational and screening programs. These community groups and faith-based organizations host soup kitchens, food pantries, warming and cooling centers, mental health and addictions programs, among others services that would draw group gatherings. They also are part of the county’s public emergency response team, and will be important partners in future distribution of mass immunization or distribution of antivirals for COVID-19.

08/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that New Jersey’s public and private school districts will be open for in-person instruction for the start of the school year. Public school districts can begin the school year via remote-only instruction if they cannot adequately meet critical health and safety protocols outlined in the state’s school reopening guidance, “The Road Back,” which was released in late June. Districts who need to delay the implementation of in-person instruction will be required to submit information to the Department of Education (DOE) describing the health and safety standards that they are currently unable to adequately meet, how they will address outstanding issues in a timely fashion, and a proposed timeline for reopening physical school spaces to students and staff for in-person instruction.

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 175, which directed the following for school districts:

  • Districts are required to certify to DOE that they can meet the health and safety protocols outlined in the Order, and further detailed in the “Road Back,” before resuming in-person instruction.  Private school districts will also be required to submit this certification;
  • Districts that can meet the health and safety protocols shall open to students for in-person instruction in the fall;
  • Even if school buildings are open for in-person instruction on the first day of the 2020-2021 school year, districts must provide a remote learning option for parents or guardians who request it for their children;
  • Districts unable to adequately meet health and safety reopening protocols must provide remote instruction to all students. These districts are required to submit documentation to DOE detailing which standard(s) the district is unable to satisfy, the anticipated efforts that will be taken to satisfy the standard(s), and a date by which the school anticipates resuming in-person instruction;
  • All schools required to participate in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program and those that voluntarily opt-in to those programs must offer required meals to all children on remote-learning days.

Executive Order 175 also waives the use of student growth data from standardized assessments for this year’s educator evaluations. Executive Order 175 further permits institutions of higher education to resume in-person instruction not previously permitted under Executive Order 155, provided they can meet previously outlined health and safety protocols from the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, effective immediately.  

08/12/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the first phase of the New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program, designed to ensure that the State’s small businesses and non-profits have access to the fairly priced personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to facilitate safe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The phase was approved by the NJEDA’s Board today, advancing this initial step of a $15 million initiative to address ongoing demand for PPE.

In May 2020, Governor Murphy established the Restart and Recovery Commission and Restart and Recovery Council to guide New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the Commission and the Council highlighted the need for readily available, reasonably priced, and equitably distributed PPE to accelerate a safe and robust economic recovery. The NJEDA also received input on the PPE Access Program from the Senate Fiscal Strategists Committee.

Under the Program’s first phase, the State will launch a new website that provides micro and small businesses with the information needed to make easier and better PPE sourcing decision.  The website will also offer a vetted list of online retailers that have agreed to verify the quality of the PPE they are selling and offer at least a 10% discount to businesses who enter through the State’s website.  Online retailers will be vetted on a first-come, first serve basis by the NJEDA, and must agree to certain performance standards for their site (e.g., transparent pricing, high-quality products, etc.).  Vetted online retailers will also be eligible to access an NJDEA grant pool of up to $3.5M to support the purchase of PPE that is manufactured in New Jersey or sourced from a small wholesaler based in a historically underserved community.

Assuming the first phase of the program is successful, the NJEDA intends to expand the program with a $11M of support for micro and small businesses PPE purchases.  The intent is for this support to flow directly through the vetted online vendors, allowing users to access the grant funds at the time of their online checkout.  Through this innovative public-private approach, the State anticipates that it could support more than $45 million in PPE purchases and more than 50,000 small and micro businesses.

During March and April, New Jersey saw an unprecedented spike in the demand for PPE, largely driven by the healthcare sector. Today the availability of PPE has improved, but as more parts of the economy reopen and other U.S. States face spikes in COVID-19 cases, demand for PPE to protect employees and customers has surged.  The resulting shortages and increased prices disproportionately effect small businesses and organizations and those in historically underserved communities.

In June the NJEDA issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input and suggestions that could help to shape a possible program to ensure small businesses had sufficient access to PPE. Taking this feedback into account, the NJEDA crafted the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program to ensure access to affordable PPE, help business owners understand the specific safety equipment they need, and support the state’s manufacturing sector by encouraging PPE suppliers to manufacture products in New Jersey.

Applications for the online retailers to participate in the program are expected to launch as soon as possible. The public facing website, including small business decision-making tools and vetted discounted retailers will follow by early-to-mid September. More information can be found on the State’s COVID19.nj.gov website.

To support the expansion of local PPE manufacturing in New Jersey, the NJEDA will provide grant funding to subsidize up to 20% of the purchases of PPE that has been (i) manufactured or assembled in New Jersey or (ii) sources from a wholesaler with less than 25 employees and is located in a historically underserved community (Opportunity Zone Eligible census tracts). Throughout the pandemic, NJEDA has been working closely with the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) to identify and support companies that make or have pivoted to make PPE, many of which could supply New Jersey-made goods to the Program’s vetted online vendors.

The NJEDA is setting aside an additional $0.5 million for program development, marketing, administration, and compliance.

To read Governor Murphy's full economic plan, please visit: https://nj.gov/economicplan.

08/11/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced that its Board has approved use of $15.3 million in COVID-19 federal CARES Act funding to provide grants to businesses in 12 counties, including Morris County, that did not receive direct allocations from the federal government. The funds will be added to the more than $100 million the NJEDA is currently administering to support COVID-19-impacted businesses.

The $15.3 million approved for use today will go toward fulfilling eligible Phase 2 grant applications from businesses located in the 12 New Jersey counties that did not receive direct CARES Act funding: Morris, Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren.

For information on the program and how to apply for funding, call 844-965-1125  or email customercare@njeda.com

08/11/20: Morris County issued a press release annoucing tips for Morris County older residents on dealing with isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our communities, physical distancing remains the order of the day — especially for older adults. But socializing is a basic human need, and studies show it contributes to better physical and emotional health. Isolation, on the other hand, is linked to depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure, among other maladies. It is important for seniors to seek out ways to connect with others while minimizing their exposure to the coronavirus. Michelle Borden, CEO of Parsippany based NewBridge Services, a nonprofit partner of Morris County government that offers counseling services, housing and educational programas in North Jersery, offers the following

Use Technology

Video conferencing, using FaceTime, Zoom and other programs on smartphones, tablets or computers, has become a popular way to “gather” with family and friends. Getting started on the programs may be challenging for seniors new to technology; call a tech-savvy neighbor, friend or family member to coach you through the process. Phones, whether ‘smart’ or landline, are also excellent for staying in touch; some people feel more comfortable conversing without being on camera. People can call in to join a Zoom conversation. Movie buffs with Netflix accounts can set up ‘watch parties’ using a free Google Chrome extension, which can be downloaded at netflixparty.com. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

The Art of the Letter

If tech is not your thing, consider making connections the way people have for centuries: through letter-writing. Handwriting (or typing) letters allows you to process thoughts and feelings and create a bond with the recipient. Mailing or delivering ‘thinking of you’ cards is a thoughtful way to remind recipients they are not forgotten.

Join an Online Class or Group

Many social groups, including religious communities, are hosting online gatherings. An organization called Senior Planet offers free access to virtual exercise classes. Online learning opportunities also abound. Platforms such as coursera.org and edX.org offer both free and fee options. Courses, which may be live-streamed, self-paced, or some combination, are taught by university professors.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Center at Rutgers University is running more than 30 online courses during its summer session, and registration will begin soon for the fall. Anyone age 50 and over can study areas of interest with no assignments or grades.
The Virtual Senior Center run by the nonprofit Selfhelp Community Services is an online community of seniors who take courses, enjoy cultural experiences and discuss topics of interest in real time over their home computers and tablets. While volunteer opportunities are harder to come by during the pandemic, some organizations are seeking virtual helpers. The nonprofit Points of Light maintains a list of virtual volunteer opportunities.

Get Together In Person

Seniors can socialize in person, as long as you take precautions. Walking, running or biking with a friend is a great way to stay both fit and connected. Keep at least a six-foot distance, and wear a mask if you’re unable to maintain that distance. Some senior citizen groups offer fitness classes either outdoors or indoors, with participants well spaced and other safety measures in place.
Picnicking with a couple of friends or family members is a fun way to spend the day, but be sure to wear masks when not eating. Use hand sanitizer, especially if you’re sharing any utensils.

Struggling?

The pandemic is taking a toll on us all. To get through it, we have to make self-care part of our daily routine, and that includes staying connected with others. If you are struggling, contact NewBridge Services at 973-316-9333 to schedule a telehealth counseling session.The Institute on Aging has a Friendship Line at 1-800-971-0016 that is both a crisis intervention hotline and a nonemergency warmline for emotional support. Check out NewBridge’s summer newsletter created specifically for seniors for more information and advice.

08/11/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Park Commission still has openings in three virtual camps for children scheduled held through the end of the summer. Each meets daily for an hour or more via an online link.
Supplies are included in the tuition and must be picked up prior to the start of the camp week. Preregistration is required for all of the camps. Sign up here. To register for all of these camps and to see a list of other events, visit the Morris Parks contactless registration page here. For a full overview of Morris Parks, visit MorrisParks.net.

08/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. In addition to the Virgin Islands, the updated advisory includes two additional states Hawaii and South Dakota – with Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Rhode Island removed from the list, bringing the total to 33 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, August 11, there are currently 33 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Nevada; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Virgin Islands; and Wisconsin.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

08/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-17, which authorizes the reopening of computer labs at private and public colleges and universities in New Jersey. Computer labs at public and private colleges and universities must abide by the health and safety protocols as well as sanitization requirements that are described in the Administrative Order. The Order will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 11th.

08/10/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the Administration’s proposal to provide long-term care facilities with $155 million in additional funding as they look to reopen to visitors and resume normal operations. The funding—which will be a mix of state and federal monies—will allow for the implementation of NJDOH Executive Directive 20-026 for the safe phased reopening of long-term care facilities for indoor visitation by appointment and other activities if the facilities have no COVID-19 cases among residents or staff. Before reopening, facilities must meet certain public health benchmarks including adequate infection control, staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure preparedness. 

Under NJDOH Executive Directive 20-026, at what point a facility is permitted to enter a reopening phase depends on compliance with the following benchmarks:

  • Facilities must not have an active outbreak. An outbreak is considered concluded when a facility has 28 days – two incubation periods with no new positive staff or residents – and, if a CMS-certified facility, a DOH survey inspection. 
  • They must be fully staffed and have a plan for additional staffing in case of an outbreak or emergency. 
  • Staff testing must continue to be conducted weekly.
  • It is essential that they have enough PPE for present use in addition to a stockpile for emergencies.
  • They must have an updated outbreak plan with lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan must also include a communications strategy that outlines regular communication with residents and families about cases and outbreaks or any other emergency. The plan must also include methods for virtual communication in the event of visitation restrictions. The plan must be posted on their website.
  • Facilities must contract with an infection control service within two months or hire a full-time employee in the infection control role if they have more than 100 beds or hemodialysis. 
  • Facilities with ventilator beds are required to hire an infection control employee per current statute.
  • Every facility will be required to put in place within nine months a respiratory protection program that complies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards including medical screenings and fit testing of employees using respirators (N95 Masks).

There are four phases of NJDOH’s reopening plan as outlined in the Executive Directive, all tied to the state’s planned stages of reopening. All facilities start in Phase 0 as of today.

Once visitation can begin, facilities must follow rigorous infection prevention and control protocols, including:

  • Visitor screening, including temperature checks;
  • Requiring visitors to practice routine infection prevention and control precautions including wearing a mask and social distancing;
  • Having a plan that limits hours of visitation and number of visitors in the facility at one time. Residents will be limited to two visitors at a time;
  • Identifying a visitation area that allows for social distancing and deep cleaning if the resident is in a shared room;
  • Receiving informed consent from the visitor and resident acknowledging that they are aware of the risks of exposure to COVID-19 and that they will follow rules set by the facility;
  • Instructing visitors to monitor for fever or other COVID-19 symptoms for at least 14 days after their visit, and to immediately notify the facility if they experience symptoms.

Recognizing that some residents need additional support regardless of the situation at their facility or their COVID status, a new category of essential caregiver will be added for all residents with proper precautions such as screening and the use of PPE. 

08/10/20: The Montville Public Schools has published a draft of their planned "Reopening Plan September 2020", along with a Question and Answer document (updated August 7, 2020), the Superintendent's PowerPoint presention on the plan, and the Superintendent's letter to Parents, Guardians, Staff Members, and Students dated July 31, 2020. These documents can be found on the Montville Public Schools website at https://www.montvilletwpps.nj.schools.bz/Content2/1266

08/10/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that County College of Morris has announced a “Return to Campus Plan” that is designed to support resumption of on-campus operations through a phased-in approach that prioritizes the health of college’s employees, students, and visitors. The plan, designed to address the Fall 2020 Semester, calls for reopening the college on a very limited basis and for the majority of classes to be conducted online. The plan may be extended or modified if necessary, according to state, local, or county mandates. Read the full plan.

The plan may be modified at the direction of the Board of Trustees or the college’s administration should health conditions deteriorate, if policy changes are needed, or should financial conditions dictate. Because the COVID-19 virus offers an unpredictable and unprecedented environment, employees and students should be prepared to work and learn exclusively off campus with little notice if state mandates or campus conditions require such action. The plan does not supersede, alter, or address  existing employee contracts. It does, however, extend substantial consideration and flexibility of the working and learning environment for the benefit of employees and students.

Visit the CCM website for more information on the college and its COVID-19 response.

08/10/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the state has created a Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program,  to provide emergency grant funding to small property owners for COVID-19 related decreases in rent revenue for a four-month period between April and July of this year. The program, to be administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, is funded through the federal CARES Act. 

Grant amounts will be based on the total amount of missed rental payments and the number of COVID-impacted rental units that serve low- and moderate-income tenants. Landlords who receive assistance will be required to pass along benefits to their tenants by forgiving back rent and late fees accumulated by COVID-19 impacted units. Applications must be submitted between Aug. 19 and Aug. 26.

Qualified applicants must meet the following specifications:

  • Owners with properties that have at least 3 but no more than 10 total housing units;
  • Owners with properties that are not seasonal or vacation rentals;
  • Properties must have current fire inspection certificates as of March 9, 2020;
  • Owners of properties with at least one non-vacant rental unit impacted by COVID-19 between April and July 2020; and
  • Owners with properties that have low- to moderate-income rent levels or rent based on up to 80% of the median area income.

Grant funding will be allocated based on the number of COVID-impacted units, and the amount of missed rent. Applicants must be the Primary Property Owner of a residential rental property in New Jersey and be registered with DCA’s Bureau of Housing Inspection as of July 17. Applicants can check here to see if their property is registered.

For more information on the Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program,visit www.njhousing.gov/rentals/sleg

08/08/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that, urging people to answer critical calls from contact tracers, the New Jersey Department of Health today unveiled an online dashboard highlighting New Jersey’s contact tracing efforts throughout the state.

The Contact Tracing Dashboard, which will be updated on Fridays, provides information such as: the percentage of cases successfully interviewed, those who provided contacts, contacts notified, and more. According to current data, 61 percent of cases were successfully followed up, and nearly half of all contacts were notified of their exposure. 

The state, working with the Rutgers School of Public Health and Public Consulting Group, is continuing to build a strong, quality contact tracing program. CommCare, the state’s uniform data reporting system, was introduced and launched statewide in early July. To date, 1,344 contact tracers are in the field, which includes existing local health department staff and Rutgers-trained contact tracers that have been deployed by the NJDOH. A total of 638 contact tracers have been hired through the Rutgers School of Public Health, 349 of whom have already completed training and been deployed by NJDOH. The Rutgers School of Public Health is contracted to hire a total of 1,000 contact tracers.

As the dashboard shows currently, the biggest reason why contact tracers have been unable to follow-up on cases is because people have not answered the call. In addition, 45 percent of people who tested positive declined to share information on their close contacts. The Department of Health began a multi-media, multilingual statewide public awareness campaign this week to encourage people to get tested and to increase the public’s knowledge of what contact tracing is and the role it plays in preventing spread of the disease.

“While we are moving in the right direction, the success of our efforts depends on people—particularly young adults--answering the call from contact tracers and providing the information needed to stop the spread of COVID and protect those who come in contact with someone who has tested positive,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “I want to thank all of our public health workers for hard work during this pandemic and thank those New Jersey residents who have taken calls from contact tracers. But in order to prevent further spread of the virus, we need everyone to share in that responsibility by answering the call. We are all in this together.”

The dashboard also provides the number of contact tracers working in each county. With a current average of 15 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, the state will prioritize assigning additional tracers to counties that need to reach this level. Once all counties have reached this benchmark, the goal will rise to 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents. The progress of the virus will also be taken into account when addressing contact tracing needs. The Department will continue to review and assess information available on the dashboard.

Contact tracing is a decades-old practice used in New Jersey and throughout the world to inform people and help protect them from the spread of contagious viruses and diseases such as the measles, HIV and now COVID-19.  A contact tracer will provide critical health and safety information, as well as resources for social services.

A contact tracer will identify themselves as working with the local health department when they call. All information will be kept confidential. Contact tracers will never ask for a Social Security number, financial information or immigration status. 

If you are notified as being a close contact, quarantine for 14 days, monitor your symptoms, and get tested. If there are any doubts, the person called can request the name of anyone who calls and call their local health department to verify. If a resident suspects a call is a scam, they can report it to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6240.

08/06/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Office of Emergency Management is cautioning county residents who are using generators to provide emergency power to their homes due to storm-related power outages to be sure to properly ventilate the generators. OEM officials say that hospitals in the county have been handling cases of people who have been sickened due to inhaling exhaust from generators due to poor ventilation.

Portable generators made for household use can provide temporary power for appliances or lights. Commercial generators can help prevent service interruptions at businesses and critical infrastructure facilities, such as hospitals, water treatment facilities, telecommunications networks, and emergency response agencies. However, there are also safety issues involved with generators, especially those used infrequently by homeowners.

Make sure you position generators outdoors and well away from any structure. Running a generator inside any enclosed or partially enclosed structure can lead to dangerous and often fatal levels of carbon monoxide. Keep generators positioned outside and at least 15 feet away from open windows so exhaust does not enter your home/business or a neighboring home/business.

The federal government also suggests the following:

  • Keep the generator dry
  • Disconnect the power coming into your home/business
  • Make sure your generator is properly grounded
  • Plug equipment directly into the generator
  • DO NOT plug the generator into a wall outlet
  • Maintain an adequate supply of fuel.
  • Turn the generator off and let it cool before refueling

For more specific information, visit the federal Office of Energy Security and Emergency Response or First Energy.

08/05/20: JCP&L has reported that as of 7:30am on 08/05/20, 122,359 of their customers in Morris County remain without power, including 8965 of customers in Montville. JCP&L also issued a press release with an update on their response, including notice of the activation of their Retail Water and Ice program. Customers remaining out of service can pick up free water and ice at locations throughout the state. Locations can be found on this list. In the Montville area, the nearest locations to pick up free water and ice are:

  • ACME Supermarket, 550 Myrtle Avenue, Boonton
  • Kings Supermarket, 115 Hawkins Place, Boonton 

08/04/20: Morris County issued a press release regarding Tropical Storm Isaias for Morris County.

Rain: We are currently experiencing a rain event which has been heavy at times. The forecast data suggests that we may experience some thunderstorms this morning and afternoon, with an anticipated conclusion early this evening, as Isaias exits towards the north-northeast. The previously released rainfall amounts of 3-6″ remain as part of the current forecast data with some localized higher amounts possible further west.

Wind: The weather data suggests that winds will increase towards midday and afternoon, with gusts to 55-60 mph possible. Sustained winds of 18-34 mph will also remain possible through the midday and afternoon hours before decreasing after 5-6 pm. Peak wind timing is estimated between 12:00-6:00pm. Isaias is expected to push north after 6:00pm, with some additional chances for isolated to scattered showers from about 8:00pm until approximately midnight.

Please use extreme caution when driving on the wet roads. The increased rain can result in drivers easily losing control of their vehicle. Hydroplaning happens when the water in front of your tires builds up faster than your car’s weight can push it out of the way. The water pressure causes your car to rise up and slide on a thin layer of water between your tires and ultimately the inability to control your vehicle. We encourage you to adjust your travel times, decrease your speed and drive consistent with the road conditions. Safety should be your number one priority!

We would also ask that the public NOT call 9-1-1 for power related issues unless it is a TRUE EMERGENCY. In addition, the 9-1-1 system should not be used for any other non-emergency calls. We want to make sure that our 9-1-1 operators are able to focus on true storm emergencies and we ask that the public cooperate in this regard.

  • Please make sure you take care of your animals and don’t put them outside when storm conditions are significant and potentially dangerous.
  • Please check on the elderly and those with special needs pre-storm to make sure they have adequate supplies and that they have a plan in the event that power is out.
  • We highly suggest that lawn and deck furniture as well as other items that could easily be impacted by the wind be significantly secured and/or removed.

Potential Power Outage Information (JCP&L):

  • We have been in contact with our partners at Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and they are closely monitoring this storm.
  • In the event that power outages occur due to severe weather, customers without power are encouraged to report their outage by calling 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), clicking the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com, or texting “OUT” to 544487.
  • Customers should immediately report downed wires to 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) or call their local police department. JCP&L reminds customers to stay away from downed wires, even if they believe they are no longer carrying electricity. Downed trees may create road hazards, and may be entangled with power lines. Extreme caution should be used. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.
  • JCP&L customers can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive weather updates in advance of major storms and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Visit www.firstenergycorp.com/connect to enroll.
  • Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or online at www.jcp-l.com.

08/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 174, which declared that New Jersey will enter a State of Emergency beginning on Tuesday, August 4th at 5:00 a.m., ahead of Hurricane Isaias. Executive Order 174 declares a State of Emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing resources to be deployed throughout the state during the duration of the hurricane. Additionally, all state offices will be closed on August 4th.

“Hurricane Isaias is expected to impact the state with severe weather conditions, including strong winds and heavy rainfall,” said Governor Murphy. “The safety of our residents is our main priority, and we urge everyone to be informed of local weather conditions and to stay off the roads.” The Governor encourages New Jerseyans to visit ready.nj.gov for important weather updates and safety information. Residents should also pay attention to local forecasts, warnings, and watches.

For those living in Central and Southern New Jersey, visit the U.S. National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly at http://www.weather.gov/phi/

For those living in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro area, visit the U.S. National Weather Service New York, N.Y. at http://www.weather.gov/okx/ 

08/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 173, which decreases the indoor gathering capacity limit in response to the increase of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey. Indoor gatherings are now limited to 25 percent of a room's capacity, but regardless of the room’s capacity, the maximum limit shall be 25 persons, down from 100 persons. For purposes of determining this limit, any private residence or residential unit shall be treated as a single room. However, today’s change will not be applicable to the following events: weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious services or celebrations, and political activities. These events may continue under the previous rules that limited these events to 25 percent of a room's capacity, but with a limit of 100 persons.

08/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 172, which allows any public employee eligible for enrollment into the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) to immediately enroll upon hire, rather than waiting two months. Previously, under Executive Order No. 115, the two-month waiting period was waived only for public employees hired specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s Order, which will last for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, applies to any public employee eligible for enrollment into the SHBP who is hired on or after March 9, 2020.

08/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. The updated advisory includes the addition of Rhode Island, with both the District of Columbia and Delaware removed from the list, bringing the total to 35 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, August 4, there are currently 35 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alaska; Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Illinois, Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky, Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota, Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico, Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Washington; and Wisconsin.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

08/01/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 171, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order 103, which was previously extended on April 7, May 6, June 4, and July 2. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Executive Order 171 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

08/01/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 170 , which temporarily extends certain statutory deadlines across state government that require review and action by agencies before a specified deadline. The deadlines were previously extended on June 30, with Executive Order No. 159. The statutory deadlines, in addition to certain effective dates that are being delayed, are included in the accompanying Appendix to the Order. The Order will take effect immediately.

07/30/20: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has created a "Mask Up, New Jersey!" campaign to encourage everyone to wear an effective face covering in outdoor public spaces. Face coverings, along with social distancing, staying home when you are not feeling well, and good hand-washing hygiene, are vital tools in the fight against COVID-19. Wearing an effective face covering has been shown to dramatically decrease the release of droplets from people's mouths, which can carry and transmit infectious particles. 

07/30/20: Morris County issued a press release with a KnowBe4 scam alert warning residents to watch out online for fake COVID charities. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, people across Morris County are doing what they can to help one another, to be supportive of friends and neigbors and community members in need. But not everyone is benevolent.

The bad guys using cyber tricks are trying to use this compassion to their advantage. Many are posing as charitable organizations that claim to fund research, support hospitals, or provide help to victims of the virus. Be careful. Don’t be fooled, warns Morris County’s Office of Information Technology. Want to donate to real causes? Here are some tips:

  • Do your research. Use a trusted website like Charity Navigator to research an organization before making donations.
  • Reach out. Contact your charitable organization of choice directly by going to their website or calling your local chapter.
  • Never trust a link. Even if the email appears to be sent from a legitimate organization, type the webpage into your browser instead of clicking a link provided in an email.

Stop Look Think – Don’t be fooled. KnowBe4.com

07/29/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that officials at Saint Clare’s Health System say their hospitals are virtually free of COVID patients and preparing aggressively for any recurrence of the virus, but they are not seeing a return of patients for non-COVID medical conditions. Saint Clare's is operating at 60 percent of capacity in the emergency department, a situation that is similar at other local hospitals in Morristown, Pequannock and Newton.

Saint Clare’s reached a high mark in April of 120 COVID patients at its Denville and Dover facilities. Today, they just have three COVID patients, and just one in the ICU, compared to 60 a few months ago. To deal with the virus, officials said Saint Clare’s test all admissions. All surgeries are set up 72 hours in advance, with patients tested for COVID and asked to quarantine prior to surgery. Visitation is limited to one person per patient for four hours a day, with mandatory temperature checks. Hospital employees also are checked daily, and required to wear personal protective equipment.

For more information on Saint Clare’s Health: https://www.saintclares.com/

For information on Morris County’s COVID-19 response: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/

For more on Covid-19, visit the State Department of Health: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml

07/28/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that volunteers from nonprofit Jersey Cares are doing grocery shopping for older or disabled Morris County residents, in a partnership with the Morris County Office on Aging, Disabilities, and Community Programming. The program is aimed at keeping persons most vulnerable to COVID-19 out of harm’s way, giving them an option of staying out of supermarkets and other food markets.

While the shopping service is free, it is important to note that participating residents must pay for their food. Also, government electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards cannot be used to pay for groceries. (See CDC tips for grocery shopping during COVID).

Eligible participants must be at least age 60 or be disabled and between ages 18-to-59 and in need of shopping assistance. Program participants are required to provide contact information, a grocery list, and a maximum budget for each shopping trip. More specific program information will be provided when participants call for the service.

To request shopping assistance and get more information: Call 973-285-6848 or 1-800-564-4656. Volunteers have been vetted by Jersey Cares and are ready to serve Morris County residents. To volunteer for the new grocery shopping program, and for more information on Jersey Cares, visit https://www.jerseycares.org/. For more information on Morris County government programs for seniors and disabled county residents, visit: https://hs.morriscountynj.gov/adv/.

07/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release advising individuals traveling to New Jersey from additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. In addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the updated advisory includes 3 additional states – Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota, bringing the total to 36 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, July 28, there are currently 36 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alaska; Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Delaware; District of Columbia, Florida; Georgia; Illinois, Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky, Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota, Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico, South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Washington; and Wisconsin.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

07/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that an additional $15 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding has been made available to New Jersey small businesses struggling with the pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $100 million the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is currently administering through programs to COVID-19-impacted businesses.

The $15 million in CARES Act funds announced today will bolster the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides grant funding for small businesses struggling with COVID-19-related challenges. Launched in early April with $10 million of NJEDA funds, the Program initially offered grants of up to $5,000 to a narrowly-targeted set of small businesses that included restaurants and in-person retail establishments.

In early June, the NJEDA used $50 million in CARES Act funds to expand Phase 1 of the grant program by $5 million and launch Phase 2 of the Grant Program with $45 million. Phase 2 expanded the Program to a significantly broader range of businesses and increased the maximum grant award to $10,000. At that time, Essex, Ocean, and Passaic Counties also provided $10 million each in CARES Act dollars to support additional grants to businesses in those counties. To ensure equitable distribution of funds, the NJEDA set aside one-third of the CARES Act funding to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone. Targeting these census tracts will help to ensure funding goes to communities of color that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

To date, more than 10,600 businesses have been approved for grants totaling more than $44 million. The program is currently oversubscribed and not accepting applications, but the NJEDA intends to use the CARES Act funding announced today to fulfill a significant portion of the applications already in the pipeline, particularly where direct federal funding was not provided to counties.

07/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Clerk’s Office has opened Notary Services by appointment. Be advised that masks must be worn and clients will be subject to a Thermal Temperature Scan upon entering the building. Anyone with a valid Notary Public Commission may contact our office to schedule an appointment; however, we will be processing those Notaries that will be lapsing first.  All others will be given an appointment that coincides with their 90 day due date. Please have your commission number/ID available so the Clerk can verify the commission date along with the 90-Day Due Date.

Please bring the following to your appointment: 1) Notary Public Commission, 2) a valid form of ID, 3) the required fee of $15.00 (Business Check, Cashier’s Check or Money Order only, NO CASH ACCEPTED), made payable to:  Morris County Clerk, 4) and a pen.

To schedule an appointment, call 973-285-6122.

07/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Morristown National Historical Park (NHP) is taking another step in increasing recreational access at the park. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning Friday, July 24, 2020, Morristown NHP will open a visitor contact station within the park. It will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm. One station will be located at the Washington’s Headquarters Museum area, and, as staffing permits, another at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center area. Additionally, a new cell phone tour of the Washington’s Headquarters area Museum and Ford Mansion grounds is now available. While visiting the park, the following will be open for recreation in accordance with state guidance from 8 am to 8 pm daily:

  • All five Jockey Hollow area parking lots (Visitor Center, Wick House, Soldier Huts, New York Brigade and Trail Center)
  • New Jersey Brigade/Cross Estate area parking lot will be increased to 100% parking capacity
  • Jockey Hollow Tour Road
  • Soldier Huts
  • All 27 miles of hiking trails
  • Equestrian trail use (5 trailer spaces at the Visitor Center parking lot only)

Appropriate recreation includes such activities as walking, hiking, running, and bicycling. Prohibited activities include large group gatherings and activities, and picknicking. Permanent restroom facilities in Jockey Hollow will be closed; however, portable restroom units will be available for public use. Parking will be restricted to the park’s surface parking lots only. 

Additionally, the following areas will remain closed to the public in this phase in the interest of public health and following federal, state and local guidelines:

  • Jockey Hollow Visitor Center
  • New York Brigade Comfort Station
  • Wick House and herb garden
  • Washington’s Headquarters Area: Ford Mansion and Washington’s Headquarters Museum (grounds and parking lots are open for passive recreation)

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, park vehicles in designated parking spaces, practice principles (carry in-carry out trash), avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website www.nps.gov/morr or on Facebook and Instagram using our social media handle: @morristownnps. Learn more about the collections at http://morristownnhpmuseum.blogspot.com/. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

07/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that inmates at the Morris County Correctional Facility who have not received in-person visits in more than four months because of COVID-19 restrictions soon will be able to connect to family and friends through wireless tablets. The county jail, located in Morris Township and run by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, houses inmates from both Morris and Sussex counties. It has been provided with at least 85 Android tablets by GTL, a leader in technology and wireless solutions for correctional facilities.

Although inmates can telephone relatives and friends, the correctional facility on March 16 temporarily suspended in-person inmate visits with family to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The restriction has dispirited some inmates, said Warden Christopher Klein. He noted that tablets will not impact county taxpayers. The cost of the tablet visit will be withdrawn from inmates’ commissary accounts by GTL. Inmates who lack funds will be allotted $3.75 a week from a special inmate welfare fund to engage in 15-minute virtual visits with relatives.

Beyond virtual visits, the tablets also can be used to access approved educational and entertainment materials and in-house request forms. When visitation restrictions are lifted, inmates may also use the tablets to virtually visit with relatives and friends who live out-of-state or cannot make in-person visits. Corrections Lt. Michael Schweizer and Sgts. Raymond Dykstra and Shawn Johnston have been spearheading the tablet project and working with GTL on fine-tuning operational aspects. Regardless of the criminal charges they face, all inmates will have access to the tablets as long as they are in compliance with Correctional Facility rules.

Family and friends who wish to make virtual visits with an inmate at the Morris County Correctional Facility can go to www.gettingout.com/create-account to create an account to access the video visitation. Once the account is set up, funds can be deposited at www.gettingout.com/deposit-funds.

07/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Chamber of Commerce is continuing its series of FREE virtual business seminars during the COVID-19 crisis with two more upcoming events that are relevant to the new reality of life. On Tuesday, July 28, Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-25th District) will be featured to discuss the pandemic and state politics. The session will be held at 12 noon and is open, free, to the public. On Thursday, June 30, the topic will switch to municipal government operations during this health crisis. Both virtual events are FREE to the greater Morris County community.

07/24/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the NJ Department of Education today issued clarifying guidance to allow parents to select fulltime remote learning for their children in the 2020-2021 school year. 

Released last month, the Department’s guidance document, “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education,” emphasized that schools should prepared plans to open in some capacity for in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. Since its release, the Department received feedback from many parents who wanted a greater voice in the decision-making process of whether their child should return to in-person learning. In addition, officials in some school districts called on the Department to release guidance to specifically allow for all-remote learning for those students.   

 The core elements of the guidance issued today include:

  1. Universal eligibility: All students, including students who receive special education or related services, are eligible for fulltime remote learning if their parent or guardian chooses.
  2. Policies and procedures: School districts must set clear policies and procedures for families who want fulltime remote learning for their children. School districts also need procedures for students in fulltime remote learning to transition back to in-person services. These procedures should be designed to ensure that families can make necessary arrangements to prepare for their child’s transition, and to help schools maintain continuity of services.
  3. Communications: School districts must communicate clearly and frequently with families, in their home language, about the availability of this offering and the related procedures.
  4. Quality of programming: Students participating in all-remote instruction should receive the same quality of instruction that is provided to any other student. In addition, fulltime remote programs must adhere to the same policies and regulations that in-person and hybrid programs follow regarding student attendance and the length of the school day.
  5. Data reporting: To help the Department evaluate fulltime remote learning, school districts will report data to the Department about student participation in these programs. 

The full guidance is available on the Department of Education’s “Restart and Recovery: The Road Back” webpage.

 07/23/20: The Morris County Freeholders issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Department of Human Services and the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris are forming a "Team Up" suicide prevention partnership. Suicide prevention during this high-stress COVID-19 crisis will be the focus of a new Team Up partnership. The joint effort, which is being funded by Morris County governerment, will deal with increased mental health issues caused by a host of factors, from loss of jobs and businesses, to isolation and fear of an uncertain future. It will employ social services, mental health, and education professionals to reach out to Morris County residents in need of help.

The Freeholder Board last night approved a $26,160 expenditure to fund a 22-week Team Up program, running from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, that will offer in-person and virtual help for residents, and online training for educators and professionals to deal with mental health issues during this crisis.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, self-quarantines, and social distancing have been employed. While these practices are helpful in dealing with the virus, this isolation from family, friends, and community have induced anxiety, depression, fear, and loneliness – all factors that can lead to suicide, according to mental health experts.

The new five-month Morris County and MHAEM program will focus on both adult and youth populations.

  • Adult population
    • Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris (MHAEM) professionals will ride along with Morris County’s Navigating Hope mobile social services van one day each week throughout the county. While on Navigating Hope they will educate residents on signs of suicide, assist persons in immediate crisis, and refer residents to available mental health services. The MHAEM also will address the adult population by providing virtual 90-minute presentations on suicide prevention to Morris County residents. They also plan to reach consumers through social media and various programs the agency offers, while the county will help publicize the dates of MHAEM presentations and disseminate information to towns and agencies across Morris County.
  • Youth Population
    • The Mental Health Association will work with school districts across Morris County to educate faculty, staff, and students on the signs of suicide. All school districts will be invited to participate in an overview of the components of the Signs of Suicide (SOS) program. MHAEM will offer training — in-person or virtual –on the implementation of the SOS program in schools.

More information on COVID-19 and mental health:

Morris County Stigma-Free: https://morriscountystigmafree.org/covid19/

Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris: https://www.mhaessexmorris.org/covid-19/

NewBridge Services: https://newbridge.org/

CDChttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

07/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing individuals traveling to New Jersey from additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. The updated advisory includes 10 additional states – Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Washington – with Minnesota removed from the list. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, July 21, there are currently 31 states total that meet the criteria stated above: Alaska; Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Louisiana; Maryland; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Washington; and Wisconsin.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

07/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 169, which clarifies Executive Order 164 and states that the postponement of annual municipal and county party committee reorganization meetings is only applicable to municipal party committees and county party committees that held elections during the July primary elections. Municipal party committees and county party committees that did not have an election can conduct their annual meetings as originally scheduled.

07/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 168, which allows the resumption of contact practices and competitions in outdoor settings for organized sports defined as “high risk” by the New Jersey Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities.” Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 149 on May 29, 2020, allowing organized sports to resume on a phased-in schedule as defined by the Department of Health as “low,” “medium,” and “high risk” activities.

The order stipulates that practices and competitions must be held in outdoor settings only, and encompasses sports including football, cheerleading, group dance, rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, and wrestling. All sports will have to abide by a number of health and safety protocols, including screenings for athletes, coaches, and staff; limited equipment sharing; and strong requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing equipment. Additionally, sports under the oversight of either the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association or the NCAA must abide by those associations’ rules. All sporting activities are subject to the “Guidance for Sports Activities,” and such activities must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders. The order will take effect immediately.

07/18/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing a scam alert regarding cyber criminals exploiting COVID-19 data with scare tactics. With many new cases of Coronavirus being recorded daily, the bad guys know that many people are afraid — and they plan to exploit that fear, warns the Morris County Office of Information Technology.

They are sending "phishing" emails claiming to have official “new” or “updated” data on COVID-19 in your area.

These emails are intense, urgent, and are designed to spark a knee-jerk reaction. They include links to click on marked "Urgent" and "New" COVID-19 data. Don’t fall victim to their scare tactics!

Remember the following to protect yourself:

  • Think before you click. The scammers are expecting an impulsive click.
  • Never click a link or attachment from an email you weren’t expecting.
  • Stay informed by going directly to a trusted news source for information about COVID-19, including municipal-run websites such as this one, the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub, CDC COVID-19 website, or World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 website.

Stop Look Think – Don’t be fooled!

Get more information on COVID-19 scams from the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams-consumer-advice

07/18/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 166, which establishes the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office and COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Task Force. Governor Murphy also announced that Daniel Kelly, current executive director of the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, will lead the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office. Acting State Comptroller Kevin Walsh will lead the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Task Force.

The Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office (GDRO) will assume the responsibilities of the Governor’s Office of Recovery & Rebuilding, which will no longer exist.  The GDRO shall be responsible for the following activities, among others:

  • Coordinating the work of “COVID-19 Accountability Officers,” as described in the Order, to ensure cross-agency collaboration, compliance, and transparency;
  • Developing a transparency website within ninety (90) days of the date of this order to track the State’s eligible and planned uses of any funds disbursed by the federal or State government to help New Jersey residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and other entities respond to or recover from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Coordinating and consulting with all relevant stakeholders regarding the disbursement of COVID-19 Recovery Funds and the administration of COVID-19 Recovery Programs; and
  • Publishing an annual report summarizing the State’s use of federal funds in response to COVID-19.

The Governor’s Executive Order also directs the State Comptroller to review all COVID-related procurements above a certain dollar threshold (currently $150,000), ensure internal controls, and provide compliance training to all agencies receiving COVID-19 funds.

The COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Taskforce will establish an Integrity Oversight Monitoring program to ensure state agencies guard against fraud, waste, and abuse of any COVID-19 funds. Integrity monitors will also be required to submit quarterly reports to the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office, the Attorney General, the Comptroller, and both the Senate President and Assembly Speaker, and make the reports publicly available online.

The Order further states that the State Comptroller and the GDRO shall report to the Governor from time to time on the progress of the COVID-19 recovery and the compliance process, and, in doing so, shall indicate whether additional staff and assistance is necessary to ensure accountability, transparency, and the timely expenditure of federal resources.

07/17/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he signed into law the “New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act,” which authorizes the state to borrow up to $9.9 billion to address the unprecedented fiscal crisis that has arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the law, the state has the authority to issue bonds totaling $2.7 billion for the remainder of the extended Fiscal Year 2020, which runs through September 30, 2020, and up to an additional $7.2 billion for the nine-month Fiscal Year 2021 that runs from October 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, for a combined amount of up to $9.9 billion to be issued over the two periods.

The state is authorized to borrow either through the issuance of general obligation bonds that can be sold to investors or through the federal government’s Municipal Liquidity Facility, which was established to help states and local governments across the country deal with the fallout from the global pandemic. The State is also authorized to refinance bonds issued pursuant to the bond act. Debt service on this bond issuance will be repaid through the state’s General Fund. Governor Murphy stressed that the state plans to borrow only what is necessary to speed New Jersey’s recovery from this unparalleled recession.

The law also establishes the Select Commission on Emergency COVID-19 Borrowing, comprised of two members of the Senate selected by the Senate President and two members of the General Assembly selected by the Speaker of the General Assembly, which must approve any proposal to issue bonds prior to their issuance.

07/17/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing his Administration’s plan to address unmet pre-K-to-12 student technological needs in New Jersey schools, commonly referred to as “the digital divide.” Efforts to ensure reliable internet connectivity and access to one-to-one digital devices are critical as we look ahead to the 2020-2021 school year and the reopening of schools, many of which are preparing reopening plans employing a hybrid schedule of both in-person and continued remote learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Administration’s approach to closing the digital divide is three-pronged and consists of the following: 

  1. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) released today a Request for Information (RFI), seeking information and ideas to bridge the digital divide for New Jersey’s pre-K-to-12 students, including philanthropic support from companies and organizations to help close the digital divide in public schools. The RFI is available here and interested parties will have until July 31, 2020 to respond. District information from the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) will help connect school districts in need with identified philanthropic partners and potential solutions.
  2. The DOE will offer a one-time $10 million formula grant using a portion of the State’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. This funding will be disbursed to public school districts to purchase digital devices and internet connectivity for one-to-one student use based on need and the availability of philanthropic donations. Districts will be required to submit an application to DOE, which will be released next week, and demonstrate a plan for appropriate use of funds.
  3. After philanthropy and ESSER Fund grants have been exhausted, the Administration will redirect Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) funds to close any remaining gap and fill the unmet digital device and internet connectivity needs of New Jersey students. Up to $44 million in CRF funds will be available for this purpose, with an additional $6 million available for nonpublic schools. Because of the ongoing and unparalleled financial strain the COVID-19 pandemic has created across the board in the State, is critical to exhaust philanthropic opportunities and CARES Act funding prior to filling remaining gaps with CRF funds. This will ensure that CRF funds can be efficiently directed to address as many critical needs as possible.

Schools in New Jersey were closed to in-person instruction in March 2020 when Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 104 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While school closures were necessary to protect public health, the DOE estimates that more than 230,000 students across the state have been impacted by the digital divide. Last month, the DOE released guidance to assist schools in preparing for the upcoming school year and establishing a learning model that includes the possibility of employing both remote and in-person learning, meaning that students will need continued access to the internet and digital devices. After considering other available district funding sources and estimating need based on June 2020 survey data and low-income enrollment data, the DOE estimates that the cost to close the digital divide is approximately $54 million. 

07/17/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that today, July 17, 2020 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to apply for  the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or CVERAP, which provides temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income or became unemployed due the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants may be eligible for a maximum of up to six months of emergency rental assistance.

For more information on this program, please visit: www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/cverap.html. You must apply online. 

The program is offered through New Jersey Department of Community Affairs through the Housing  and Community Resources program. For more information, please visit: www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/

07/17/20: The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has released Executive Directive 20-025, which permits parents, a family member, legal guardians and support persons of pediatric, developmentally disabled and intellectually disabled residents of long-term care facilities in Morris County and across the state to arrange for by-appointment indoor visits with loved ones. The directive outlines guidance to safeguard the health of vulnerable long-term care facility residents. 

Facilities can only allow visits if there has been no new probable or confirmed coronavirus cases recorded across a 28-day period, which is two incubation periods for COVID-19. Visitors must be screened for symptoms in a designated area that maintains social distancing and infection control standards. If an individual has any COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure, they will not be permitted to visit. All visitors will be required to wear a face covering, be educated on proper hand hygiene, and practice social distancing with anyone other than their loved one. Facilities must designate a specific area for visitationy. When staff are transporting a resident to a designated visitation area, a safe distance of six feet distance must be maintained between other residents and staff. 

Facilities must obtain informed written consent from residents and visitors. They must acknowledge they are aware of potential dangers of COVID-19 exposure and will comply with the facility’s policies during the visit.  As part of the consent, the visitor must agree to notify the facility if they tested positive for the virus or have symptoms within 14 days of visiting.

Each long-term care facility will set hours, days and durations of visits.  Facilities can begin scheduling indoor visit 48 hours after they have submitted an attestation to the Department that they have implemented the requirements of the Department’s directive.

07/16/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development plans to offer a full suite of online and telephone employment services through its One-Stop Centers beginning on August 10, 2020. Comprehensive support for unemployed customers will be offered online and through a series of call centers, which are expaning their capacity. However, in-person service will not be available at this time due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns for customers and employees.

The enhanced remote services will be available at the One Stop Center located in Randolph, and North Jersey locations in Newton, Somerville and Phillipsburg, as well as sites around the state. Click here to find a location near you.

Remote-access services to be available through the One-Stops include:

  • Job search assistance;
  • Training and education assistance;
  • Career planning;
  • Assessment of training needs;
  • Occupational skills training and job search support for unemployed adults and dislocated workers;
  • Re-Employment Services and Eligibility Assessment, which unemployment claimants find work before they exhaust their benefits;
  • Career services for individuals with disabilities, including resume building, accommodating equipment and job placement;
  • Online workshops.

Other Key Services:

Morris County Employment and Training Services: https://msw-jobtraining.org/  Residents interested in grant-funded career training also can call 973-285-6880 or 800- 870-3478 or by email msw-ets@co.morris.nj.us.  No in-person visits or appointments at 1 Medical Drive in Morris Plains at this time.

State Jobs Portal: jobs.covid19.nj.gov

Employer Services: nj.gov/labor/business. Includes recruitment assistance, virtual job fairs, apprenticeship programs, on-the-job training, layoff aversion, and incumbent worker training.

Unemployment Assistance: myunemployment.nj.gov.

New State Department of Labor Call Center Numbers:

  • North New Jersey: 201-601-4100
  • Central New Jersey: 732-761-2020
  • South New Jersey: 856-507-2340

07/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the first meeting of the Atlantic City Restart and Recovery Working Group. The group, comprised of members of the existing Atlantic City Executive Council and other regional stakeholders, will examine the post-COVID-19 recovery of Atlantic City, including continued efforts for citywide economic diversification, workforce development, and improved public health. Lieutenant Governor Oliver’s Atlantic City Restart and Recovery Working Group will be divided into two main groups. Within each of these groups, subcommittees will focus on specific aspects of their overarching goal.

1: Economic & Workforce Development Group:

  • Restart and Recovery: Consists of the gaming & hotel industry, City officials, boardwalk representatives, and other stakeholders. This subcommittee will focus on the restart and recovery of the hardest hit sectors of Atlantic City’s economy, including gaming and tourism.
  • Economic Diversification: Consists of economic development professionals, higher education officials/representatives, and other City stakeholders. The focus of this group will be diversifying and developing new sectors of the Atlantic City economy and how the region can provide technical assistance to small minority-owned businesses.
  • Workforce Development: Consists of community advocates, workforce development professionals, Building Trades, Atlantic County representatives, and community colleges. This subcommittee will focus on providing job training opportunities to Atlantic City residents in both existing sectors of the economy as well as emerging sectors. 

2. Health & Community Wellness Group:

  • Public Health is Economic Health: Consists of healthcare providers and public health officials. In addition to the procurement and implementation of testing, contact tracing, and quarantine/isolation services for Atlantic City residents, this subcommittee will focus on community wellness and how it is linked to economic health.
  • Community Outreach: Consists of community and faith stakeholders who will assist with engaging residents of Atlantic City and driving a public messaging campaign on the importance of getting tested, cooperating with contact tracers, and quarantining/isolating if necessary. Additionally, this subcommittee will focus on initiatives for youth; maternal and pre-natal/infant healthcare; addiction recovery; mental health; and working with law enforcement to improve community relations that are built upon mutual respect and trust.

07/15/20:  Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing an updated travel quarantine advisory, and advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. The updated advisory includes four additional states - Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin - with Delaware removed from the list. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, July 14, there are currently 22 states total that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Idaho; Kansas; Louisiana; Minnesota; Mississippi; North Carolina; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; and Wisconsin.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

07/14/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 165, which lifts 50 percent capacity limits on NJ TRANSIT and private-carrier buses, trains, light rail vehicles and Access Link vehicles, and now requires that NJ TRANSIT and private-carriers limit vehicles to the maximum seated capacity, effective at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15.

The Governor’s Executive Order continues mitigation efforts that were previously implemented, including requiring workers and customers to wear face coverings while on all buses, trains, light rail vehicles, and Access Link vehicles. This Order extends face covering requirements for workers and customers to the indoor premises of trains, buses, stations, or facilities owned or operated by NJ TRANSIT or private-carriers, as well as the outdoor portion of stations where social distancing is not practicable. The only exceptions for these face covering requirements are when wearing a face covering would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.

The Order also explicitly prohibits the consumption of food or beverages and smoking in all trains, buses, and vehicles that are operated by NJ TRANSIT, private carriers, and Employer Provided Transportation Services. The Order also imposes certain mitigation efforts on employers that provide transportation services to workers or employees to get to, return from, or move within or among worksites that are not otherwise available to the general public.

07/14/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 164, which statutory provisions that would have required annual municipal and county party committee meetings to occur this week and will instead require municipal party committee meetings to be held on July 27th, the first Monday after the election results are certified, and county party committee meetings to be held on July 28th, the first Tuesday after the election results are certified. The order also postpones all upcoming scheduled elections, including special elections that would occur before November 3rd, to the November 3rd General Election.

07/13/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Surrogate’s Office is moving forward with a plan to implement fully remote operations by the fall of this year. Starting in November, the public will have the option to complete an entire probate online without visiting the county government and court complex in Morristown. Historically, the probate process usually has involved making an appointment and traveling to Morristown to complete the probate forms in the Surrogate’s office with the help of a probate clerk. To improve that process, Morris County Surrogate Heather Darling has directed an IT vendor to move ahead with a software modification to allow for remote probate services.

Since Covid-19 related building closures, the Surrogate’s Office has been operating by phone and email. In the event of a fall resurgence of the virus, this new online service will enable the Surrogate’s Office to provide full, efficient, and uninterrupted service to Morris County residents. Surrogates in other counties have expressed an interest in the system being designed in Morris County and may follow the lead by purchasing the program being designed to Darling’s specifications.

07/12/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that Governor Murphy is taking steps to to ease the crunch at state Motor Vehicle Commission offices, which reopened this week with long lines and long waiting times in Morris County and across the state.

The Governor said that MVC expiration dates have been EXTENDED for: 

  • Driver’s licenses;
  • Non-driver IDs;
  • Vehicle registrations;
  • Inspections.

In addition:

  • Temporary tags documents expired between 3/13 – 5/31 have been extended to 9/30;
  • Documents expiring 6/1 – 8/31 have been extended to 12/31.

The Governor said he is aware of the demand for MVC services and pledged to make progress on the backlogs. He also urged state residents not to remain at Motor Vehicle Commision facilities that have reached capacity, and he urged residents not to camp out overnight outside of facilities.

07/10/20: Montville Township issued a press release announcing the controlled reopening of the Municipal Building. Public access will restart on Monday, July 13, 2020 according to the following schedule: 

  • Mondays        9am-1230pm
  • Tuesdays       1230pm-4pm
  • Wednesdays  9am-1230pm
  • Thursdays      1230pm-4pm
  • Fridays           closed to the public

All members of the public entering the Municipal Building will be required to follow COVID-19 health and safety standards which include social distancing, use of face coverings over the nose and mouth, washing hands frequently, and practicing good respiratory etiquette. Residents are encouraged to continue to conduct as much business as possible online, over the phone, via mail, or through the use of drop boxes in the parking lot and by the Municipal Building front doors. If an in-person visit to the Municipal Building is required, it is strongly recommended to contact the appropriate Department(s) in advance.

07/10/20: Montville Township issued a press release informing the community that while NJ has seen its number of daily new COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations fall significantly since peaking in April, there is still community transmission occurring, and the state’s transmission rate has risen slightly, indicating that on average, each newly infected person is now passing COVID-19 to at least one other person. As a result, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 163 which requires face coverings outdoors in public whenever social distancing can’t be practiced. The Mayor, Township Committee, Township Administration, and Township Departments remind residents that while due to all our efforts, the number of cases in Montville is the lowest it has been since the pandemic started here in March, our community should remain vigilant in doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

07/09/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 163, which requires individuals to wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces when it is not practicable to socially distance and keep a six-foot distance from others, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health, where the individual is under two years of age, or in situations where individuals cannot feasibly wear a face covering, such as when eating or drinking at outdoor dining areas.

The Order, which takes effect immediately, also reiterates New Jersey’s policy of requiring face coverings in indoor spaces that are accessible to members of the public, such as retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses, areas of government buildings open to the public, and mass transit buses, trains, and stations, again with exceptions for health reasons and children under two.

The Order notes that situations when wearing a face covering would inhibit an individual’s health include when an individual is engaging in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities, when in the water, and in other situations where the presence of a mask would pose a risk to the individual’s safety. 

The Order also notes that for indoor commercial spaces that are not open to members of the public, such as office buildings, those spaces must have policies that at a minimum, require individuals to wear face coverings when in prolonged proximity to others. The Order also notes that child care centers, other child care facilities, and youth summer camps are not governed by this Order, and those settings continue to be governed by Executive Order No. 149 (2020) and applicable standards issued by the Department of Health.

Furthermore, the Order clarifies that for outdoor dining purposes, outdoor areas shall be defined as open air spaces that either 1) have no roof or cover, or 2) have a fixed roof or temporary or seasonal awning or cover, with at least two open sides that would comprise over 50 percent of the total wall space if the space were fully enclosed.

Lastly, the Order clarifies that practices and competitions for sports defined as “Low Risk” by the Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” are permitted in both outdoor and indoor settings.  No-contact practices for sports defined as “High or Medium Risk” are permitted to resume in outdoor and indoor settings.  Contact practices and competitions for sports defined as “Medium Risk” are permitted to resume in outdoor settings only.  Contact practices and competitions for sports defined as “High Risk” remain prohibited in both indoor and outdoor settings.  All sporting activities are subject to the “Guidance for Sports Activities”, and such activities must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders.

07/08/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that due to temporary state-mandated employee furloughs, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is temporarily restricting access to some Wildlife Management Areas in Morris County, Northwest Jersey and throughout the state during July. In Morris County, Split Rock Reservoir and its boat lauch area in Rockaway Township is off limits for the rest of this month.

State government employee furloughs are underway in July as a result of agreements reached between the state and public employee unions to address the economic downtown resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife manages the state’s Wildlife Management Areas, and is authorized to limit access to these areas in order to protect public health, safety, and the environment during this time period. For a list of all Wildlife Management Areas statewide affected by the temporary access restrictions, visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/wmas.htm

07/08/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Office on Aging, Disabilities, and Community Programming is partnering with nonprofit Jersey Cares to provide volunteers to do grocery shopping for older or disabled residents across  all of Morris County. The program will keep persons most vulnerable to COVID-19 out of harms way in supermarkets and other food markets.

Eligible participants must be either over age 60 or be disabled and between ages 18-to-59 and in need of shopping assistance. Consumers can call the ADRC hotline at 973-285-6848 or 1-800-564-4656, and request volunteer shopper assistance. Volunteers have been vetted by Jersey Cares and are ready to serve Morris County residents. Program participants are required to provide contact information, a grocery list, and a maximum budget for each shopping trip. More specific program information will be provided when participants call for the service.

Jersey Cares, a nonprofit organization that was established in 1993, recruits and engages volunteers in projects that address community-identified needs. To volunteer for the new grocery shopping program, and for more information on Jersey Cares, visit https://www.jerseycares.org/

For more information on Morris County government programs for seniors and disabled county residents, visit: https://hs.morriscountynj.gov/adv/

07/07/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that with so many Morris County residents spending a lot more time outdoors this summer due to the COVID-19 crisis, county mosquito experts are urging residents to please remove standing water in and around their property during this current hot spell, when frequent summer showers can create pools of standing water that can breed mosquitoes. In New Jersey, mosquitoes can carry and transmit several diseases, including Chikungunya, Dengue, Zika, and several forms of encephalitis (including West Nile Virus). 

Mosquito professionals are working to control the tiny biting pests in parks and forests for hikers, walkers and bikers. But residents have the power to deal with mosquitoes in their own back yard by eliminating stagnating water — the place that mosquitoes breed.

“If everyone would take steps around their own homes to eliminate standing water, it could reduce the number of mosquitoes by many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, where you live,’’ said Morris County Mosquito Division Superintendent Kristian McMorland.

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families:

  • Empty water from flowerpots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans once or twice a week.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters.
  • Remove containers or trash that may be difficult to see, such as under bushes, homes or around building exteriors.
  • Dispose of unused tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers on your property.
  • Drill holes in the bottom and elevate recycling containers left outdoors.
  • Repair and clean storm-damaged roof gutters, particularly if leaves from surrounding trees clog drains. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Avoid allowing water to stagnate in bird baths.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens become major mosquito producers if they stagnate.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents when outdoors and wear protective clothing.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools,  including those not in use. An untended swimming pool can result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware that mosquitoes may develop in water that collects on pool covers.
  • Stay in air-conditioned places or rooms with window screens that prevent access by mosquitoes.
  • If a mosquito problem remains after taking the above steps, contact Morris County Mosquito Control. There are larval habitats that only a mosquito control program can properly address. 

For more information on Morris County’s Mosquito Control operations, or mosquito control products and practices, visit https://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/info/.

07/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing an updated travel quarantine advisory for individuals traveling to New Jersey from additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, July 7, there are currently 19 states total that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Delaware, Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Idaho; Kansas; Louisiana; Oklahoma, Mississippi; North Carolina; Nevada; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; and Utah.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. Travelers and residents returning from impacted states typically will not need to check-in with public health officials, unless otherwise they are involved in contract tracing efforts or required to do so by their employer or any other federal, state or local law or order. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine.

07/03/20: The FDA has issued a update warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested. Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects. FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.

The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death. Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk.

07/03/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing he signed legislation (A4132) which would modify the State’s shared work program and change eligibility for the State’s unemployment insurance program. Earlier this week the bill was returned to the Legislature with recommended changes necessary to facilitate furloughs in lieu of layoffs. The Legislature today concurred with the Governor’s conditional veto.

The recommendations outlined in the conditional veto include eliminating changes to UI law included in the bill, which would shift the cost of covering workers from the federal government to the State. Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not eligible for State unemployment benefits can receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits until December 31, 2020, ensuring that they are covered. 

The conditional veto also makes other revisions necessary to facilitate the furlough in lieu of layoffs of public employees.  These revisions will ensure that pension, health benefits, and civil service rights are maintained during the period of any furlough taken during the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The revisions also allow schools that are providing virtual instruction to participate in furlough programs. The Murphy Administration has already pursued furlough agreements including last week’s agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). 

07/02/20: Governer Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 162, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order No. 103, which was previously extended on April 7, May 6, and June 4. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Executive Order No. 162 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

07/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 161, which increases outdoor gathering capacity limit as COVID-19 cases in New Jersey continue to decline. Effective at 6 a.m. on Friday, July 3rd, outdoor gatherings are limited to 500 persons, and outdoor religious services and political activities will continue to have no numerical limits. All indoor gatherings continue to be limited to 25% capacity of the rooms in which they will take place, with a maximum of 100 persons. Before today’s Order, outdoor gatherings were limited to 250 persons, with the exception of outdoor religious services and political activities.

07/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 160, which rescinds Executive Order 114 (which ordered national and state flags to fly at half-staff), and which orders that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be returned to full staff on Friday, July 3, having been at half-staff since Friday, April 3, in recognition and mourning of all those who have lost their lives and been affected by COVID-19. The flags will return to full staff as a symbol of New Jersey’s recovery and continued resolve. 

07/02/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced that it would begin providing 20 weeks of extended unemployment this week to New Jersey workers who have exhausted their state and federal jobless benefits.

The state extension kicks in after claimants exhaust up to 26 weeks of state unemployment plus 13 weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. The additional 20 weeks of benefits brings to 59 the maximum number of weeks an eligible claimant may receive in benefits at this time. Claimants will be automatically enrolled into extended benefits as their federal extension ends. They do not need to contact an agent or reapply.

Independent contractors, self-employed workers, and others receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will see their benefits end in December, after a maximum of 46 weeks, which includes extended benefits. Additionally, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which brought an additional $600 weekly payment to everyone collecting unemployment, runs through July 25.

For more information on unemployment issues, visit the state DOL website.

07/01/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 159, which temporarily extends certain statutory deadlines across state government that require review and action by agencies before a specified deadline. The statutory deadlines, in addition to certain effective dates that are being delayed, ensure that state agencies have the ability to address immediate needs that prioritize public health and safety, and ensure that non-emergency agency decisions are made with the proper amount of input and deliberation. The deadlines are included in the accompanying Appendix to Executive Order 159.  

06/30/20: Morris County issued a press release with Frequently Asked Questions for those who live and work in Morris County regarding Governor Murphy’s announcement that persons traveling to New Jersey, whether visiting the state or returning home, from eight states with high COVID-19 rates must self quarantine for 14 days when they enter New Jersey.

06/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing an updated quarantine advisory for individuals travelling to New Jersey from 16 states. He today advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from eight additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, June 30, there are currently 16 states total that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Idaho; Louisiana; Mississippi; North Carolina; Nevada; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; and Utah.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. 

Travelers and residents returning from impacted states typically will not need to check-in with public health officials, unless otherwise they are involved in contract tracing efforts or required to do so by their employer or any other federal, state or local law or order. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine.

The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

06/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he has signed a three-month spending plan into law on Tuesday that includes a series of deep cuts and spending deferrals to help the state meet its most basic obligations through the extended fiscal year (FY 2020), which ends September 30. New Jersey extended its fiscal year beyond the traditional closing date of June 30 in light of the extreme uncertainty caused by the global pandemic and the subsequent decision to extend state and federal tax filing deadlines to July 15 to help taxpayers weather the COVID-19 crisis.

The $7.632 billion spending plan signed by the Governor is relatively unchanged from the proposal the Administration put forth in its May 22 budget update to the Legislature. It authorizes the deappropriation of nearly $1.2 billion in funds enacted in the FY 2020 Appropriations Act, does not include nearly $850 million in new spending proposed in the Governor’s February budget message, defers a number of significant payments (described below), and does not include any new revenue raisers. 

The supplemental appropriations bill includes a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in funding for non-salary operating costs and a 10 percent reduction in discretionary grants. It also includes savings from delaying cost-of-living adjustments as part of the agreement negotiated in good faith with the Communications Workers of America. 

The three-month spending plan provides sufficient funds to support the projected need for social services programs through the end of September and 25 percent of the annual need for operating costs that were not otherwise reduced. State Aid, grants, and other mandatory payments are generally recommended to be appropriated during the three-month extended fiscal year based on the normal timing of disbursements or as projected to cover actual services rendered. 

More specifically, the supplemental appropriations bill includes the following key provisions across various state departments:

  1. Community Affairs: Delays September payments for Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) and Energy Tax Receipts (ETR) until October. 
  2. Education: Continues to implement the school funding formula designed in partnership with the Legislature without any additional funding over FY 2020; delays the September 22nd school aid payment into October; and defers the September school choice payments.
  3. Health: Provides the same overall funding for hospitals as the first quarter of FY 2020 (Charity Care, Graduate Medical Education); however the distribution may vary because funding will be allocated based on FY 2021 data.
  4. Labor and Workforce Development: Includes $3.875 million to modernize unemployment processing.
  5. Higher Education: Maintains tuition assistance programs for post-secondary students—including Tuition Aid Grants, the Educational Opportunity Fund, and Community College Opportunity Grants—at their FY 2020 funding levels. Also includes $52 million in operating aid for senior public higher education institutions and almost $14 million in operating aid for community colleges.
  6. Transportation: Does not include any state subsidy for NJ TRANSIT due to $1.4 billion in federal CARES Act funding being provided to the agency.  
  7. Treasury: Does not include Senior Freeze or Homestead Benefit payments and delays the September pension payment into October.

The three-month spending plan is supported by $8.625 billion in total resources, and ends with a surplus of $956 million through September 30. The revised surplus – which includes the transfer of the entire $421 million Surplus Revenue Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) to the General Fund – is up $462 million from the May 22 budget update.

The improved revenue forecast is primarily due to Sales and Use Tax revenue exceeding expectations as a result of the incremental re-opening of New Jersey’s economy. However, the state must still contend with a historic decline in overall projected revenue and the uncertainty over whether taxpayers will request extensions beyond the already extended July 15 deadline for personal income tax filings or claim refunds for overpayment of Corporation Business Tax obligations. 

The Administration and the Legislature must now work on crafting a nine-month budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which will run from October 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 under the legislation that previously authorized the extension of the current fiscal year.

06/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 158, which temporarily pauses the resumption of indoor dining, which had been scheduled to resume later this week.  The Order also prohibits the consumption of food or beverages and smoking in the indoor premises of any retail, recreational, or entertainment business, including casinos, where masks are strictly required.  The Order notes that there is an exception for health and safety, such as an individual briefly removing their mask to drink water.

“Unfortunately, the spike in cases in numerous other states, compounded by instances of non-compliance in New Jersey, require us to hit pause on the restart of indoor dining indefinitely,” said Governor Murphy“I recognize that there are many establishments whose owners, managers, and customers have been responsible, but we cannot move forward unless there is complete compliance. Throughout every step of our restart, we have been clear that we would not hesitate to hit pause to safeguard public health, and this is one of those times.”

In light of today’s Order, the NJ Department of Health today issued their Executive Directive 20-019 (Revised) for food and beverage establishments, which will continue to be restricted to in-person service at outdoor areas only.

06/29/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) today issued Executive Directive 20-020, which exempting doulas from the limit on the number of support persons allowed to be present throughout a woman’s hospital stay during the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 hospitalizations decrease statewide, there is now sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing capacity to allow doulas to resume their duties during labor and delivery as a member of a pregnant woman’s health care team.

Doulas support healthy pregnancies by providing culturally appropriate, social and emotional support to pregnant women throughout the prenatal period, labor and delivery, as well as the postpartum period. Research demonstrates that support from a doula is associated with lower caesarian section rates, fewer obstetric interventions, fewer complications, and the improved health of mothers and babies after delivery.

Under the directive, hospitals are required to allow at least one designated support person to be with the expectant mother during her hospital stay – the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling or another person she chooses. Doulas will no longer be counted toward this limit and can accompany the designated support person for the mother’s hospital stay. Hospitals may allow additional support individuals if the hospital has determined that sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available.

06/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 157, which implements the re-openings announced earlier this week that will take effect on Thursday, July 2. Specifically, the Order contains several requirements for indoor dining, which can resume on at 6:00 am. on July 2, but will be limited to 25 percent capacity, and patrons will be required to order and consume food or beverages while seated. The Order also contains the baseline requirements for indoor recreational and entertainment businesses, which can open on at 6:00 a.m. on July 2 at 25 percent capacity, with the exceptions of gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues, and indoor amusement and water parks, which must still remain closed at this time. Further, dance floors at any business must be closed or cordoned off.  Gyms and fitness centers can, however, offer individualized indoor instruction by appointment only. 

The requirements for retail businesses are restated in this Order for clarity, but these requirements are unchanged, other than a clarification that the 50 percent capacity limitation will not include the retail establishment’s employees.  The Order comprehensively states the COVID-19-related requirements that apply to businesses in the retail, dining, and recreation sectors.

The indoor dining requirements include:

  1. Limit the number of patrons in indoor areas to 25 percent of the food or beverage establishment’s indoor capacity, excluding the food or beverage establishment’s employees;
  2. Ensure that tables where individuals or groups are seated are six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat and that individual seats in any shared area that is not reserved for individual groups, such as an indoor bar area, are also six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat;
  3. Require patrons to wear face coverings while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, except when seated at their table or in their individual seat.  This requirement does not apply if the patron has a medical reason for not wearing a face covering or is a child under two years of age;
  4. Food or beverage establishments with table service may only allow patrons to place orders when seated, and only wait staff may bring food or beverages to seated patrons;
  5. Patrons may only consume food or beverages while seated (meaning they cannot walk around with their beverages, for example); and
  6. Abide by all other health and safety standards issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health, including infection control practices and other sanitization protocols, consistent with her authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act.

The NJ Department of Health issued Executive Directive 20-019 today that incorporates the above requirements and contains comprehensive health and safety standards and protocols for food or beverage establishments, including both their outdoor and indoor areas.

The Executive Order describes the requirements for recreational and entertainment businesses that can open, which include libraries, museums, aquariums, and public and private social clubs.  These businesses must limit the capacity of their indoor premises to 25 percent, and are held to many of the same requirements that are imposed on retail businesses (a full list of the requirements is in the Order).  However, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues, and indoor amusement and water parks, must keep their indoor spaces closed, and dance floors at any business must be closed or cordoned off.

Gyms and fitness centers are, however, permitted to offer individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual’s immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners.  If a gym or fitness center is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.

Playgrounds are also permitted to open on July 2.  

Personal care services that would require the removal of a face covering, such as facials, can resume on July 2 as well, subject to otherwise applicable requirements issued by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and the NJ Department of Health.

In the coming days, the NJ Department of Health will issue standards and protocols for both indoor pools and outdoor amusement and water parks.  

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement will issue standards and protocols for casinos, which will be open on July 2, but will be subject to additional requirements.

06/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he signed into law (S2437) which places limits on service fees charged to restaurants by third-party delivery applications and websites during state of emergencies declared by the Governor in response to COVID-19.  The legislation provides much needed relief to restaurants across New Jersey that have faced excessive fees while being limited to takeout and delivery service. 

The legislation prohibits third-party food takeout and delivery service applications and websites from charging service fees greater than 20 percent of the cost of the individual order or greater than 10 percent of the cost of the individual order, when the order is delivered by an employee of the restaurant or an independent contractor with whom the restaurant has contracted directly. The limits are in effect during a state of emergency and until the first day of the third month following any state of emergency declared by the Governor in response to COVID-19 that restricts restaurant dine-in service to less than 25% of the maximum capacity allowed by law.

06/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he signed the following bill into law:

  • S-2383/A-4142 - Requires Commissioner of Education to establish three-year "Bridge Year Pilot Program" for certain students who were impacted by public health state of emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019.

06/26/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) today announced the release of “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education” to assist schools with reopening in the fall. The guidance announces that, absent a change in public health data, public schools will open for in-person instruction and operations in some capacity at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

The guidance envisions schools operating within necessary standards to protect the health and safety of students and staff. The guidance includes minimum standards such as following certain social distancing practices in classrooms and face covering measures for students and staff. The guidance also provides recommendations to assist districts in achieving these standards, such as implementing hybrid learning environments in which students receive both in-person and remote instruction. 

Each district will be expected to develop, in collaboration with community stakeholders, a plan to reopen schools in the fall that best fits the district’s local needs. The guidance provides anticipated minimum standards regarding health and safety that districts should use as they plan for reopening. The guidance also provides additional considerations that may help districts as they develop their plans. 

Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 104 ordered all New Jersey schools to close starting March 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. After the Department worked with school districts to ensure stability through remote instruction, food security for children where needed, and equity in education for students, the focus immediately turned toward planning for reopening.

The guidance relies upon the most up-to-date data and recommendations from the New Jersey Department of Health and was informed by input from school communities. The Department has been engaged in regular contact with educators and stakeholders, and has conducted daily site visits, weekly stakeholder meetings and discussions with a standing committee of nearly two dozen superintendents. Beyond this ongoing engagement, the NJDOE convened approximately 50 education and community organizations, met with over 300 superintendents, and surveyed nearly 300,000 parents/guardians to inform the development of the reopening plan. 

The guidance focuses on four key functional areas: conditions for learning, leadership and planning, policy and funding, and continuity of learning.

The guidance sets the minimum standards for returning to school and serves as a toolkit for schools to use as they develop their recovery plans – recognizing that flexibility is needed as each school will have unique needs and circumstances, and some efforts will need to be guided by local health officials.
 The guidance describes several health and safety standards to be prioritized in school reopening:  

  1. Social distancing: Schools and districts must allow for social distancing within the classroom. This can be achieved by ensuring students are seated at least six feet apart. If schools are not able to maintain this physical distance, additional modifications should be considered. These include physical barriers between desks and turning desks to face the same direction (rather than facing each other)or having students sit on only one side of a table and spaced apart.
  2. Face coverings: School staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age. Students are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and are required to do so when social distancing cannot be maintained, unless doing so would inhibit the student’s health. It is necessary to acknowledge that enforcing the use of face coverings may be impractical for young children or certain individuals with disabilities.
  3. Limited capacity: It is recommended that students and staff be seated at least six feet apart in class when practicable. When weather allows, windows should be opened to allow for greater air circulation.
  4. Cleaning/disinfecting: Procedures must be implemented by each school district for the sanitization of school buildings and school buses. Increased hand-washing measures are also important for students and staff.

These provisions are informed by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, which call for protecting staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as providing options for telework and virtual learning; providing reasonable accommodations for older adults (65 years and older) and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions; and, when possible, keeping early childhood students apart during naptime and avoiding close-group activities like reading circles.

Other provisions in the guidance include: 

  1. Cafeteria directors should consider staggering meal times to allow for social distancing; discontinuing self-serve or buffet lines; having students eat meals outside or in their classrooms; and requiring staff to disinfect eating areas between groups.
  2. Recess should also be held in staggered shifts, with efforts to promote social distancing and hygiene protocols.
  3. Cohorting: Schools may wish to identify small groups of students and keep them together (cohorting) to ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible, thereby limiting exposure to large groups of students.
  4. School bus operators should encourage social distancing. CDC guidelines recommend seating on a school bus such that there is one student seated per row, skipping a row between each child, if possible. Barriers separating rows of bus seats may also be considered. If social distancing is not feasible, face coverings must be worn by students who are able to do so. Increased ventilation (i.e. opening windows) is also recommended in the guidelines. 

Because reopening is dependent upon health data and informed by experts in the health field, districts will need to be prepared to pivot to remote instruction at any time during the 2020-2021 school year. The guidance stresses that each school district should be working to ensure every student has a device and internet connectivity available, and it identifies funding streams available to school districts to ensure students have access to technology.

Districts should strive to share preliminary scheduling plans with staff, families, and students at least four weeks before the start of the school year in order to allow families to plan child care and work arrangements.

Click here for a summary of the guidance.

Click here for the full guidance. 

06/26/20: NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) issued a announcement that road tests will be re-starting on June 29th, and Motor Vehicle Agencies (some designated as Licensing Centers and some designated as Vehicle Centers) that were supposed to also reopen on June 29 will now be reopening on July 7th. More information can be found in MVC’s Frequently Asked Questions document.

06/25/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing the many changes in COVID rules as Phase 2 reopenings begin. Gov. Phil Murphy’s multi-stage approach to a “responsible and strategic economic restart”  to put New Jersey on the road to recovery from COVID-19 has entered Phase Two, with many relaxations of original COVID restrictions now in effect or set to start in the coming days and weeks. The Governor has stressed that the state will continue to relax COVID-19 rules based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the ability to safeguard residents.

The following is a guide to key Stage Two dates, with links to specific information, to help ease any confusion.

In Stage Two, moderate-risk activities are restarting. As part of this effort, residents are being asked to face coverings and practice social distancing.

06/24/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing a joint tri-state (NJ, NY, CT) incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine themselves for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state.

This self-quarantine – effective midnight tonight – applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.  

New Jersey, New York and Connecticut will continually update and publish on their respective websites a list of states to which the new advisory applies. This information will be updated regularly. The tri-state measure will use uniform parameters and messaging on highways, airports, websites and social media across the three states. The three states will also ask hotels to communicate the 14-day quarantine to guests who have traveled from one of the impacted states.

06/23/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 156, which increases indoor and outdoor gathering capacity limits as COVID-19 cases in New Jersey continue to decline. Effective immediately, indoor gatherings are now limited to 25% capacity of the rooms in which they will take place, with a maximum of 100 persons. Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 250 persons, and outdoor religious services and political activities will continue to have no numerical limits. 

Before today’s Executive Order, indoor gatherings were limited to 25% capacity, but with a maximum of 50 persons, and outdoor gatherings were limited to 100 persons, with the exception of outdoor religious services and political activities.

Furthermore, today’s Order clarifies that for the purposes of outdoor dining, “outdoor areas” are to be defined as open air spaces without a fixed roof, besides a temporary or seasonal awning or cover.

06/22/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that beginning Wednesday, June 24, 2020, Morristown National Historical Park will reopen access to Fort Nonsense Area, expand parking to 100% capacity, open the entire Tour Road at Jockey Hollow to vehicles and begin summer hours, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily. Picnicking and large group activities remain restricted. Permanent restroom facilities in Jockey Hollow will be closed; however, portable restroom units will be available for public use.

The National Park Service  is working service wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased recreational access at the park is occurring using a phased approach on a park-by-park basis following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, including the latest public safety recreation regulations in the state of New Jersey.’

On June 24th, the following will open for recreation in accordance with state guidance from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily:

  • All five Jockey Hollow Area parking lots (Visitor Center, Wick House, Soldier Huts, New York Brigade and Trail Center)
  • New Jersey Brigade/Cross Estate Area parking lot will be increased to 100% parking capacity.
  • Jockey Hollow Tour Road
  • Soldier Huts
  • All 27 miles of hiking trails
  • Equestrian trail use (5 trailer spaces at the visitor center parking lot only)

Appropriate recreation includes such activities as:

  • walking
  • hiking
  • running
  • bicycling

Prohibited activities include:

  • large group gatherings and activities
  • picnicking

Parking will be restricted to the park’s surface parking lots only.

Additionally, the following areas will remain closed in this phase:

  • Western Avenue Park Access Gate (at Jockey Hollow Road) will be closed to vehicular access (Tempe Wick Road Main entravoidnce is the only vehicle entrance into Jockey Hollow)
  • Jockey Hollow Visitor Center
  • New York Brigade Comfort Station
  • Wick House and herb garden
  • Washington’s Headquarters Area: Ford Mansion and Washington’s HQ Museum (grounds and parking lots are open for passive recreation)

Visitors are asked to follow social distancing practices at all times. Many of the park’s hiking trails are narrow, so strongly healthy hiking etiquette encourages  yielding to other hikers in wider trail spots and turning your face away as you pass. Additionally, park vehicles in designated parking spaces, practice Leave No Trace principles (carry in-carry out trash) and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

06/22/20: NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued a press release announcing that camping will  begin in 12 state parks, forests and recreation areas on June 22. The  re-opening will be consistent with Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 public health  protection goals that stress social distancing and wearing of masks. Under Executive Order 148, NJDEP will implement a plan for reopening of camping at 14 state-run areas.

Twelve of those areas will be opened on  Monday, June 22. They are High Point State Park, Jenny Jump State Forest, Stokes State Forest and Worthington State Forest in the northern region; Allaire State Park, Cheesequake State Park and Spruce Run Recreation Area in  the central region; and Bass River State Forest, Belleplain State Forest, Brendan Byrne State Forest, Parvin State Park, and Wharton State Forest in the southern region. Camping will reopen on Monday, June 29 at  Swartswood State Park and Stephens State Forest in the northern part of the  state.

NJDEP has taken into account the physical  layouts of each park in determining the percentage of campsites to reopen.  At most areas, at least 50 percent of sites  will be open. All sites will be open at High Point and Jenny Jump. Camping remains closed at the Round Valley  Recreation Area, Washington Crossing State Park, Kittatinny Valley State Park,  Waywayanda State Park and Voorhees State Park. 

To account for social distancing  requirements and staffing necessary to clean and maintain indoor facilities, camping will be limited to tent-style camping while all other forms of  overnight use including cabins, shelters, group cabins, wilderness campsites, primitive campsites, and group campsites will remain closed. Rigorous cleaning protocols for restrooms, shower facilities and other facilities and common areas will be implemented, following guidelines set by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health. In addition, barriers are being installed to limit  contact between staff and visitors. Campground guests will be encouraged by  signage to wear a mask when in public and in indoor spaces such as gatehouses  and restrooms. They must maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals  that are not immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or  partners.        

Visitors are encouraged to make  reservations, cancellations and payments via electronic or telephone  reservation systems to limit physical interactions by visiting www.njportal.com/DEP/NJOutdoors. The option to pay by cash remains  available.

06/20/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the county will close its COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at County College of Morris at the end of next week, with the last scheduled day of free testing set for Friday, June 26.

The center, which was operated in coordination with Atlantic Health Systems, is closing because many other test providers are now available, including numerous urgent care facilities and pharmacies across the county offering nasal swab and saliva tests. In the nearly three months of operation, the CCM site provided nasal swab tests to more 7,000 people. When testing started, there was a 43 percent positive rate among residents with symptoms and prescriptions who were tested at the county center. Those positive numbers have now dropped dramatically, with positive results for the past few weeks at less than 1 percent of those tested.

Residents now can get tested at a variety of sites in Morris County that are providing the Swab Test (SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR), which is the “gold standard” test to determine if you have COVID-19.  There also are other locations in the county now offering the swab and/or saliva test. The NJDOH/State COVID-19 site has a test site locator and provides a tool for self-assessment, instructions, and information on the types of tests, including issues with serology, or antibody tests.

Residents are strongly encouraged to first speak with their primary healthcare provider prior to being tested.

You can still make an appointment for the remaining days of its operation: Visit the Morris County Office of Health Management’s COVID-19 information site for more information on the county testing center and to make an appointment.

06/20/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing Table of Hope, a mobile food distribution event at County College of Morris on Tuesday, June 23, to assist residents during this time of crisis. The food distribution, consisting of canned goods, meat, dairy, vegetables and other groceries, for people in need will take place in Parking Lot 1 on the CCM campus starting at 10 a.m. and running until 12 noon. Welcoming remarks from the First Lady and others will take place at 9:45 a.m. All are welcomed to attend. 

The distribution will operate as a contactless drive-through event with cars stopping at different food stations categorized by food type where volunteers will place bags or boxes into automobile trunks. Those who would like to pick up food that day are asked to use the college’s Dover Chester Road entrance. Face coverings are required for everyone who come to campus.

06/20/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the New Jersey Department of Health’s (NJDOH’s) Executive Directive 20-017, which allows residents of long-term care facilities will be able to have outdoor visits with loved ones in designated outdoor space starting Sunday, June 21—Father’s Day. NJDOH has received input and worked collaboratively with long-term care providers on developing this directive to accommodate visitors. The directive applies to: dementia care homes, long-term care facilities, pediatric transitional care homes, assisted living residences and programs, and comprehensive personal care homes.

Prior to transporting a long-term care resident to a designated outdoor space, visitors must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms ­­– including a temperature check – and facilities must follow safety and infection prevention and control measures in order to allow visitation.

Only two visitors will be permitted at a time and must stay six feet apart from the resident. Visitors and residents are required to wear face coverings, and a staff member—wearing a surgical mask—must remain with the resident during the visit. A resident who is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or quarantined for an exposure cannot have visitors. A resident who has tested positive can have visitors after they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation.

Facilities must submit an attestation at least 24 hours before they begin outdoor visitation confirming that they have implemented the directive’s requirements, and have a location designated for visitation, sufficient staff and personal protective equipment, and a method to schedule appointments. Facilities can start scheduling appointments today, but visitation cannot begin until Sunday.

Facilities are required to communicate the visitor policy to residents, families, staff and others, and must receive informed consent in writing from the resident and visitor that they will comply with the facility’s policies during the visit. As part of the consent form, visitor must agree to notify the facility if they test positive for COVID or have symptoms within 14 days of visiting.

06/19/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-16, which permits indoor portions of retail shopping malls to reopen to members of the public, effective at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 29.

Retail businesses located in the interior of shopping malls are permitted to reopen to the public, as long as they comply with the requirements contained in Executive Order 122.  Restaurants within the interior of a retail shopping mall are restricted to offering takeout and delivery services, except that they may also provide in-person service at outdoor areas outside the shopping mall pursuant to Executive Order 150

Retail kiosks located within malls may operate subject to the applicable requirements contained in Executive Order 122, and must ensure that customers remain six feet apart at all times. All areas with communal seating shall be removed or cordoned off.  Isolated seats or benches available for individual use may be accessible, in order to provide customers with a place to rest. Indoor shopping mall operators should evaluate floor plans and establish policies to minimize congestion points and maintain social distancing, such as a customer flow plan with floor markings or separate entrance and exit points.

With respect to the mall’s own employees, mall operators must require infection control practices, provide employees break time for handwashing, and provide sanitization materials, among other requirements.  The order also states that employees and customers must wear face coverings while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.  If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the mall at the point of entry, then the mall must decline entry to the individual.

The following services or areas shall be closed at all indoor shopping malls:

  1. Valet parking;
  2. Vending machines;
  3. Stroller rentals; and
  4. Any type of communal play area.

Businesses located within the indoor portions of retail shopping malls that remain closed to the public by any Executive Order, such as entertainment and recreational businesses including gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, amusement parks, water parks, and arcades, shall remain closed.

06/19/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) today issued standards for institutions of higher education as they begin restarting campus operations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The standards align with the stages of New Jersey’s “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health” plan and provide a framework of critical standards, additional steps institutions should consider when formulating plans, and examples of safeguarding practices in 10 key on-campus functional areas: instruction, residential housing, computer laboratories, libraries, research, student services, transportation, dining, international travel, and athletics.

As of July 1, in-person clinical rotations and labs will be able to resume at institutions of higher education, subject to submission of a restart plan to OSHE. As detailed in Executive Order 155, institutions must submit a restart plan to OSHE no later than 14 days of the expected implementation date of their plans. Each institutional plan must follow a phased approach in accordance with OSHE standards issued today and any future supplemental documents.

Members of the Higher Education Restart Advisory Group, which includes representatives of all higher education sectors, faculty, staff, and students, offered input that shaped these standards. Best practices to ensure key aspects of a successful restart of higher education activities were considered.

Throughout each stage, institutions must continue observing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) standards for social distancing (6 feet), sanitizing equipment and materials, handwashing, cleaning and disinfection, and accommodating individuals with symptoms or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. In all stages, institutions with residential housing facilities must have a designated space for individuals who reside on campus and are quarantining or isolating with symptoms or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19.

Institutions are instructed to require face coverings for faculty, staff, students, and visitors, except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health. Institutions must adhere to mandatory statewide restrictions in place throughout each stage, including all applicable Executive Orders, until a “new normal” is reached – when a vaccine or effective treatment is broadly available – but can adapt recommendations to best fit their communities’ needs and context. Institutions must remain flexible to modify operations as public health conditions change and the state shifts from one stage to the next.

Below, please find details of the protocols and procedures to be implemented at each stage of Governor Phil Murphy’s “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health” plan.

STAGE 1:

  • All in-person instruction, including labs, clinical rotations and all other curricular activity is prohibited, unless a waiver supported by a compelling rationale is obtained from the Secretary of Higher Education.
  • No students are allowed to reside in on-campus residential facilities, except for those enrolled in courses/programs with an in-person approved waiver or in narrowly-defined extenuating circumstances who are already present on campus.
  • Computer laboratories and libraries remain closed. Institutions should explore potential alternatives, such as providing each student with a laptop and internet access. Returned items should be sanitized wherever possible.
  • In-person dining facilities are closed. Takeout, “grab-and-go,” and/or delivery may be available to those who must continue to reside on campus. 

STAGE 2: (effective beginning July 1, 2020.)

  • Most in-person instruction remains limited to instances where a waiver is obtained from the Secretary. However, in-person instruction of curricula that require labs, technical, clinical, or hands-on instruction and therefore cannot be readily taught other than through in-person instruction can resume with adherence to strict health and safety protocols.
  • A limited number of students (based on capacity restrictions) can return to on-campus residential facilities. Full occupancy of buildings is not acceptable for restart plans. Institutions must reduce density of residential living spaces to the extent practicable. Institutions should be mindful of students for whom residential housing is necessary for an equitable education. Common areas are closed, and outside visitors to residence halls must be limited to those present for delivery, maintenance or an emergency.
  • Computer laboratories remain closed. Curbside pickup or delivery of remotely-requested printed materials is available. This should be done by appointment.
  • Libraries may open in a limited fashion in accordance with the applicable state health and safety requirements.
  • Dining: Takeout or “grab and go” options should remain available. Outdoor dining only is allowed pursuant to statewide occupancy, health, and safety requirements.

 STAGE 3: 

  •  Most in-person classroom instruction, labs, and other curricular activity are permitted in accordance with state-established occupancy restrictions and health and safety restrictions.
  • Institutions may continue to operate on-campus residential facilities at reduced capacity. Full occupancy of buildings is not acceptable for restart plans. Institutions must reduce density of residential living spaces to the extent practicable. Students with greatest need are prioritized for housing, given the reduced capacity. Common areas may open if the layout allows for social distancing and adherence to any state occupancy guidelines at that time.
  • Computer laboratories and libraries may open in a limited fashion in accordance with applicable state occupancy, health, and safety restrictions. Curbside pickup or delivery remains available.
  • In-person indoor dining facilities may open with a limited occupancy based on state guidelines in place at the time. Institutions must adhere to all CDC and DOH protocols. Takeout or “grab and go” options should remain available. Outside dining may continue pursuant to strict health and safety guidelines.

Two key public health drivers of success throughout all restart stages will be robust testing and contact tracing. Institutions will be responsible for establishing testing protocols on their campus for employees and students that are updated as new information becomes available. Institutions should work with their local health department to develop testing plans and to integrate contact tracing efforts.  

At the end of May, OSHE also released commencement ceremony guidance for institutions of higher education that outline considerations for modified in-person graduation ceremonies beginning on July 6, 2020. Institutions that are planning graduations should prepare for a 500-person limit to be in place on and after July 6. OSHE’s 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.

All institutions that plan to hold modified in-person ceremonies must certify to OSHE – via an online submission form – that the planned ceremony will comply with applicable requirements for gatherings, including those addressing social distancing. The form must be submitted no later than seven days prior to the scheduled date of the ceremony.

Strategic Restart Plan Institutions should continue monitoring federal and state guidance as the situation evolves and frequently visit OSHE’s COVID-19 resource page for updates.    

06/18/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 155, which will allow in-person clinical, lab, and hands-on programming at institutions of higher education to resume as of July 1, 2020 with enhanced health and safety protocols. Executive Order No. 155 will also allow trade and training schools to reopen on July 1 provided specific health and safety polices are in place. As part of this process, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education has issued Restart Standards for all New Jersey Institutions of Higher Education that can guide the reopening and assist institutions as they prepare for next steps.

In order to open, institutions under the purview of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) must submit plans that demonstrate how they will follow criteria delineated in guidelines to be released by OSHE today. Those plans are due to OSHE 14 days before the institution intends to implement the plan by bringing students and staff back to campus. Trade and training schools, which are outside of OSHE’s purview, are subject to a similar set of health and safety protocols.

06/17/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that out of concern for the safety and health of its guests, artists, and performing musicians, Morris Arts is postponing its annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, with a new date to be announced in the future. The 37th annual event was scheduled for June 28, 2020. Please visit www.morrisarts.org for updates, as they become available.

06/16/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) today issued guidance on COVID-19 health and safety protocols for outdoor organized sports activities, which are set to resume as of June 22.

The guidance permits practices and competitions for low-risk sports (golf, tennis) that do not involve contact, and modified no-contact practices for medium-risk (soccer, baseball, softball) and high-risk (football) sports. Traditional practices and competitions for medium-risk sports are expected to be allowed as of July 6, and on July 20 for high-risk sports. As of now, only outdoor activities will be permitted.

Under the guidance, outdoor athletic facilities are permitted to open and be available for organized youth and adult sports activities. Municipalities retain the discretion to open or close municipal fields or facilities for these activities.

Each sports program is required to develop a preparation plan that includes social distancing, staggered schedules, screening, equipment cleaning/sanitation, and face covering protocols, among other measures. Programs should consider consistent groups of the same staff, volunteers and athletes, and avoid mixing between groups. Athletes are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and equipment to practices, and equipment sharing should be limited.

Practices and games must follow outdoor gathering limits including athletes, staff and any visitors or spectators.

Staff and parents/guardians/visitors are required to wear cloth face coverings at practices and games. Athletes are encouraged to wear masks during downtime, but not during physical activity. Nonessential visitors, spectators, staff, volunteers, vendors, members of the media, and activities involving external groups or organizations should be limited as much as possible.

The guidance does not apply to professional sports activities or US national team activities. High school sporting activities under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) must abide by NJSIAA protocols, which shall consider state Health Department guidance, and per Executive Order No. 149, may not resume before June 30.

Youth sports summer camps, which are permitted to open July 6, must follow camp standards in addition to the organized sports guidance.

06/15/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Library will begin curbside service for books, music and other library materials over the next two weeks, as permitted by Administrative Code 2020-15 which relaxes COVID-19 rules for all libraries in New Jersey.   Please call 973-285-6930 for more information on how to retrieve requested material.

  • Drop-off services will resume via the library book drops starting on Monday June 15.
  • Pickups of new materials will begin on Tuesday morning, June 23.

Patrons will not be allowed to enter the county library, as the state is allowing only pick/drop-off services at this time via contactless delivery at the library curbside. Library users will be asked to wear face coverings and employ social distancing at the county library’s curbside site, where county employees also will greet you with face coverings.

Library staff will follow safety and health protocols at all times while handling materials that may pose a risk of COVID-19 exposure. The curbside process reduces person-to-person contact by following health and safety guidance provided by local, state and national officials. The library will allow a return of materials to book drops only and move returned items to a designated area for a quarantine of at least 72 hours. Library patrons will be able to place holds on our material for curbside pick-up through the library catalog starting the week of June 22.  All Morris County Library materials that are currently checked out by patrons will have late return fees waived at this time.  Patrons are asked to return them starting on June 15.

Due to COVID-19, the County Library has canceled all scheduled in-library programming and us of conference and public meeting rooms until further notice. Patrons are encouraged to visit the library on Facebook and Instagram for updates and information on virtual programming and online learning opportunities.

As of Tuesday, June 23 the library’s adjusted hours will be as follows:

Tuesday and Wednesday – 10 AM to 6 PM
Thursday – 1 PM to 9 PM
Friday and Saturday – 9 AM to 5 PM
Sunday and Monday – CLOSED

06/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-15, which permits libraries to allow curbside pickup, beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15. The order also clarifies rules affecting a number of different businesses. Under the order:

  • Libraries are permitted to offer curbside pickup and can reopen their outdoor spaces to the public, but patrons shall not be permitted to enter the brick-and-mortar premises;
  • Restaurants and indoor recreational and entertainment businesses are permitted to allow individuals to tour their facilities for event-planning purposes, but such individuals must wear face coverings at all times and the facility may not provide food or drink tastings or samplings;
  • Students, who may be accompanied by parents or guardians, may enter school premises to retrieve personal belongings from lockers, classrooms, or other areas;
  • Open houses to view real estate are permitted, provided they comply with the restrictions on indoor gatherings, including the requirement that attendees wear face coverings;
  • Bicycle shops, boat dealerships, car and used car dealerships, farming equipment stores, federal firearms licensees, livestock feed stores, mobile phone retail and repair shops, motorcycle dealerships, and nurseries and garden centers can operate according to the requirements placed on essential retail businesses;
  • All car washes can operate according to the requirements placed on essential retail businesses;
  • Yard and garage sales are permitted subject to the requirements on indoor gatherings, but municipalities shall have the discretion to impose additional restrictions on these sales;
  • Special events, including fireworks displays, at public and private beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores are permitted, subject to the restrictions on outdoor gatherings; and
  • Shared space tutoring service facilities remain closed to students and clients.

06/14/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 154, allowing personal care service facilities to reopen to the public on Monday, June 22 at 6:00 a.m., provided the facilities comply with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and Department of Health. Under the Governor’s Executive Order, personal care service facilities include: 

  1. Cosmetology shops; 
  2. Barber shops; 
  3. Beauty salons; 
  4. Hair braiding shops; 
  5. Nail salons; 
  6. Electrology facilities; 
  7. Spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed; 
  8. Massage parlors;
  9. Tanning salons; and 
  10. Tattoo parlors.  

The Division of Consumer Affairs today issued Administrative Order 2020-09 that includes comprehensive health and safety standards that personal care services who are licensees of the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling and the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy must abide by. Safeguards include:  

  1. Limiting services to appointment-only;
  2. Performing health screening, including temperature checks, on clients and staff prior to entry to the facility;
  3. Requiring use of personal protective equipment, and requiring clients to wear face coverings at all times, regardless of the service they are receiving, unless face down on a massage table or where doing so would inhibit an individual’s health;
  4. Ensuring that all staff-client pairs maintain at least six feet distance between other staff-client pairs, unless separated by physical barriers;
  5. Adopting enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices; and
  6. Staying informed about new developments and guidance related to COVID-19. 

Executive Order 154 further directs the Commissioner of the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) to issue health and safety standards for use by tattoo parlors, tanning salons and other locations in which personal care services are offered by individuals  who are not acting within the scope of a license issued by a professional board within the Division of Consumer Affairs. NJDOH today issued Executive Directive 2020-15 that includes comprehensive health and safety standards for these locations.

Nothing in the Order shall prevent the provision of services to a person that is confined to their home and unable to travel due to a disability, if these services 1) are permitted under existing statutes and regulations and 2) are provided in a manner that substantially complies with standards issued by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and NJDOH.  

Cosmetology schools or other places that provide instruction and training for personal care services shall remain closed at this time.

06/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Department of Education today released guidance for school districts to conduct summer educational programming in-person, including Extended School Year (ESY).

In-person programs are permitted to begin on or after July 6, and must follow all applicable health and safety protocols. Districts that have planned for remote learning may still proceed with virtual instruction for both ESY and other summer learning opportunities for students. Summer learning may include strategies such as traditional summer school; ESY programming with individualized instruction for students with special needs; credit-recovery programs that allow students to retake coursework or obtain credits needed for graduation; migrant education; programs for English language learners; 21st Century Community Learning Centers that offer enrichment during non-school hours; and any additional summer learning opportunities that school districts may need to address learning loss and prepare students for the coming school year. 

The move to resume summer-learning programs is part of New Jersey’s multi-stage approach to a responsible and strategic restart from COVID-19. Governor Murphy announced that on June 15, New Jersey will enter Stage Two of The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health, in which the state will ease restrictions on certain businesses and activities, as long as they adhere to strict health and safety guidelines.

On May 30, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 149, approving Stage Two activities that include the operation of summer camps that “provide daily multi-hour programming for youths” to begin on or after July 6. Summer educational programs run by school districts, charter schools and renaissance schools fall under this definition of “summer camps.” 

School districts that want to operate modified in-person summer programs, or a combination of remote and in-person programs, must submit an attestation form to the NJDOH at least 24 hours prior to the anticipated opening date that the school will follow applicable health and safety protocols.

The guidance documents – Summer Learning Resource Guide and Guidance on the Delivery of Extended School Year Services – are available on the Department of Education’s website.

06/12/20: Montville Township issued a revised Order of Modified Operations of Facility for the Montville Township Dog Park, increasing the number of patrons allowed in the large dog section and small dog section of the park from 4 patrons in each section to 90 and 40, respectively, which, based on the square footage of each section, is the maximum number of patrons that can be present in the facility and still maintain social distancing. Mask use inside the Dog Park is still required.  

06/12/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the results of an online survey conducted in conjunction with Rutgers University’s Heldrich Center for Workforce Development earlier this month that drew responses from nearly 4,000 businesses and non-profits across the state. For the full survey results, please click here. Results of the survey demonstrate overwhelmingly that while the business and non-profit community is eager to get back to work, owners understand and take seriously the public health risks posed by COVID-19 and the responsibility to provide a safe experience for employees and customers. Many worry about the effect of a possible second wave of the virus.

A majority of owners (51%) cited consumer confidence as the most pressing issue, while 13% cited access to personal protective equipment as their biggest concern. Approximately one in 10 said employee confidence would present the biggest challenge to reopening while four in 10 listed employee confidence as one obstacle but not the most pressing one.

Respondents want state government help to reopen safely, particularly guidance on reopening restrictions (60%), guidance on safety measures to keep employees and customers safe (49%), and help in acquiring disinfecting and cleaning products (42%). The majority of respondents (54%) will rely on state/local government and Department of Health guidelines—greater than those who will rely on Centers for Disease Control (23%) and industry and association guidelines (14%).

Customer-facing businesses report that limiting occupancy or reducing capacity of their facilities will be the most difficult challenge.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • A large majority of business and non-profit owners plan to change their business operations to achieve social distancing, including seven in 10 (70%) who indicate they will re-configure their workplace footprint.
  • Some businesses (35%) have expanded remote work options in response to the pandemic or are considering it in order to reduce the number of employees at work.
  • Eight in 10 (79%) businesses in customer-facing industries will require employees to wear facemasks, whether or not the government requires them, and will also provide employees with facemasks to wear while in the workplace (79%).
  • Seven in 10 (72%) customer-facing businesses will require customers/visitors to wear facemasks, whether or not the government requires them, and four in 10 (40%) of businesses plan to provide them.
  • Seven in 10 (68%) are concerned with their ability to pay their rent, mortgage, or utilities. Another five in 10 say paying their employees (48%) and paying taxes (47%) are major challenges that their organizations are facing.

The roughly 4,000 responses from business and non-profit owners or decision makers, collected between May 21st and June 3rd, mirror the New Jersey business community in size and industry composition. Most respondents have less than 10 employees, and most have been in operation for at least 10 years. Half of respondents are from woman- or minority-owned businesses. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish. Respondents are evenly distributed across North, Central, and South Jersey and businesses vary across New Jersey sectors. The survey included a non-probability, opt-in sample of respondents and was distributed via dozens of New Jersey industry groups, chambers of commerce, and non-profit organizations. 

06/10/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing he signed Executive Order 152, which raises limits on outdoor and indoor gatherings, and Executive Order 153, which allows public pools to open effective June 22 and additional outdoor recreational businesses effective immediately.

Under Executive Order 152, effective immediately, indoor gatherings are limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room, but regardless of the room’s capacity, such limit shall never be less than 10 people, or more than 50 people.  All attendees at the gathering must wear face coverings, unless for a medical reason, or if the individual is under 2 years old; individuals must remain six feet apart at all times; and physical items may not be shared by multiple attendees of the same gathering unless sanitized before and after uses.

Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, and attendees are required to be six feet apart.  Individuals should wear face coverings at all times where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and individuals who are in vehicles shall not count towards the gathering limit.  

Nothing in Executive Order 152 shall prevent a person at a gathering from momentarily removing their mask to place or receive an item in their mouth, if done for religious purposes, or for health and safety. Additionally, available parking at State Parks and Forests, and at county and municipal parks, may reopen to their full maximum capacity.

Under Executive Order 153, outdoor swimming pools can open effective at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 22, provided that it complies with Executive Order 153 and also COVID-19 Outdoor Pool Standards issued by the NJ Department of Health.  Pool facilities may open for the purpose of lifeguard training and lifeguard swimming lessons prior to June 22.

Additionally, outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses are permitted to reopen immediately, with the exception of amusement parks, water parks, and arcades.  These recreational and entertainment businesses are required to abide by a number of social distancing protocols that are specified in the Order.  Any type of event at an outdoor recreational or entertainment business that involves individuals there at a specific time for a common reason, such as a movie or concert, are subject to the restrictions on outdoor gatherings.  

Public and private social clubs are permitted to reopen their outdoor spaces, provided they comply with all applicable terms of the Order.  And nothing in the Order prevents a business from operating an amusement game outdoors, such as a game on a boardwalk, so long as the game does not take place in an amusement park and an employee is present and adheres to all of the requirements in Paragraph 1 of this Order, including sanitizing all equipment before and after each use.

Paragraph 2 of Executive Order 107, which requires New Jersey residents to remain home with limited exceptions, is formally rescinded.  The other provisions of that Order, including the requirement that businesses or non-profits accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements, wherever practicable, are still in effect.

06/08/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) issued COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for summer youth camps following Governor Murphy’s executive order allowing operations beginning July 6. The guidelines provide procedures for camp operators to implement health and safety standards for staff and campers such as screening, hygiene, social distancing and staff/camper ratios.

Youth summer day camps will be permitted to operate on or after July 6 provided that they develop and implement a COVID Operational Plan that meets the requirements of Executive Order 149 and the guidelines. All summer youth camps are required to submit the Youth Camp Attestation Form to the Department of Health no later than 24 hours prior to the opening date.

Under the guidelines, cloth face coverings for staff and campers shall be worn when social distancing of 6 feet between assigned groups cannot be maintained. Staff are also encouraged to wear cloth masks while working unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health; the individual is in extreme heat outdoors; or the individual is in water. Cloth face coverings should not be put on children under age two because of the danger of suffocation.

Daily health screening for COVID-19 will be put in place at entry for campers and staff. Both indoor and outdoor camps should ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that groups include the same children each day and that the same staff remain with the same group each day. Mixing between groups should be restricted.

Residential and overnight camps are not permitted. In addition, off-site activities, field trips, contact sports and inter-group competitions are prohibited.

Youth camps are licensed by the state Health Department, and applications must be completed and submitted at least 14 days prior to the start date of activities.

On May 29, the New Jersey Department of Human Services announced the availability of up to $20 million in grants to assist childcare centers and youth camps in meeting health and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19.

Childcare centers can receive up to $5,000, while youth camps can receive up to $2,000. The money can be used to purchase additional cleaning products, personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and thermometers, and other products and services to assist centers in complying with appropriate guidelines.

The grants are available to licensed childcare providers and youth camps that comply with updated state health and safety guidance. The providers must be registered with the NJ Workforce Registry and must apply through the New Jersey Child Care Information System (NJCCIS). Applications are subject to review and approval.

06/07/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that beginning Monday, June 8, the Morris County Covid-19 drive-through test center at County College of Morris in Randolph, operated by Morris County in partnership with Atlantic Health, will be open to all Morris County and Sussex County residents who want a nasal swab test, without a prescription and whether or not they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 

The nasal swab test is to determine whether or not someone is currently infected with COVID-19. Antibody tests are not being offered at this site. The test site is open on weekdays only, starting at 9:00 am. The testing is free, but you must still make an appointment first at https://health.morriscountynj.gov/COVIDTesting. Residents arriving for testing should use CCM’s Center Grove Road entrance to access the testing site, which is located in parking lot Number 1.

All first responders and health care workers, who work in Morris and Sussex counties, also will be offered priority testing without a prescription or symptoms, regardless of their county of residence.

When you arrive at the testing center:  

  • Your ID and appointment verification will be confirmed before entry;
  • Please pay attention to all signage, which is in English and Spanish;
  • Vehicle windows must remain closed until instructed to open;
  • Do not move forward until instructed to do so;
  • There are no emergency services available. If you experience a medical emergency, please go to the nearest hospital or dial 911;
  • No photographing or video recording is permitted.
  • For persons with a healthcare provider,  you must provide your provider’s fax number when you make an appointment. Your results will be forwarded to your healthcare provider via fax.
  • For persons without a healthcare provider, your results will be provided to you by the Morris County Office of Health Management. You must provide a phone number where you can be contacted.

For more information on COVID testing and the county’s response to the pandemic, visit: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/

06/06/20: Governor Murphy and NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chief Administrator Sue Fulton issued a press release announcing plans for a phased reopening of MVC facilities to the public following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening will proceed in a way that safeguards public health and safety, bringing many changes and improved efficiencies to Commission operations.

MVC workspaces have been extensively overhauled during the COVID-19 closure to add Plexiglas barriers and other social distancing measures. MVC employees are returning to the agencies next week, for Health & Safety briefings, hardware and software reboots, and training on new protocols. Going forward, everyone who enters the MVC agency will be required to wear a face covering. That includes customers as well as employees. If a customer cannot wear a face covering, MVC will make other arrangements for their transaction.

In order to limit crowds and speed services during the phased reopening, some agencies have been designated as Licensing Centers and some as Vehicle Centers. A list of Licensing Centers and Vehicle Centers, as well as information on transactions, will be posted soon at NJMVC.gov.

Drop-off and pick-up transactions will be processed starting June 15, but only the following:

  1. At designated Licensing Centers, MVC will be processing and validating permits from driving schools and high schools on a drop-off basis. 
  2. At designated Vehicle Centers, MVC will be processing registration and title work from dealers. License plates can also be surrendered by drop-off at these agencies in a designated area.

MVC will also be processing registration/title transfers for private sales by a new combination online and mail-in procedure. Customers will be able to sign up for this option at NJMVC.gov. More detail will be provided in the next few days. These activities are meant to clear a three-month backlog from the March 15 MVC closure.

Road tests and the issuing of new licenses and permits are tentatively expected to start on June 29 (subject to change), with some additional transactions like out-of-state transfers and private sales registrations, but still on a limited basis to prevent crowding. The Commission has tripled road-testing capacity, adding 11 courses and reassigning over 100 Safety Specialists to serve as road test examiners for 30 to 60 days. This takes MVC from an average of 5,800 road tests per week to about 16,300. MVC expects the backlog to be cleared by the end of the 60 days. Those whose road tests were canceled during the shut-down will be contacted by MVC and provided a secure link to get the first appointments.

At designated Licensing Centers starting June 29 (tentative), MVC will be processing new licenses and permits, out-of-state transfers, and REAL ID for those whose appointments were canceled. At designated Vehicle Centers starting June 29 (tentative), MVC will be adding individual registration and title transactions. Transactions that can be done online will not be available in person at this time. The MVC continues to urge customers to use NJMVC.gov to renew or replace licenses, renew or replace registrations, or change their address. Customers can also contact MVC by email for help with a suspension.

06/05/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 151, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order 103, extended on April 7, 2020 through Executive Order 119, and extended again on May 6, 2020 through Executive Order 138. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed.

Executive Order 151 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.  

06/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 150, which allows outdoor dining starting at 6:00 am on Monday, June 15th, with an accompanying NJ Department of Health Executive Directive 20-014 that lays out health and safety standards that food or beverage establishments are required to follow. In addition, the Governor announced a special ruling by the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control creating a pathway for liquor license holders to expand the premises on which they may serve alcohol.

Establishments will be required to follow a number of COVID-19 health and safety protocols issued by the Department of Health in Executive Directive 20-014, including a limit of eight customers maximum per table, and requirements of at least six feet of distance between parties, as well as others. In addition, for as long as indoor dining is not permitted, food or beverage establishments are required to prohibit smoking in any outdoor areas designated for the consumption of food and/or beverages.

The Order further notes that municipalities are permitted to use their existing authority to allow food or beverage establishments to expand their footprint to outdoor areas, both within their property and among municipally-governed areas, including but not limited to sidewalks, streets, or parks.

Additionally, a special ruling by the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will temporarily permit establishments with liquor licenses to expand their licensed premises into outdoor areas that are either contiguous or non-contiguous to their permanently licensed premises. Establishments may apply through the POSSE ABC Online Licensing system, and if approved will be issued a temporary permit effective on June 15th that will run until November 14, 2020. ABC will not take action on any application until it receives an endorsement or approval by the appropriate governing body officials, and it is the responsibility of the licensee to comply with local ordinances and site plan requirements.

Also effective at 6:00 am on Monday, June 15, 2020, the brick-and-mortar premises of non-essential retail businesses that were closed to the public by Executive Order 107 can reopen to the public, provided that such businesses adopt policies that include, at a minimum, the requirements that were applied to essential retail businesses in Paragraph 1 of Executive Order 122

Executive Order 122, Paragraph 1: Where an essential retail business is permitted to maintain in-person operations pursuant to Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and any subsequent Administrative Orders, such business must adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:

  • Limit occupancy at 50% of the stated maximum store capacity, if applicable, at one time;
  • Establish hours of operation, wherever possible, that permit access solely to high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC;
  • Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between customers and cashiers/baggers wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal; 
  • Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;
  • Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, and/or delivery of goods wherever feasible. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers;
    Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, credit card machines, keypads, counters and shopping carts;
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the store, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance;
  • Demarcate six feet of spacing in check-out lines to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing; and Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, except where doing
    so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the
    business must decline entry to the individual, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business policy should provide alternate methods of pickup and/or delivery of such goods. Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or customers from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the business is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering on store premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the essential retail business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.

06/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that New Jersey will enter Stage Two of his restart and recovery plan on June 15, 2020.

Guided by strict protocols from the New Jersey Department of Health, as well as input from the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission and complementary Advisory Councils, Stage Two will include outdoor dining for restaurants and indoor, non-essential retail as of June 15th. Beginning on June 22nd, barber shops and salons will be able to reopen. In the period to follow, New Jersey will work toward the gradual opening of personal care, gyms, and health clubs, at reduced capacities as the stage progresses. All of these activities will be allowed pursuant to strict health and safety guidelines that will be issued in the coming days. New Jersey ended maximum restrictions and moved to Stage One on May 18, 2020.

STAGE 2:

Restrictions are relaxed on activities that can be easily safeguarded. All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.

 Phased-in businesses and activities, with adherence to safeguarding and modification guidelines, include:

  • Outdoor dining (beginning on June 15th)
  • Limited in-person retail (beginning on June 15th)
  • Hair salons and barber shops (beginning on June 22nd)
  • Youth summer programs (beginning on July 6th)
  • In-person clinical research/labs
  • Limited fitness/gyms
  • Limited in-person government services (e.g. – Motor Vehicle Commission)
  • Museums/libraries

Precautions that apply across all stages include:

  • Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines:
    • Wash hands
    • Wear masks in public
    • Respect social distancing
    • Minimize gatherings
    • Disinfect workplace and businesses
    • Minimize gatherings 
    • No mass gatherings

New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including:

  • Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use;
  • Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity;
  • Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce;
  • Widespread safeguarding of workplaces;
  • Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and mass transit;
  • Continued public compliance.

If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back to more restrictive stages as well.

For a one-page summary of Governor Murphy’s multi-stage approach to restart New Jersey’s economy, click here.

05/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that in accordance with Executive Order 149, the NJ Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) today released specific operating guidance for centers in order to preserve the health and safety of children, staff and the families being served.

The childcare safety guidelines, which were posted on the NJ DCF website and which will be communicated to all licensed childcare centers in the State of New Jersey, require centers to abide by certain safety guidelines as a condition of reopening.  Among the safe guidelines for childcare centers:

  • Centers will be required to screen children and staff each day, prior to entry into the center.  Anyone exhibiting symptoms or with a fever over 100.4 will be prohibited from entering the center.
  • Class and group sizes will be limited, and groups must be spaced out throughout the center.  Staff members will not be able to move between groups.
  • Staff will be required to wear cloth masks, and children over the age of 2 will be encouraged, whenever feasible, to wear masks.  Masks will not be required when they would inhibit an individual’s health.  Masks for children under the age of 2 or during nap-time will be prohibited as they may pose a suffocation hazard for young children.
  • Childcare centers will be required to engage in enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices.

Licensed childcare centers will be required to file an attestation form with the Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing, indicating that they plan to reopen and will follow the prescribed safety guidelines, modeled after best practices and standards released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations.  Office of Licensing inspectors will begin to visit licensed childcare centers beginning June 15 in order to support centers in implementing safety guidance. 

05/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 149, which allows the resumption of child care services, youth day camps, and organized sports. This Order rescinds the emergency child care program under Executive Order No. 110 as of June 15, and permits child care centers to resume normal operations on or after June 15, subject to their compliance with COVID-19-specific health and safety standards. Additionally, youth day camps can open on or after July 6, and must comply with COVID-19-specific health and safety standards.

The Order also suspends the prohibition on individuals engaging in organized sporting activities as of June 22, provided that activities remain outdoors and are non-contact, and the Department of Health will issue health and safety standards for these activities. High school sports under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) may resume only in accordance with reopening protocols issued by NJSIAA, and cannot resume any earlier than June 30.  

Child Care Services

  • Effective 6:00 a.m. on June 15, 2020, child care centers and other child care facilities are permitted to resume operations for all clients, provided that they comply with the COVID-19 Child Care Standards and other applicable statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders.  
  • Each child care center must submit an attestation to the Department of Children and Families no later than 24 hours prior to the anticipated opening date, or in the case of currently operating emergency child care centers, within fourteen days of the effective date of this Order, attesting that it will follow all applicable health and safety standards, as detailed in the COVID-19 Child Care Standards.  

Youth Day Camps

  • Youth summer camps shall be permitted to operate on or after Monday, July 6, 2020, provided that they comply with the COVID-19 Child Care and Youth Summer Camp Standards and other applicable statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders.
  • Youth summer camps that wish to operate on or after July 6, 2020, must submit an attestation to the Department of Health no later than 24 hours prior to the anticipated opening date, attesting that they will follow all applicable health and safety standards, as detailed in the COVID-19 Youth Summer Camp Standards.
  • Residential and overnight camps are prohibited from operating.

Organized Sports

  • Effective June 22, 2020, sporting activities, including organized sporting activities, are permitted in outdoor settings only, provided that they do not involve person-to-person contact or routinely entail individuals interacting within six feet of one another.  Any sporting activities that involve person-to-person contact or individuals routinely interacting in close proximity (within six feet of one another) will remain prohibited in any setting. 
  • The Commissioner of the Department of Health shall impose health and safety standards regarding sporting activities before that date, and such activities must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, including restrictions on gatherings in place at the time the sporting activities occur.
  • High school sporting activities under the jurisdiction of the NJSIAA may resume in accordance with reopening protocols issued by NJSIAA, which shall consider DOH guidance in issuing these protocols. However, these high school sporting activities cannot resume any earlier than June 30, 2020.

05/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-14, which allows horse racetracks to reopen on June 1st with no spectators, and with health and safety protocols in place. The order also requires racetracks to adhere to a number of social distancing requirements that are laid out in the order. Under the order, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, or her designee, will have the authority to inspect racetracks to ensure that all required policies are being followed.

05/29/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the COVID-19 Short-Term Rental Assistance Program. The program will provide rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income as a result of the pandemic, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The program will open for applications in July and begin paying rental assistance in September.  Qualifying households will be expected to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, and the program would pay the remainder of their rent up to DCA’s fair market rent payment standard (see chart below). At the three-month mark, the household budget will be reviewed to determine if assistance is still needed. Assistance that is no longer required will be used to serve additional families.

The program will devote approximately 20 percent of funding to serve those who are very low income and homeless or at risk of homelessness with up to 12 months of rental assistance. These households will be selected by DCA through the Coordinated Entry process in each county’s Homeless Management Information System. To help families reach self-sufficiency, case management, financial planning, and other assistance will be provided by the program.

For the remainder of the funding, DCA will administer an online lottery. When the lottery is opened, households may submit applications and participants will be selected from the overall pool of applicants through a randomized process based on eligibility and the lottery criteria. Applicants selected through the lottery will be eligible to receive up to six months of short-term rental assistance. Should further funding become available, DCA will serve additional households.

The COVID-19 Short Term Rental Assistance Program website will launch on June 15 with additional information at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/shorttermrap.html.

05/29/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced the immediate availability of up to $20 million in grants to assist child care centers and youth camps in meeting health and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19. The grants are available to licensed child care providers and youth camps that comply with updated state health and safety guidance. The providers must be registered with the NJ Workforce Registry and must apply through the New Jersey Child Care Information System (NJCCIS). Applications are subject to review and approval.

05/29/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he conditionally vetoed the following bill: 

S-2331/A-3912 - Assists inmates released from incarceration in obtaining necessary reentry benefits. Copy of Statement

Governor Murphy also absolute vetoed the following bills: 

S-2351/A3924 - Affords employment protection to certain emergency medical responders. Copy of Statement

S-2363/A-3921 - Authorizes Governor to permit emergency rent suspension for certain small business tenants during COVID-19 pandemic. Copy of Statement

05/29/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release that he today signed legislation (A4157), which temporarily extends the deadline to file a property tax appeal to July 1, 2020, and the deadline for county boards of taxation to render decisions in tax appeal cases to September 30, 2020. The bill takes effect immediately and applies retroactively to April 1, 2020.

05/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) today released guidance regarding commencement ceremonies to honor 2020 graduates during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

The guidance outlines three options for K-12 school commencement ceremonies: 1) virtual; 2) drive-through/drive-in; or 3) modified in-person, outdoor ceremonies. Decisions about the most appropriate type of ceremony for each school community will be made locally, in consultation with municipal officials. At this time, only virtual ceremonies are permitted. Beginning July 6, 2020, drive-through/drive-in and modified in-person, outdoor ceremonies will be permitted subject to the requirements set forth in the guidance. These ceremonies must comply with the social distancing protocols and the limitations on in-person gatherings that are in place when the ceremonies are held.

Some critical factors for districts to consider if they are holding either a drive-in/drive-through or a modified in-person ceremony include:

  1. Staff limits: Schools should limit the number of staff members to only those required to facilitate the commencement ceremony;
  2. Sick individuals: Sick individuals should not attend. NJDOH and CDC guidelines can provide direction for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Districts should discourage attendance if a visitor or someone in their household is experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness or if they have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Schools should consider screening visitors upon arrival with non-contact thermometers and excluding any person with a temperature exceeding 100.4 °F;
  3. Equity: Districts are encouraged to ensure that graduation ceremonies are inclusive and accessible for all students and families. Accommodations should be made for families that may not be able to attend in-person;
  4. Certification to the DOE: School districts that plan to hold a drive-in/drive-through or modified in-person ceremony must certify to the Department of Education, via an online submission form that will be made available on June 5, 2020, that their planned ceremony will comply with applicable requirements for gatherings, including those addressing social distancing.   The form must be submitted no later than seven days prior to the scheduled date of the ceremony.

Modified In-Person Graduation Ceremonies

In addition to the above considerations, the DOE guidance addresses a number of factors for districts to consider in the planning of modified in-person graduation ceremonies, including: 

  1. Local review: School districts should plan ceremonies in consultation with municipal officials (local law enforcement, local health officials, etc.);  
  2. Location: Modified in-person commencement ceremonies must take place outdoors. Indoor ceremonies are not permitted. Open-air rain tarps, tents, and other outdoor structures may be used only to protect against foul weather or for shade;
  3. Attendance: Schools may consider limiting the number of guests or holding student-only commencements. Ceremonies must meet the relevant capacity limitation on in-person gatherings in place at the time of the ceremony;
  4. Social distancing: Attendees must remain six feet apart at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners. Schools should consider using tape or other materials to demarcate six feet of distance between students and attendees while standing and walking, and ensure that all seating for students, guests and staff allows for six feet of distance between persons;
  5. Multiple ceremonies: Districts should consider class size and available space to determine the number of ceremonies needed. Districts should follow CDC and NJDOH protocols for cleaning in between ceremonies and consider holding ceremonies over the span of several days;
  6. Duration: Districts should consider limiting the length of ceremonies to shorten the time students and attendees are exposed to each other. Districts should also limit speakers and live performances and avoid the sharing of microphones or other equipment that may pose a health risk;
  7. Entrances/exits: Districts should assign staff to monitor entrances and exits to prevent congregation and consider staggering arrival times to ease crowds at access points. If possible, districts should utilize multiple entrance and exit points;
  8. Face coverings: In accordance with CDC recommendations, attendees should wear face coverings (except for children under 2 or in cases that would inhibit a person’s health); and

In addition, to limit person-to-person contact, districts should provide diplomas and caps/gowns to students in advance of graduation ceremonies. Programs, maps, and other documents can be emailed or mailed to families before the ceremony. Sharing or exchanging materials of any kind poses an increased risk of transmission/spread of COVID-19 and should be avoided. Chairs and other equipment should not be shared and should be sanitized before and after use.

Drive-Through and Drive-In Commencement Ceremonies

Drive-through and drive-in commencement ceremonies can be held in school parking lots, drive-in movie theaters, stadium parking lots, or other large parking lot venues that provide sufficient space to accommodate event attendees arriving in their cars. Projection screens or sound equipment may be used to allow school staff to call student names, display photos or videos, and provide other audio-visual support. 

Some of the major factors involving drive-through and drive-in ceremonies include:

  1. Drive-through and drive-in commencement ceremonies must comply with all requirements of Executive Order 142 (2020), or the rules or requirements for vehicular gatherings that are in place at the time of the ceremony;
  2. Accommodations should be made to allow families without vehicles to participate while adhering to social distancing protocols;
  3. If allowing access to restrooms, take appropriate measures to prevent congregation and consult with health officials on disinfection protocols;
  4. Multiple ceremonies may be needed depending on class size;
  5. Consider potential broadcasting of the ceremony or otherwise making a livestream available for family members unable to attend; and
  6. Organizers or others assisting with the event, and who are not in closed vehicles, must follow all applicable Executive Orders and Administrative Orders and must wear face coverings, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health.

Virtual Ceremonies 

The DOE has previously provided guidance regarding virtual ceremonies, which may be held at any time. The DOE notes that virtual ceremonies are the safest alternative graduation ceremony at this time. The DOE’s full guidance on virtual ceremonies is available online here .

05/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) today published graduation guidance for institutions of higher education that outline considerations for drive-in/drive-through and modified in-person graduation ceremonies beginning on July 6, 2020. 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. The guidance is available on OSHE’s website here.

The guidance includes the following requirements for commencement ceremonies:

  1. Drive-in/drive-through or modified in-person ceremonies may only occur after July 6, 2020;
  2. Institutions must adhere to the relevant capacity limitation on in-person gatherings in place at the time of the ceremony (this may require institutions to hold multiple ceremonies over the course of several days to ensure capacity restrictions are not exceeded); and
  3. Institutions must determine the minimum number of staff and faculty necessary to facilitate commencement ceremonies and adjust attendance requirements accordingly.

Institutions should stay informed of state and local rules and guidance, as the social distancing requirements in the guidance are subject to change. Institutions must further be proactive and clear in communicating guidelines and directions to those in attendance and consider sharing the same with students and families in advance of the commencement ceremonies.

05/26/20: Montville Township issued a Civic Alert on May 15, 2020 that due to the unprecedented restrictions and social distancing guidelines in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Montville Township 4th of July Organization has made the decision to cancel this year’s Montville Township 4th of July Celebration that was to take place on June 25-27, 2020.
The Montville Township 4th of July Organization is not supported by tax dollars, but rather is funded entirely from contributions of residents, the Montville Area business community, and from proceeds of the previous year’s event.

05/26/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that that the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) will issue updated guidance allowing school districts and colleges/universities to hold modified in-person graduation ceremonies beginning on July 6. The guidance will include requirements that ceremonies be held outdoors, adhere to social distancing protocols, and observe capacity restrictions in order to protect the health of students and families celebrating these milestones amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

DOE and OSHE guidance, which will be issued in full on Wednesday, will include the following requirements for commencement ceremonies:

  • Must take place on or after July 6, 2020;
  • Must take place outdoors or be drive-in/drive-through (no indoor ceremonies will be allowed);
  • Must adhere to the relevant capacity limitation in place at the time of the ceremony (this may require districts to hold multiple ceremonies held over a period of time to ensure capacity restrictions are not exceeded);
  • Districts and institutions must determine the minimum number of staff and faculty necessary to facilitate commencement ceremonies and adjust attendance requirements accordingly;
  • Caps, gowns, diplomas, and other materials must be mailed to individual student homes, sent electronically where possible, or otherwise distributed in a manner that complies with social distancing guidelines;
  • All activities must be coordinated in consultation with municipal officials, such as the local Office of Emergency Management, local law enforcement, first responders, and local health officials.

Additionally, DOE guidance will stipulate that commencements must be held only for graduation from middle school or high school, and not for other ceremonies that mark promotion from one grade to the next. Districts and institutions of higher education can continue to opt for virtual or drive-through/drive-in ceremonies held in accordance with Executive Order 142. Only virtual ceremonies can be held prior to July 6. 

05/26/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that pursuant to Executive Order No. 148, 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. The order, issued on Friday, May 22, 2020, explicitly allowed professional athletes which train and/or play in New Jersey to fulfill their job duties. It allows for teams to utilize their New Jersey-based facilities for practice, training, and other purposes where team personnel have to be on location and cannot work remotely.

05/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the NJ Department of Labor (NJDOL) has created a Frequently Asked Questions page, with a series of key links, to help guide Morris County residents who are unable to access COVID-19 related unemployment insurance benefits and who have been unable to contact the state Department of Labor to understand why their claims are denied. The Department of Labor is also touting a new chat system it set up to provide answers.

The press release lists some of NJDOL’s Frequently Asked Questions and their answers, and also notes that state legislators representing all districts in Morris County are also working to help residents navigate the unemployment system. The press release includes a list of municipalities in each Morris County district, the State Senators that serve each district, and the contact information for each of those State Senators. Montville is located in District 26. The State Senator for District 26 is Mr. Joseph Pennacchio. His office is located at 170 Changebridge Road, Unit A1, Montville NJ 07045, and his office phone number is 973-227-4012.

05/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 148, which increases the limit on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people, and allows 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 Governor’s Executive 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. 

Nothing in the Order shall prevent professional athletes from fulfilling their job duties, consistent with paragraph 10 of Executive Order 107.

Charter Boats and Recreational Businesses: The Order rescinds the 10-person capacity limit on charter boats and recreational businesses opened under Executive Order 147, including archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, tennis clubs, and shooting ranges, and imposes a new 25-person capacity limitation with a requirement that individuals can remain six feet apart at all times.

Parks, Beaches, Boardwalks, and Lakeshores: The Order allows gatherings of no more than 25 people at State Parks and Forests, county and municipal parks, public and private beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores, but continues to prohibit special events such as festivals, concerts, fireworks, and movies.

Recreational Campgrounds: The Order permits private and public recreational campgrounds to reopen to the public. The following shall remain closed at recreational campgrounds: picnic areas; playgrounds; pavilions; and other buildings amenities, or facilities, except restrooms and showers. Recreational campgrounds that are open to the public must comply with the same restrictions required for recreational businesses.  The Department of Environmental Protection is required to prepare a phased-in reopening plan for all campgrounds located on State Parks and Forests within fifteen days.

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.

05/22/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is warning residents that criminals are using the COVID-19 emergency to carry out a new scam, posing as Contact Tracers to steal money or personal information. Legitimate contact tracing requires that trained health department staff and volunteers interview people over the phone who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and to try to determine who may have recently been in contact with them. They then contact those people who have been exposed and can advise them to quarantine to help prevent spreading the disease. 

However, a recent criminal trend has identified criminal scammers pretending to be contact tracers. The scammers send messages to potential victims saying they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19/coronavirus and that they need to click on an included link to learn more. When that link is clicked, malicious software is downloaded onto a person’s smartphone or other device, giving hackers access to their target’s private information. Legitimate contact tracers may send text messages to let a person know that they will be calling so that the person is more likely to pick up the call from a number they may not be familiar with, but legitimate text messages from contact tracers DO NOT include a link to click on. Messages that include a link to click should be viewed as illegitimate and deleted immediately. Legitimate contact tracers will ask questions about your health history, your symptoms, and your activities in the days leading up to the start of your symptoms, but legitimate contact tracers DO NOT ask for sensitive personal information such as your driver’s license number, your Social Security number, or your bank account number.

The press release also describes other scams that residents should be aware of, including one involving COVID-19 stimulus checks, where criminals call and/or email individuals and claim to be from the Treasury Department, and offer expedited payments or assistance with obtaining an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check). Residents do not have to pay taxes or processing fees to obtain a relief stimulus payment. Residents are advised that if they receive a call asking for personal information or fees to obtain a stimulus check, they should not provide any personal information and should not send money.

Residents: if you have have been contacted by a scammer, please notify the Montville Police Department at 973-257-4300 or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200. Residents also can report the theft of stimulus checks from the mail to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at www.uspis.gov/report or 1-800-ASK-USPS. Other inquiries should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at mknab@co.morris.nj.us or by phone at 973-829-8159.

05/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he is proposing significant budget cuts as part of a revised fiscal plan to weather the COVID-19 crisis. The Department of the Treasury delivered a budget update to the Legislature today, 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. A report on the financial condition of the State budget for both Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 was required pursuant to the COVID-19 Fiscal Mitigation Act (P.L.2020, c.19), which extended the end of the state’s fiscal year from the traditional date of June 30 to September 30, and also extended various tax filing and payment deadlines from April 15 to July 15.

Based on a wide variety of economic assumptions, the State of New Jersey 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. The report provided the most detailed account to date of the significant shortfalls expected among the major tax revenues. Based on the size of the looming shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, the report notes that without new resources – including the ability to access borrowing facilities or additional federal funding – significant additional cuts will be needed for FY 2021.

The full copy of the budget report released today may be viewed online at https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/omb/publications/NJ-Financial-Condition.pdf

05/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that 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. The registry is a joint effort by the Office of Governor Murphy, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Office of Innovation, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Office of Economic Transformation. 

To date, more than 1,000 businesses have registered on the database, providing more than 2,500 products. The database is updated several times per week, and is easily filtered and sorted by product type, size, payment terms, location of supplier, and several other criteria. Suppliers who wish to be included in the Registry should fill out the PPE Supplier Registry intake form

Please note that the information about the vendors and products in this PPE Supplier Registry database is provided by the vendors and compiled by the State for the express purpose of assisting private businesses and organizations in New Jersey access potential suppliers for PPE and other COVID-related goods and services. Any other use of this information is prohibited. All parties are strongly advised to exercise due diligence when selecting vendors and are responsible for ensuring the quality and regulatory compliance of all good/services purchased. Please ensure you are following your organization’s policies and practices concerning vendor capability and responsibility to ensure that you are making a safe purchase.

05/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that a total of $68.8 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will be available to New Jersey’s public colleges and universities to help institutions continue providing high-quality educational services to students amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) will make this funding available through emergency assistance grants to institutions based on an OSHE-developed allocation formula that considers – among other things – institutional expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic. GEER funds may be used to cover the costs of expenditures incurred on or after March 13, 2020, when a national emergency was declared. More information about how and when institutions can apply will be forthcoming. For more information about the GEER funds, please visit OSHE’s fact sheet and the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

05/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the state Departments of Health, Agriculture, and Labor and Workforce Development have issued guidance on working conditions as well as testing/treatment procedures to assist agricultural businesses and farm workers in minimizing the risk and potential exposure to COVID-19. The nature of agricultural work puts thousands of seasonal farm workers (both transient and non-transient) in close proximity with co-workers, and they also rely on employer-provided group transportation and camp-style housing. The full guidance can be found at: https://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/COVID_MigrantFarmWorkerGuidance_5.20.2020.pdf

05/21/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, following the guidance of the state, is advises families of residents with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and those under cautionary quarantine to take extra precautions when disposing of household trash. According to NJ Department of Environmental Protection recommendations, trash from these households should be double bagged using regular trash bags, properly closed, and tightly tied to avoid leakage. Bags should be placed in rigid trash disposal containers while outdoors prior to pickup to avoid human or animal contact with the refuse. These measures are designed for the safety of residents and disposal crews.

MUA Solid Waste Coordinator James Deacon also urged institutions, such as health care facilities and hospitals, to also be guided by NJDEP’s COVID-19 waste management rules. Red medical waste bags or biohazard bags generated by institutions and/or county residents must not be disposed of in curbside trash cans that are collected by municipal waste haulers. Only licensed medical waste contractors are allowed to collect and dispose of filled red medical waste bags. “The MCMUA’s garbage transfer station inspectors have seen an uptick in the number of red medical waste bags coming to us through regular trash disposal,” said Deacon. “When these bags show up at the transfer stations, the facilities must be shut down to guarantee the safety of employees and to ensure that regulated medical waste is not being improperly disposed.”

In addition, county residents are asked to refrain from traveling to the county’s two garbage transfer stations located in Mt. Olive and Parsippany during the COVID-19 crisis. Because of social distancing requirements, it is difficult for the scale masters to safely interact with residents who show up at the transfer stations. Unless it is essential that the household trash be disposed of immediately, residents should utilize curbside pickup by their waste hauler or wait until towns are again collecting bulky waste collections.

For information about proper disposal of medical waste, household garbage, or details about municipal recycling, go to www.MCMUA.com for details.

05/21/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that The Morris County COVID-19 drive-thru testing center located at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 25, and will resume normal hours again on Tuesday, May 26.

05/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that New Jerseyans enrolled in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online starting next week.  Online shopping will be available through Amazon and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers. NJ SNAP recipients will be able to use their benefits card to order groceries from Amazon starting on May 27. Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers that that provide online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits starting on May 28.

Recipients will be able to use their Families First Electronic Benefits Transfer card to purchase eligible groceries from the participating retailers. Under federal rules, SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay for delivery fees. To learn more, recipients can visit Amazon.com/SNAP to register their EBT card. Visit here to learn about Walmart’s SNAP online program.  Any Walmart, ShopRite or The Fresh Grocer that currently provides online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits.

"For those New Jersey families who may have difficulty getting to the grocery store - and that may be for a variety of different reasons -- using SNAP benefits online can make the basics of feeding yourself or your family a little less complicated,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who directs the Division of Family Development that oversees NJ SNAP. "We continue to urge residents to visit njhelps.org to learn more and apply for food assistance and other benefits."

05/20/20: Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center has announced that they are resuming certain NJ Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) programs. After pausing their program for several weeks, they are now offering limited breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings for women only. Please call 973-971-5952 for more information.

05/20/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the county’s annual 4-H Fair is cancelled this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 4-H is a member of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, which governs all 4-H programs throughout the state. All of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s in-person programs have been suspended through Aug. 31. 

05/20/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that a Morris County Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Task Force, led by state Sen. Anthony and Bruce Groves, CEO of Emilcott & Associates, has released a new report and business industry risk scorecard regarding the current public health crisis.

05/20/20: Governor Murphy and Quest Diagnostics issued a press release announcing 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.  

COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites will open Friday, May 22, in the parking lots of Garfield, North Bergen, Kearny, Flemington, Burlington, Howell, and Mount Laurel Walmart stores located at:

  • 174 Passaic St, Garfield, NJ 07026
  • 2100 88th St, North Bergen, NJ 07047
  • 150 Harrison Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032
  • 152 NJ-31 N, Flemington, NJ 08822
  • 2106 Mt Holly Rd, Burlington Township, NJ 08016
  • 4900 U.S. Hwy #9, Howell Township, NJ 07731
  • 934 NJ-73, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054

Details regarding the testing sites:

  • The sites are open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays weekly from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., weather permitting.
  • NOTE: The sites will be closed for Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, but will open Tuesday, May 26, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and resume its regular schedule on Wednesday.
  • Testing is for adults who meet CDC and state and local guidelines 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.
  • Individuals must be 18 years and older.
  • The testing sites will require an appointment through Quest’s MyQuestTM online portal and app, www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com, which will screen and schedule appointments for those individuals that meet medical eligibility for the testing sites.
  • Once on site, those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check, and self-administered test. For the safety of all those on-site, the test site is not available to those who walk up. 
  • The sites will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose onsite while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site.
  • Quest Diagnostics will handle processing test samples and communicating results to those tested and applicable departments of health.
  • Any questions regarding testing and appointments, please call Quest’s dedicated COVID-19 line at 866-448-7719, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.
  • The sites will be staffed by Walmart pharmacists and associates.  
  • While individuals who are tested are awaiting results, please follow CDC guidelines and take steps to help prevent the virus from spreading to people in your home and community.

For everyone’s safety and for the privacy of those being tested, media should not attempt to enter the testing site.  Please note, testing is not available inside Walmart stores.

05/20/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-013 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. 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 Order states that businesses may permit customers to test drive vehicles, boats, or bicycles sold or leased by the business, provided that the individual is given access to the vehicle alone, or in the case of a boat, with an employee of the business but only when social distancing can be maintained, and the business appropriately cleans and sanitizes the vehicle, boat, or bicycle after such test drive if the customer does not purchase the item. The Order will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20.

05/19/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 147, which allows 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.

Outdoor Recreational Businesses: To limit physical interactions, the Order requires outdoor recreational businesses that reopen to limit capacity to 10 people at one time and implement reasonable restrictions that include:

  • Using electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
  • Prohibiting impermissible gatherings;
  • Installing physical barriers between employees and customers;
  • Limiting the use of equipment to one person;
  • Implementing social distancing measures in commonly used areas, including demarcation and signage;
  • Infection control and hygiene practices;
  • Providing sanitization materials to employees;
  • Frequent sanitization of high-touch areas; and
  • Limiting occupancy of restrooms.

Community Gardens: Governor Murphy’s Executive Order permits community gardens to reopen so long as they comply with the same restrictions implemented at parks under Executive Order 133.

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. The order further clarifies that amusements parks and arcades, and other places of public amusement located at these businesses remain closed, including places of public amusement that are located at a place otherwise authorized to be open by any executive order issued after March 21, 2020, such as a boardwalk.

05/18/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing a multi-stage approach to execute a responsible and strategic economic restart to put New Jersey on the road back to recovery from COVID-19. The multi-stage blueprint, guided by the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission and complementary Advisory Councils, plans for a methodical and strategic reopening of businesses and activities based on level of disease transmission risk and essential classification. 

Governor Murphy’s approach includes the following stages:

MAXIMUM RESTRICTIONS

Maximum restrictions with most individuals staying at home and activity limited to essential tasks.

 Permitted activities and businesses include:

  • Emergency health care
  • Essential construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Essential retail, including grocery stores and pharmacies

STAGE 1

 
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.  

STAGE 2

 
Restrictions are relaxed on additional activities that can be easily safeguarded.

 Phased-in businesses may include:

  • More work activities are allowed at physical locations only if they adhere to safeguarding and modification guidelines. For example, work activities to be phased-in over the course of Stage 2 may include expanded retail, safeguarded restaurants with outdoor seating, limited personal care, and possibly indoor dining, museums, and libraries, all with significantly reduced capacity.
  • All workers who can work from home continue to work from home. For example, a buying manager for restaurants.
  • Some personal care services may be provided on a limited basis. 

STAGE 3

 
Restrictions are relaxed on most activities with significant safeguarding.

 Phased-in businesses include:

  • More work activities, including in-person meetings, are allowed at physical locations only if they can adhere to safeguarding guidelines and modifications. For example, work activities to be phased-in over the course of Stage 3 may include expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited entertainment, expanded personal care, and bars with limited capacity.
  • All workers who can work from home continue to work from home. For example, accounting office workers.
  • Personal care services may be provided on a more extended basis.

Precautions that apply across all stages include:

  • Work that can be done from home should continue to be done from home.
  • Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines:

    • Wash hands
    • Wear masks in public
    • Respect social distancing
    • Minimize gatherings
    • Disinfect workplace and businesses
    • Minimize gatherings 
    • No mass gatherings

New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including:

  • Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use.
  • Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity.
  • Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce.
  • Widespread safeguarding of workplaces.
  • Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and transit.
  • Continued public compliance.

If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back to more restrictive stages as well.

For a one-page summary of Governor Murphy’s multi-stage approach to restart New Jersey’s economy, click here.

05/17/20: As the Montville Township Municipal Building remains closed to the public, the monthly Montville Township Board of Health meeting for May will be via telephone conference call on Monday, May 18, 2020 at 7:30 pm. The public can participate in the meeting by calling 1-978-990-5183. There will be a prompt for an Access Code, which is 6213820, followed by #

05/16/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 146, which allows charter fishing services and for-hire vessel activities, as well as watercraft rental businesses, to open with required social distancing measures. These businesses can open on Sunday, May 17 at 6 am. 

Charter fishing services and for-hire vessels will be allowed to reopen to the public so long as they adopt policies that include:

  • reduced capacity to no more than 10 people on a vessel at any one time;
  • electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
  • no make-up or open boat trips;
  • social distancing measures on the vessels and in waiting and boarding areas, including demarcation and signage;
  • prohibiting sharing of fishing equipment, bait, and gear;
  • limiting the use of nets or gaffs to the crew;
  • infection control and hygiene practices;
  • providing sanitization materials to passengers and crew;
  • frequent sanitization of vessel and high-touch areas;
  • The crew and passengers must wear a mask while aboard the vessel;
  • prohibiting food and beverage service; and
  • briefing all passengers prior to embarking on social distancing, capacity limits, and hygiene requirements.

Watercraft rental businesses will be allowed to reopen so long as they adopt policies consistent with the “curb-side pickup” restrictions that apply to retail establishments pursuant to Executive Order No. 142. 

05/16/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 145, which allows elective surgeries and invasive procedures, both medical and dental, to resume on Tuesday, May 26 at 5:00 a.m. These procedures will resume according to policies that will be issued by the New Jersey Department of Health and the Division of Consumer Affairs by Monday, May 18. This order rescinds the suspension of all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults, which was instituted beginning on March 27 under Executive Order 109 to preserve essential equipment and health care system capacity to respond to COVID-19.

Among the directives, Executive Order 145 requires that the Department of Health issue policies by Monday, May 18 that will address how elective surgeries and invasive procedures may proceed in health care facilities.  These policies will address relevant considerations, such as the following:

  • Which types of facilities can resume these procedures;

  • Which specific facilities are eligible to resume these procedures, based upon their current or potential capacity;

  • Whether facilities will be required to prioritize certain procedures, and if so, what considerations should guide these decisions;

  • Personal Protective Equipment requirements for facilities that resume these procedures;

  • Staffing requirements for facilities that resume these procedures;

  • Whether facilities should cohort COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients;

  • Requirements for patients seeking these procedures to undergo testing, self-quarantine, or other preventive measures, as applicable;

  • Policies surrounding visitors;

  • Policies surrounding discharge of patients after the procedures are completed; and

  • Reporting metrics regarding the resumption of these procedures.

Also, by Monday, May 18, the Division of Consumer Affairs will issue policies addressing similar considerations for how elective surgeries and invasive procedures may proceed in outpatient settings that are not licensed by the Department of Health. 

05/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 144, which create a modified vote-by-mail election for the July 7th Primary. The order requires that each county’s elections officials send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered Democratic and Republican voters and send VBM ballot applications to unaffiliated and inactive voters. All VBM ballots and VBM ballot applications will come with pre-paid postage. The order also requires opening a minimum of at least one polling place in each municipality, and provided that there are enough poll workers, a minimum of 50 percent of polling places in each county to provide New Jersey voters who may need access to in-person voting opportunities. Polling locations will be required to follow public health standards including ensuring six feet of distance, requiring poll workers to wear face coverings and gloves, frequent sanitization of high-touch areas, and providing sanitization materials to all individuals at a polling place.  

05/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he had signed into law S-2356/A-3946 to provide relief for students enrolled in various state higher education financial aid programs, and address the unique circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The law directs the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to exclude the Spring 2020 semester from a student’s total lifetime eligibility limits for all state financial aid programs if a student is unable to finish the semester due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, students who withdrew or reduced credits during this time will not have to repay the state financial aid amounts that the student would have had to return under previous law.

05/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he had signed the following bills into law:

A-3942/S-2394 – Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed the following bills into law:

A-3942/S-2394 - Requires hospital to permit individual to accompany woman during childbirth.

A-3969/S-2392 - Allows extension of certain local government timeframes; allows local governments to accept certain payments; allows local governments to conduct certain meetings remotely; adjusts certain property tax distribution and notice requirements.

S-2344/A-3970 - Requires Medicaid and health insurance coverage for certain refills of prescription drugs during state of emergency.

05/14/20: Governor Murphy today signed Executive Order 143, which allows beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores to remain open with social distancing measures in place. The Order takes effect on Friday, May 22.

Under the Executive Order, the following shall remain closed on private and public beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores: water fountains, picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions, indoor recreational facilities, and other buildings and facilities, such as visitor centers. There is an exception allowing bathrooms, showering areas, and changing areas to stay open.

To limit physical interactions, the Order requires municipalities, lake commissions, private club associations or entities, and other local government to implement reasonable restrictions, including:

  • Imposing non-discriminatory capacity restrictions;
  • Requiring that members of the public practice social distancing;
  • Developing and implementing lifeguard training and beach operation plans that address COVID-19 considerations;
  • Removing, taping-off or otherwise blocking all benches and tables;
  • Prohibiting the tying together of boats to prevent group gatherings;
  • Developing and implementing a continuous public outreach campaign, including signage, social media, town and county websites, mobile device applications, radio, and banner-plane advertising;
  • Prohibiting special events such as festivals, concerts, fireworks, and movies;
  • Prohibiting all organized or contact activities or sports;
  • Limit occupancy in public restrooms; and
  • Implementing sanitization protocols.

The restrictions also apply to public piers, docks, wharfs, boat ramps, and boat landings throughout the State. Municipalities, counties, any responsible commission, association, or unit of county or local government, and private beach clubs may impose additional restrictions to the ones listed above and retain the legal authority to close beaches or boardwalks if they choose to do so.

Due to the diverse nature of the shore and lake communities, the Order does not mandate specific social distancing measures. Examples of social distancing measures left to a municipality’s discretion include but are not limited to the following:

  • Demarcating six feet of spacing in any areas where the public may form a line;
  • Limiting the number of lifeguards to each stand or tower, maintaining social distance between lifeguards, and adding stands or towers as necessary;
  • Installing physical barriers between the public and employees in ticket or beach badge sale booths; and
  • Limiting occupancy of ticket or beach badge sales booth to one person at a time.
  • The Order explicitly prohibits capacity limitations that discriminate against non-residents, low-income people, and other protected classes.

    The Order also recommends, but does not order, that people wear a face covering while in public settings at the beaches, lakes and lakeshores when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

    The Order further clarifies that restaurants and bars located on the beaches, boardwalks, lakes and lakeshores are still limited to delivery and take-out services only and that amusements parks and arcades, and other places of public amusement located on the beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores remain closed. Any outdoor seating, such as tables or benches, must be removed, taped off, or otherwise blocked.

    To be consistent with the restrictions established in the Order, swimming in designated areas and picnicking will now be allowed at State Parks and Forests, as well as county and municipal parks. Additionally, this Order reopens restrooms in parks, while requiring frequent sanitization measures, effective Saturday, May 16

05/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 142, which permits the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, 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.

05/12/20: Morris County issued a press release  in which Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi advising county residents who are concerned about going to the polls due to the COVID-19 pandemic to consider utilizing the vote-by-mail ballot in the upcoming 2020 New Jersey primary election. Grossi said her office is awaiting direction from Governor Murphy concerning specifics on the manner in which the Primary Election will be conducted. To apply for a vote-by-mail ballot, visit the County Clerk’s website and download an application or call 973-285-6066 to have an application mailed to you in English or Spanish.

05/12/20: NJ Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli today signed Executive Directive 20-012, which issues a Standing Order for individuals currently residing in New Jersey to receive COVID testing, which eliminates the need for a prescription to obtain the test. Executive Directive 20-012 also details in relation to the Executive Directive who can collect and submit specimens for testing, who is authorized to receive the results of those tests, and reporting requirements for those test results.  

05/12/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that to limit exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19, Heath Commissioner Judith Persichilli today signed Executive Directive 20-013, which requires all long-term care facilities in the state to:

  • Implement testing of all staff and residents for COVID-19 by May 26.
  • Re-test individuals who test negative within 3-7 days to detect those with newly developed infection, and further retesting in according with CDC guidance.
  • Amend their current outbreak plans to include plans for testing and retesting staff and residents, cohorting (separating into similar groupings) of residents who test positive, policies for excluding staff who test positive as well and time-frames and requirements for returning to work in accordance with CDC and Department of Health recommendations.

Executive Directive 20-013 applies to licensed nursing homes, assisted living facilities, dementia care homes, residential health care facilities and comprehensive personal care homes.

05/12/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing a comprehensive strategy to expand testing capacity and implement a robust contact tracing program for New Jersey. 

TESTING - A flexible testing plan that is accessible to all residents who need it is a critical piece of restarting New Jersey’s economy. New Jersey will implement the following strategies to expand capacity and access to testing:

  • Capacity - New Jersey will double its testing capacity and increase to at least 20,000 tests per day by the end of May. This capacity will be built out moving forward with a minimum of 25,000 tests completed per day by the end of June. Currently, there are 135 public and privately-operated specimen collection sites statewide. In addition to the recently announced 11 Rite Aid locations, CVS will have swab-and-send testing capabilities at 50 of their stores across New Jersey by the end of the month.
  • Priority - The state will prioritize access to testing for vulnerable populations, including residents in long-term care facilities and developmental centers, individuals in the corrections system, those in homeless shelters, patients in psychiatric hospitals, and seasonal farmworkers. The state testing program will also ensure ready access for frontline health care workers, first responders, and transit workers.
  • Community - The statewide testing plan will also utilize mobile testing units to directly serve communities of color, which have been disproportionately ravaged by COVID-19. Testing sites will also open within institutions of faith including churches, synagogues, and mosques.
  • Executive Directives - The Department of Health is issuing an Executive Directive that will require long-term care facilities to supplement or amend their current disease outbreak plan to include a COVID-19 testing plan for all staff and patients/residents. The directive requires baseline testing of staff and patients/residents completed by or before May 26, 2020, retesting of individuals who test negative within 3-7 days after baseline testing, and further retesting in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidance. All long-term care facilities must confirm that they have updates their outbreak prevention plan to meet this directive by May 19.  

The Department of Health is also issuing a standing order permitting testing for COVID-19 without a prescription for New Jersey residents who may have been exposed and meet certain conditions.

CONTACT TRACING - Implementing a robust contact tracing program is a key mechanism to break the chain of transmission and slow community spread for individuals who have come into contact with those infected by COVID-19. New Jersey will implement the following strategies to build a comprehensive contact tracing program:

  • Technology - To aid in the contact tracing effort, New Jersey will implement a statewide solution to leverage technological data to increase efficiency and streamline workflow and communication. New Jersey will work with Dimagi to install its digital CommCare platform to create a centralized database with uniform reporting requirements for contact tracing efforts across the state.
  • Executive Action - To bolster the efforts of local health departments and ensure that the contact tracing program works seamlessly between all levels of government throughout the state, Governor Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 141 mandating that all local, county, and regional health departments use the CommCare platform to support their contact tracing efforts. The Commissioner of the Department of Health will determine appropriate timing for this requirement. This coordinated regional approach will ensure support, training, oversight, and an accurate and centralized statewide database. The state will bear the cost of this technology platform.
  • Partnership - To centralize and expand our efforts, we will build a robust Community Contact Tracing Corps and augment the approximately 800-900 contact tracers on the ground, the state will need at least an additional 1,000 dedicated contact tracers. To jumpstart recruitment efforts, New Jersey will partner with the state’s colleges and universities to employ public health, social work, and related students as frontline workers. The New Jersey Department of Health will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Rutgers School of Public Health to stand up the first tranche of this new contact tracing workforce.
  • Workforce - In order to further grow the ranks of contact tracers and create jobs for New Jerseyans, the state will seek to partner with an organization to work as a Contact Tracing Deployment Provider to assist with hiring, on-boarding, and managing contact tracers throughout the state. Interested vendors and organizations can access more information, review the draft Request for Quotes, and submit questions and feedback at https://covid19.nj.gov/CTRFQ. Additionally, individuals interested in becoming contact tracers, may register their interest at covid19.nj.gov/tracers.

05/12/20: The State of New Jersey is seeking persons interested in becoming contact tracers. If you are interested in being notified about contact tracing opportunities, please register at https://covid19.nj.gov/forms/tracer. Contact tracing is a full time commitment given the training requirement and access to various necessary systems. In order to work effectively, contact tracers will be scheduled 7 days a week between 8am-8pm, but not to exceed 35 hours per week. To learn more about contact tracing, you can complete this free training which will be required for all contact tracers. 

05/12/20: Comfort Zone Camp, a nonprofit 501(c)3 bereavement organization with locations throughout the U.S. is hosting two free virtual events in May: a Virtual Bonfire on Saturday, May 16 from 5-6pm and a Virtual Camp for Loss during COVID-19 on Saturday, May 30 from 12 to 2:30.

05/12/20: The Health Department has received several inquiries regarding swimming pools, both public and private, in regards to their use during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Public recreational bathing facilities: (bathing beach, hot tub, spa, swimming pool, wading pool, and aquatic recreation facility open to the public): Executive Order 107 prohibits these facilities from being open to the public. They will not be allowed to open for the summer season until and unless allowed by a directive from the State. We have had no indication at this time of if and when such a directive will be issued. It is highly likely that if and when they are allowed to re-open that there will be additional rules and restrictions in place for these facilities to ensure the safety of their patrons in regards to COVID-19.

Private bathing facilities (any bathing beach, swimming pool, wading pool, hot tub, or spa used only by residents of one or two living units, and their guests): We recommend that owners of private bathing facilities continue to comply with social distancing guidelines, and additionally, to follow the recommendations of the CDC in regards to such facilities. Currently, the CDC is stating: "There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water." CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations for public recreational bathing facilities can also be consulted for guidance regarding the same at private facilities.

05/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the federal government has approved the Department of Human Service’s plan to provide $248 million in special food assistance benefits to nearly 600,000 New Jersey children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals as part of the response to COVID-19 school closures. Under the plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Jersey special Pandemic-EBT benefits will be provided to recipients of the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals. The plan will provide each eligible student with $416.10 to help with nutritional support during the time that schools have been closed during the pandemic. No application is necessary to receive this benefit. Human Services is working with schools to identify students who were receiving free or reduced school meals. Eligible students already participating in SNAP will receive the Pandemic-EBT on their household’s existing Families First card. All other Pandemic-EBT eligible households will be mailed a P-EBT card. Human Services expects these benefits to be issued no later than June.

05/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the State of New Jersey received $31,511,487 from the second round of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act funding allocated by the federal government. Today’s CDBG funding allocation is in addition to the $4 million the State of New Jersey received on April 2, 2020. Both funding rounds are helping the State respond to public health, housing, and economic disruption needs that have arisen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

05/10/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing two new American Red Cross convalescent plasma collection sites in northern New Jersey. Convalescent plasma collection will begin on Monday, May 11, 2020 at the American Red Cross blood center in Fairfield, and at University Hospital in Newark.   

The American Red Cross joined the FDA’s effort to support the collection and distribution of convalescent plasma. Together, they have worked around the clock to put this new initiative in place by establishing a process to identify, qualify and collect convalescent plasma safely from recovered COVID-19 individuals, at both Red Cross and other local blood collection organizations around the country.

University Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the state to receive the FDA approval for convalescent plasma treatment in New Jersey and remains one of only a few hospitals in the state offering this treatment. Approximately 100 COVID-19 patients at University Hospital have been treated with convalescent plasma. The effectiveness of this treatment is not yet known – but many patients that have received this therapy at University Hospital have recovered, which is a promising sign. University Hospital practitioners and researchers, along with others across the country, continue to monitor and investigate the progress of COVID-19 patients who receive this treatment.

05/08/20: Rutgers University issued a press release announcing that RUCDR Infinite Biologics, which is part of Rutgers’ Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey, received an amended emergency use authorization from the FDA late Thursday for the first SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus test that will allow people to collect their own saliva at home and send to a lab for results. The decision follows the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recent emergency approval to RUCDR Infinite Biologics for the first saliva-based test, which involves health care workers collecting saliva from individuals at testing sites.

The new at-home saliva self-collection assay, developed by RUCDR in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs, allows for broader screening than through the standard method using nose and throat swabs at a health care facility or testing location that requires a physical interaction with a health care professional, and necessitates the use of PPE. 

The FDA emergency use authorization is the second obtained by RUCDR Infinite Biologics and its collaborators in recent weeks. The first was for a new collection approach that uses saliva as the primary test biomaterial for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which was the first such approval granted by the FDA and allowed health care workers to collect people’s saliva at testing sites. Last month, RUCDR also launched a genetic testing service for the coronavirus that can test thousands of samples daily. With the new saliva tests and expanded collection strategy, that number can increase to tens of thousands of samples daily.

05/08/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 140, which allows 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.

The council will be co-chaired by New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan, and Choose New Jersey President and CEO Jose Lozano. The council will have nine subcommittees, each of which will be chaired by a council co-chair. The advisory council subcommittees will begin virtual meetings next week. The nine subcommittees are Facilities and Construction; Government; Health Care; Main Street; Manufacturing and Supply Chain; Professional Services; Social Services and Faith; Tourism and Entertainment; and Transportation and Infrastructure. Members of the council and their respective committees can be found here. 

While the commission named by Governor Murphy last week will focus on national, state and macroeconomic issues surrounding the restarting, the advisory council will take a microeconomic view of the recovery, determining the individual challenges that each sector faces. The advisory council is expected to remain empaneled for as long as necessary to advise the Governor on the state’s recovery.

05/08/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that NJ’s two FEMA Community Based Testing Sites located in Bergen and Monmouth counties will expand access to testing for COVID-19 and 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 in Bergen County at 8:00 a.m. and Monday, May 11, at PNC Bank Arts Center in Monmouth County at 8:00 a.m. Asymptomatic New Jersey residents should attempt to seek guidance from a health care provider before accessing testing. For more information on COVID-19 testing locations and resources, visit https://covid19.nj.gov/.

05/08/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority has decided to cancel the Household Hazardous Waste disposal event scheduled for May 16 at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in Parsippany. For residents who had planned to attend the May event, it is recommended that you safely store any materials and dispose of them in June.

The MUA also is announcing that the scheduled June 13 Household Hazardous Waste event will be moved from the County College of Morris in Randolph to the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in Parsippany. Two other Household Hazardous Waste events planned for the fall remain scheduled at this time. These two events are currently set for Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Morris County Public Saftey Training Academy, and Saturday, Oct. 10, at Chatham High School.

05/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-12, which clarifies that recreational and entertainment activities prohibited under Executive Order 107 are also prohibited from taking place within the brick-and-mortar premises of essential retail businesses that are permitted to remain open. Under the order, recreational and entertainment activities are also prohibited within the facilities of public, private, and parochial preschool programs, or elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools that remain closed to students.

05/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing New Jersey has engaged a team of experts with national experience to conduct a rapid review of the state’s 575 long-term care facilities to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and reduce impacts of future outbreaks. The team will produce a set of recommendations for the New Jersey Department of Health and long-term care facilities, as well as advise on potential state or federal action to improve quality, safety, and resilience within New Jersey’s long-term care system. These recommendations will guide how long-term care facilities can safely reopen for residents and staff after the current COVID-19 outbreak and address mitigation, protection, and resiliency against future outbreaks. The Department of Health will continue implementing protocols, inspections, and testing at all long-term care facilities while this review takes place.

05/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 138, which extends the Public Health Emergency declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order 103 and extended on April 7, 2020 through Executive Order 119. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed.  

05/06/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing the launch of the Titan Emergency Fund Campaign at County College of Morris (CCM). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of CCM students reported facing financial challenges, ranging from food insecurities to housing issues. Now that many have lost jobs, been confronted with health and mental health issues, required laptops or other equipment to take classes online, or encountered other challenges, the financial difficulties students face have reached unprecedented levels. 

The federal CARES Act provides funding to students who are dealing with financial issues that threaten to impede or interrupt their ability to continue their college education, But not all students and situations qualify. To ensure that funds are available to assist as many students as possible, the CCM Foundation has launched the Titan Emergency Fund Campaign. The Fund was created earlier this year to provide students with financial support to meet unexpected expenses, from car repairs, to food, housing, medical and other issues, so they can stay on track to earn their college degree or certificate. The campaign is intended to increase the amount of funding that is available to meet the heightened challenges students are now facing.

Awards to students can vary depending on specific needs. All contributions to the fund will be awarded directly to students. To make a donation to the Titan Emergency Fund to help a student today, go to www.ccm.edu/FundDonate/.

05/06/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that recent graduates of health care programs such as nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy, and respiratory care therapy programs who have not yet been able to take and pass their licensing exams will be granted temporary emergency licenses, which opens the door for thousands of recent graduates to quickly join the ranks of the health care work force in New Jersey. With the exception of respiratory care therapists, graduates licensed through this program will be eligible to work only under supervision in an acute care facility licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health. Respiratory care specialists will also be authorized to work under supervision in field hospitals.

The emergency graduate licensure program is open to individuals applying for licensure within six months of graduating from the following programs:

  • Accredited registered professional nursing (RN);
  • Practical nursing (LPN);
  • Physician assistant;
  • Pharmacy education and training located in New Jersey; and
  • Accredited respiratory care therapy education and training located in any state.  

The program will end automatically at the conclusion of the COVID-19 state of emergency and public health emergency. The Division may choose to end the program earlier if it determines that it is no longer necessary. In that case, the Division would give licensees 90 days to pass their examination and 120 days to obtain standard licenses. The Division has waived application fees for the emergency temporary license.

Graduates can apply for a temporary emergency graduate license online on the Division’s website. For more information on the Division’s program, please click here. Qualified health, mental health, and related professionals interested in volunteering can visit: www.covid19.nj.gov/volunteer.

05/05/20: The Morris County Freeholders issued a press release lauding the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, Fire Instruction Staff, and Sheriff’s Office for their coordinated distribution of over 200,000 PPE items to over 120 long-term care facilities, senior facilities, and first responder agencies during the continuing COVID-10 pandemic. Additionally, the Morris County Office of Emergency Management has been recognized by the state for the innovative manner in which it has effectively employed surveys, facility and first responder assessments, and for the inventory and PPE distribution model it has used. The state has asked the Morris County OEM to review its PPE distribution operation as a best practice model with New Jersey’s other 20 counties.

05/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he today signed A1104, also known as the "Hunger Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act". The bill seeks to prevent school districts from taking adverse action, such as denial of meals or public identification measures, known as “lunch shaming,” against students who have school meal bills that are in arrears. The bill also requires districts to annually provide all parents and/or guardians with the information and forms necessary to maximize participation in programs. Additionally, the bill requires a district’s liaison for homeless students to ensure that homeless students receive free meals.

05/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 137, which rescinds Executive Order 73 (2019), which directed the Department of the Treasury to achieve a $1.276 billion surplus by the end of this current fiscal year. Executive Order 137 also authorizes and directs the State Treasurer and the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting to continue, update, and expand, as necessary, their ongoing actions and activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

05/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he had signed the following legislation:

A-3813/S-2292 - Permits use of virtual or remote instruction to meet minimum 180-day school year requirement under certain circumstances.

A-3841/S-2300 - Automatically extends time to file gross income tax or corporation business tax return if federal government extends filing or payment due date for federal returns.

A-3842/S-2282 - Establishes Bridging the Digital Divide in Schools Grant Program in DOE to provide and expand access to technology and equipment for students in certain school districts.

A-3846/S-2293 - Creates “Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program;” allows persons to claim for lost wages due to coronavirus disease 2019, and employers to pay wages to workers ordered under quarantine by licensed healthcare practitioner; appropriates $20,000,000.

A-3856/S-2297 - Makes FY 2020 supplemental appropriation of $10 million for healthcare and residential facility sanitation due to coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak.

A-3857/S-2275 - Makes FY 2020 supplemental appropriations of $15 million for grants to food banks.

A-3858/S-2288 - Requires Commissioner of Human Services to issue supplemental cash assistance payments to Work First New Jersey recipients under certain circumstances; makes appropriation.

A-3864/S-2299 - Authorizes notaries public to perform certain notarial acts remotely.

05/04/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing 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. 

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 addition, the Department of Education will work with school officials to share ideas on safe and innovative ways to recognize 2020 high school graduates and other end-of-year milestones for students. 

Finally, the Murphy Administration will call on school districts to revise their school-wide Emergency Preparedness Plans to address the extension of school closures through June 30.  

05/03/20: The New Jersey Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Service has issued a Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Health Issues During COVID-19 Pandemic, which provides important information to Morris County pet owners, veterinarians, and owners of pet businesses. This document answers several questions of concern to pet owners and the pet industry, such as pet spaying, rabies vaccinations, animal hospitals, essential versus elective pet surgeries, home visits by veterinarians during COVID-19 crisis, dog grooming, dog shelters, and dog/pet kennels, and others.

05/03/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing a joint multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, other medical equipment and testing. While the states will continue to partner with the federal government during this global and national public health crisis, they will also work together to identify the entire region’s needs for these products, aggregate demand among the states, reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. The states will also coordinate policies regarding the inventory of PPE each state’s health care infrastructure should have to be prepared for a possible second wave of COVID-19. The states will also coordinate policies on what supplies local governments should have on hand for their First Responders, and if any requirements regarding PPE for the non-for-profit and private sector are needed.

05/03/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 136, which extending statutory deadlines required under environmental laws for the length of New Jersey’s public health emergency. The order, which suspends timeframes for certain permit decisions and reporting, will ensure greater opportunities for public engagement while enabling the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to conduct thorough environmental reviews. Among the directives, the Executive Order includes the following:

  • Pauses or delays timeframes governing the Department’s provision of public notice, review and decisions on permits and other approvals for the duration of the public health emergency, including those which would deem applications approved without conditions deemed necessary by DEP to ensure protection of public health, safety and the environment.
  • Extends deadlines for soil and fill recycling services under the Dirty Dirt Law by the number of days of the Public Health Emergency declared in Executive Order No. 103 (2020) plus an additional 60 days.
  • Extends the July 1, 2020 deadline for the governing body of each municipality to submit its yearly recycling tonnage report to DEP by 60 days.
  • Extends the August 1, 2020 deadline for recyclers, manufacturers, collection locations and local government units who collect electronic devices to submit their semiannual report to DEP by 60 days.
  • Directs DEP to identify where public comment periods must be extended to ensure adequate public participation.

05/03/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-11, which declares construction of new religious facilities or involving existing religious facilities to be essential construction projects. These projects must abide by all conditions of Executive Order 122.

05/02/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the nonprofit Housing Partnership is offering help to Morris County residents on various issues regarding home-ownership or rentals during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, go to their website, call 973-659-9222, or email contact@hpnj.us.

05/01/20: Montville Township issued a press release announcing that effective at 6:00 am on Saturday, May 2, 2020, in accordance with the state’s Executive Order 133, Montville Township Parks, Trails, and some Gardens will reopen with limited operation and capacity for passive recreation activities only, and modified adoption pet adoptions in compliance with social distancing and infection-control procedures will resume at the Montville Animal Shelter.   

05/01/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that May is Mental Health Month, and reminding residents that help is available for anxiety and stress due to the current COVID-19 public health crisis. It is vitally important during these unusual times to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. The announcement includes helpful advice, and several free resources available to residents.

05/01/20: Morris County issued a press release the Morris County Board of Freeholders, in coordination with local and county health officials, is taking steps to initiate an aggressive countywide contact tracing program. The Freeholder Board is moving to hire health professionals, assemble medical volunteers, and provide required software, compatible with state software programs, to be ready to offer countywide support to all 39 municipalities in this enormous task.

05/01/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 135, which suspends in-person requirements for receipt of a marriage license and marriage ceremonies, and for the receipt of working papers for minors. Under the executive order, individuals may use videoconferencing technology for the licensing process and the marriage ceremony. The requirement that a marriage or civil union be solemnized in the physical presence of an officiant and two witnesses can be satisfied through the use of live audio-visual technology, provided certain conditions are met. The order also suspends the 72-hour waiting period between the license application and issuance, extends the period that a license is valid from 30 to 90 days, and waives fees imposed for the issuance of a second marriage or civil union license if the original has expired. Additionally, minors seeking to certify their working papers with a school designated official will be permitted to do so through videoconference. Individual school districts will craft procedures that satisfy the statutory requirements without requiring in-person contact. The executive order permits both in-person marriage licensing and ceremonies and in-person certification of working papers to continue, subject to social distancing, where offices are open, and officials are available to oversee the processes. The order will take effect on Monday, May 4, 2020.      

05/01/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that new funding from NJ Department of Human Services to help support New Jerseyans’ health and well-being during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including:

  • $36 million in food assistance to help NJ SNAP recipients afford groceries.  The additional benefits will be available as part of May SNAP allotments.  The Department encourages anyone in need of food assistance to visit njhelps.org to learn about and apply for New Jersey’s food assistance program.
  • $24 million to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Funding will be used for a temporary wage increase for the direct support professionals (DSPs) who care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in group homes and supervised apartments.  DSPs are doing tremendous work during this crisis and providing critical support to vulnerable individuals.
  • $6.3 million to support meals for seniors.  Funding has been distributed to counties to support home-delivered meals and other food for older residents who are particularly vulnerable to the virus.  To reduce risk, senior congregate dining sites have closed, increasing the need for older residents to have support in accessing food.
  • At least $20 million for emergency child care assistance for essential employees in May.  Final allocation will depend on enrollment.  The Department of Human Services announced this week that it will continue to pay for emergency child care for essential employees across the State for May. 

05/01/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the NJ Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC), in partnership with Rutgers University Correctional Healthcare (UCHC) and Accurate Diagnostics Lab, plans to provide COVID-19 tests to staff, inmates, and residents on-site at each of NJDOC’s facilities and halfway houses. The plan leverages the FDA-approved Rutgers saliva test administered to NJDOC’s staff of approximately 8,000 employees and 18,000 inmates by UCHC.  Universal testing is expected to begin by the end of next week and will help the Department inform its operational needs related to the management of the infirm while maintaining the safe operation of facilities. Additionally, in support of staff safety, the NJDOC is obtaining full-service non-congregate housing for its first responders and Rutgers UCHC staff members with exposure to the virus through a program offered by the NJ Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) and FEMA. The temporary housing will utilize available hotels and provide a safe place for those exposed to COVID-19 in order to minimize the risk of exposure to immediate family members or living companions.  

04/30/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Park Commission will have a partial reopening of its 38 park facilities on Saturday in according with the state’s Executive Order 133. Many trails and grounds of county parks managed by the Morris County Park Commission will reopen, including all four county golf courses. Some Parks and Facilities remain closed, and are listed in the press release. Some Parks & Trails may be closed for periods of time for park maintenance and park project purposes without prior announcement. All programs, permits, and events remain canceled at this time through May 31, 2020. 

To allow various parks and trails to remain open for passive recreation, patrons are asked to follow proper CDC protocol and behavior modifications, including but not limited to:

  • Recommended use of face covering;
  • Only park in designated parking areas, do not park on roadsides;
  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails;
  • Understand that public restrooms are not available but some sites may have portable restrooms (please bring personal sanitary supplies for yourself);
  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence, and step aside to let others pass;
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.

04/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 133, which will allow the reopening of state parks and golf courses, and restoring the authority of county governments to determine whether county parks will be open or closed. The order takes effect at sunrise on Saturday, May 2.

The order allows State parks and forests to open to the public for passive recreation, including fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing, hiking, walking, running or jogging, biking, birding, and horseback riding.  Picnic areas, playgrounds, exercise stations and equipment, chartered watercraft services and rentals, swimming, pavilions, restrooms, and other buildings and facilities, such as visitor centers, interpretive centers, and interior historical sites, shall remain closed at this time. To limit physical interaction, the State parks and forests must implement reasonable restrictions that include:

  • Limiting parking to 50% of maximum capacity and prohibiting parking in undesignated areas;
  • Prohibiting picnics;
  • Requiring social distancing to be practiced except with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners; and
  • Banning organized or contact activities or sports; and gatherings of any kind.

The order also recommends that people wear a cloth face covering while in public settings at the parks and forests where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The order opens county parks to the public, except any parks closed by the county prior to Executive Order No. 118 that required all county parks be closed (the county will now have the ability to reopen its parks if it chooses).  This will treat county parks the same way as municipal parks – the locality gets to determine whether they are open or closed.  County and municipal parks that remain open must abide by the restrictions placed on State parks in today’s Order.

All recreational campgrounds and transient camp sites at campgrounds shall remain closed to the public. Residential campgrounds, including mobile home parks, condo sites, and existing/renewing 2020 yearly seasonal contract sites may remain open.  Counties and municipalities can also place restrictions on the ability of residential campgrounds, including mobile home parks, to accept new transient guests or seasonal tenants, as defined by Administrative Order Nos. 2020-08 and 2020-09.

The order also opens golf courses so long as they adopt minimum social distancing policies that include:

  • Implementing electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems while still providing options for populations that do not have access to internet service or credit cards;
  • Extending tee times to sixteen minutes apart;
  • Limiting the use of golf carts to one person unless being shared by immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners; 
  • Requiring frequent, and after each use, sanitization of high-touch areas such as restroom facilities, range buckets, golf carts, and push carts; 
  • Restricting the touching of golf holes and flags;
  • Closing golf center buildings, pro shops, and other buildings and amenities; 
  • Removing bunker rakes and other furniture-like benches, water coolers, and ball washers from the course;
  • Discontinuing club and equipment rentals; 
  • Prohibiting the use of caddies; and 
  • Limiting tee times to two players unless the foursome consists of immediate family, caretakers, household members or romantic partners.

The golf course may impose additional restrictions as necessary to limit person-to-person interactions. The order also recommends, but does not order, that employees, players, and other individuals on the golf course wear cloth face coverings while on the golf course. Additionally, the order clarifies that miniature golf courses and driving ranges must remain closed. 

04/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and The Defense Logistics Agency, has secured the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) to assist healthcare providers, first responders, and other agencies in decontaminating and preserving critically needed N95 respirators at no charge to the sending agencies. The Battelle CCDS, which has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, helps address the current shortage of critical Personal Protective Equipment across the country. The system is designed to work on N95 respirators to decontaminate biological contaminants including novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), making them available for reuse by health care workers and first responders. The Battelle CCDS is centrally located in Edison (Middlesex County) and can service the entire state. The Battelle system can decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 respirators a day. Using the system, each N95 respirator can be decontaminated up to 20 times and still maintain sufficient filtration performance.

04/29/20: Montville Township has issued a press release in response to Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 130.

04/29/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that County College of Morris (CCM) is moving each of its five 2020 Summer Sessions to an online format. A decision regarding the format for 2020 Fall Semester classes has yet to be made. CCM has also received a generous amount of student support funding from the federal government as part of the CARES Act. These funds can be used for tuition for those who would like to pursue a college education but are faced with financial issues. The funds can also be used to address life challenges, such as food insecurities, housing issues and even car repairs, that could sideline a student’s progress.

04/29/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Board of Freeholders, with backing of a bi-partisan group of state and federal legislators, have unanimously approved a resolution that strongly urges the state to provide direct stabilization funding to Morris County from the Coronavirus Relief Fund in an amount consistent with the allocation made to counties that have populations slightly over 500,000. The Fund provided a $2.4 billion direct payment to State of New Jersey, as well as more than $1 billion of direct payments to New Jersey counties with populations greater than 500,000. Morris County, however, has about 492,000 people, which narrowly misses that threshold.

04/29/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 132, which allows county and municipal clerks to accept initiative and referendum petitions electronically, and allowing signatures for these petitions to be collected electronically. A generic template of the online form for electronic signature and submission requirements shall be created by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Department of Law and Public Safety. This form shall be available for use by May 1, 2020. Following the availability of the online form, county clerks and municipal clerks shall require that signatures for initiative and referendum petitions be gathered electronically. Hand signatures obtained prior to the effective date of this Executive Order shall also be accepted.

04/28/20: The Montville Township Health Department would like to remind residents that although the rate of new COVID cases in New Jersey seems to have slowed in recent days, transmission is still occurring, and the total number of new cases here in Montville continues to increase. Therefore, residents are requested to please continue our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by staying home as much as possible, by maintaining social distance when you are in public (wearing a mask and keeping at least 6 feet from others), washing hands often, and practicing respiratory etiquette (coughing/sneezing into elbows instead of hands/tissues).

04/28/20: Montville Township has issued a press release notifying residents that in the past few weeks, there has been an
increasing number of wipes clogging sewer stations resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in repairing clogged sewer lines and pump costs. Residents are reminded that any kind of wipes including disinfectant wipes and baby wipes should never be flushed down the toilet. Instead, the wipes should be placed in the trash for proper disposal. While some wipes may be labeled as flushable, they may, in fact, contribute to clogging the sewer lines. Therefore, residents should place those wipes in the garbage.

04/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 131, which creates the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission. The commission will have 21 members, with experience in health care, business, finance, academics, and economics and will be chaired by Princeton Professor and former University President Shirley Tilghman and Ken Frazier, Chief Executive Officer of Merck and Co., Inc. The Commission will begin virtual meetings immediately as the administration tackles the work of restarting the state and putting New Jerseyans back to work. Among the Commission’s first tasks will be to advise the governor on the timing of the restart as it aligns with predetermined public health metrics. The Commission will stay empaneled as long as necessary to inform the restart and recovery of our state’s economy.

04/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 130, which allows municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1st to June 1st. Such an extension would provide much-needed relief to homeowners struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

04/28/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-10, which clarifies which businesses are permitted to operate and ways in which certain businesses may operate in accordance with Executive Order 107. The Administrative Order states the following:

  • 1) Pet grooming businesses, pet daycare, and pet boarding businesses and 2) stores that principally sell items necessary for religious observation or worship shall be considered essential retail businesses.
  • Car dealerships may permit customers that have ordered and/or purchased a vehicle online or by phone to test drive the vehicle at the time of pick-up or prior to delivery, provided the dealership adopts social distancing policies, the individual is given access to the vehicle alone, and the dealership appropriately cleans and sanitizes the vehicle after such test drive if the customer does not purchase the vehicle.
  • Licensees, owners, operators, employees, or independent contractors of personal care services facilities are not permitted to provide personal care services in their own homes, the homes of others, or in any facility or business setting unless the individual personal care service provider is providing the service to their household members, immediate family or other individuals with whom the personal care service provider has a close personal relationship, such as those for whom the personal care service provider is a caretaker or romantic partner. A prior business relationship alone does not qualify as a close personal relationship.

04/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 129, which extends Retired Officer Carry Permits by a period of 90 days until after the ongoing Public Health Emergency ends. The order also creates a process for individuals seeking to obtain or renew a Carry Permit to demonstrate the ability to safely handle and use a handgun as required by existing law.

04/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing his plan for "The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health" that includes six principles: 

Principle 1: Demonstrate Sustained Reductions in New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations

  • 14-day trend lines showing appreciable and sustained drop in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and other metrics reflecting decreasing burden of disease;
  • Hospitals stepping down from functioning under crisis standards of care.

Principle 2: Expand Testing Capacity

  • At least double current diagnostic testing capacity;
  • Prioritize testing for health care workers, essential personnel, and vulnerable populations;
  • Create a flexible testing plan accessible to all residents;
  • Expand partnerships with institutions of higher education, private-sector labs, and the federal government;
  • Ensure that those who test positive are linked to a health care provider.  

Principle 3: Implement Robust Contact Tracing

  • Recruit and deploy an army of personnel who will identify and follow-up with contacts;
  • Leverage technological data and innovative solutions to increase efficiency;
  • Coordinate the approach of local and state health officials, which will have a coordinated county/regional component.

Principle 4: Secure Safe Places and Resources for Isolation and Quarantine

  • To the greatest extent possible, provide individuals who do test positive in the future with a safe and free place to isolate and protect others from COVID-19;
  • Ensure that quarantined contacts are provided supportive services, if needed.

Principle 5: Execute a Responsible Economic Restart

  • Create the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission to advise on the process and recommend responsible and equitable decisions;
  • Plan for a methodical and strategic return to work based on level of disease transmission risk and essential classification;
  • Continuation of social distancing measures, requirements for face coverings, and work-from-home directions where feasible and appropriate;
  • Leverage any available federal funds and programs to support health care, individual, and small business recoveries.

Principle 6: Ensure New Jersey’s Resiliency

  • Learn from the lessons of COVID-19 and prepare for the possibility of a resurgence;
  • Ensure hospitals, health care systems, and other health delivery facilities have inventories of personal protective equipment and ventilators;
  • Build our own state personal protective equipment and ventilator stockpile;
  • Create a playbook for future administrations for the next pandemic.

04/26/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-09, which clarifies that municipalities and counties may not impose restrictions in response to COVID-19 on the ability of hotels, motels, guest houses, or private residences to accept any individuals who have no permanent housing to which they may safely or lawfully return. The order further clarifies that individuals who have no permanent housing to which they may safely or lawfully return and live at a hotel or motel on a continual basis are not considered “transient guests or seasonal tenants,” and thus are entitled to the protections against evictions included in Executive Order No. 106. Individuals protected under the order include, but are not limited to:

  • Homeless individuals;
  • Individuals affected by domestic violence; and
  • Individuals in hotels or motels in compliance with a court order.

04/25/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 128, which allows tenants to direct their landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent. Governor Murphy’s executive order waives provisions of statutory law that prohibit the use of security deposits for rental payments, enabling tenants to instruct landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent. The order will take effect immediately and will be in place until 60 days after the public health emergency is terminated. The Department of Community Affairs has established a rental housing information page and question portal as a single point of reference for tenants and landlords seeking information about their rights during the public health emergency.    

04/24/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing that the Morris County Board of Freeholders has voted to create a Morris County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, to include a group of key leaders from all segments of Morris County life, to help plan for the county’s eventual return to normalcy from the COVID-19 crisis. The Task Force would operate in concert with the federal government’s three-phase plan to gradually Open Up America Again. Leaders from government, health, education, labor, social services, and others would be invited to participate in an effort to gather information, share ideas and develop strategies for the post-COVD-19 world in Morris County, in conjunction with state and federal governments.  They would consider how to overcome potential obstacles to recovery. The Task Force could:

  • Gather information on the current state of Morris County’s economy, to determine what is and what is not working in the current response to the virus;
  • Examine the potential gradual ramping up of the county’s work force;
  • Consider how various businesses, industry, government, and education could adapt to new concepts to be able to reopen;
  • Examine the role of local and county governments to assist in the reopening of the county. 

04/24/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that all NJMVC agency, road testing, and inspections facilities will remain closed until at least Monday, May 11 in an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In addition to expanding online services, the Commission is continuing essential operations, including measures to support commercial trucking to keep the supply chain moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most renewals of driver licenses, non-driver IDs, and registrations – including, for the first time, some commercial registrations – can be processed online at NJMVC.gov. Customers can change their address, pay fees, and other services online as well. Drivers with suspended licenses can seek to get licenses restored, if they are eligible, using email instead of phone or in-person interactions. Drivers who believe they are eligible for restoration should email suspension.info@mvc.nj.gov

04/24/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) is leading New Jersey’s efforts to combat COVID-19 disinformation, rumors, and scams that may impact residents and businesses throughout the State. NJOHSP is collaborating with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center, and New Jersey State Police to provide the public with guidance regarding false and fraudulent information and activity stemming from the pandemic. A webpage,COVID-19 Rumor Control and Disinformation Updates, launched in mid-March is updated as new information becomes available. The webpage features unclassified intelligence products on COVID-19 disinformation, details about scams that New Jersey residents and visitors might be susceptible to, and cybersecurity alerts regarding potential threats to individuals and businesses caused by the pandemic.

04/23/20: Atlantic Health System (which includes Chilton Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center) has issued a reminder to the public that their emergency rooms remain open and safe for an emergency of any kind, and that residents should not hesitate to seek emergency medical care if they are experiencing a serious illness or severe symptoms of any kind. Delaying emergency medical help could worsen symptoms, or result in a life-threatening situation. Atlantic Health System has implemented many measures to keep patients and caregivers safe, and are described in their document: Emergency Care During COVID-19.

04/22/20: The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund presents on Wednesday, April 22, at 7:00 pm EST "Jersey 4 Jersey", a one-night broadcast fundraiser to fight the impact of COVID-19 in New Jersey. Providing musical performances from their homes will be Tony Bennett, Jon Bon Jovi, Halsey, Charlie Puth, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, SZA, and the remaining members of Fountains of Wayne, with special appearances by Saquon Barkley, Danny DeVito, Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea Handler, Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, and other guests. Donations go directly to the NJPRF, which supports organizations that provide essential services, and that aid those on the front line of the pandemic. The event will air at 7 p.m. EST on WABC Channel 7, WPVI 6ABC, WPIX, News12, NJTV, on Apple Music and AppleTV apps worldwide, broadcast live and rebroadcast five times on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio (currently free on the SiriusXM app), and on local radio outlets including 1010 WINS, WCBS 880, CBS-FM, WFAN, New York’s Country 94.7, Alt 92.3, Q104.3 and others. Social media posts will also be shared with the hashtag #jersey4jersey. 

4/22/20: The Montville Township Police Department has established a YouTube channel, and has uploaded several videos, including this one describing how the Montville Social Services Department is assisting our seniors and families in need during COVID-19:


4/22/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that in an effort to identify and address ongoing disparities and health inequities that risk accelerating the spread of COVID-19, he has today signed legislation (S2357) which will require hospitals to report demographic data to the Department of Health. In conjunction with this signing, the COVID-19 Information Hub has been updated with preliminary racial data that has already been collected. S2357 requires hospitals to report demographic data including age, ethnicity, gender, and race of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, who have died from COVID-19, and who have tried to get testing but have been turned away. 

4/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that in response to growing concerns about financial market disruptions on local governments, the Murphy Administration and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank) have implemented a backstop municipal bond note program. I-Bank’s $50 million liquidity investment, which is designed to help mitigate financial impacts to municipalities during the coronavirus state of emergency, launched on April 15. The I-Bank Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) Program provides liquidity for municipalities in New Jersey that experience difficulty rolling over BANs in today’s volatile municipal bond market.   

4/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the state has secured relief options with private student loan servicers to expand on the protections the federal government granted to federal student loan borrowers. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided relief for students with federal loans, however, the CARES Act does not apply to millions of student loan borrowers with federal loans that are not owned by the US Government, as well as loans made by private lenders.  

Under the initiative announced today, New Jersey residents with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans, or privately held student loans, who are struggling to make their payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be eligible for expanded relief. Borrowers in need of assistance must immediately contact their student loan servicer to identify the options that are appropriate to their circumstances. 

4/20/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that United Airlines and Delta Airlines, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Health, are offering free round-trip flights to health care workers coming to New Jersey to help with the state’s efforts to fight the virus. The airlines will fly previously vetted volunteers to Newark Airport from any airport in the nation. 

04/19/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the appointees to the multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work. The appointees include one health expert, one economic development expert and the respective Chief of Staff from each state. The appointees for New Jersey are:

  • George Helmy, Chief of Staff to the Governor
  • Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Jeh Johnson, Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama

04/18/20: With New York Governor Cuomo and Connecticut Governor LaMont, Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that NY, CT, and NJ marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers will be allowed open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed. Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only, like anywhere else in the three states.

04/18/20: A free 30-minute "Vent and Reinvent" webinar for Montville parents will be held on Monday, April 20, 2020 at 7:30 pm by the Well Being Therapy Center of Montville. Hosted by the Center’s founder, Lauren Muriello, LPC, the webinar series will provide parents a forum to vent their frustrations, and gain insights to reinvent their approach to parenting (and surviving) during the covid-19 pandemic. The webinar is free, but online registration is required.

04/17/20: The New Jersey Department of Health has issued guidance fact sheets to assist essential New Jersey Retail Businesses in complying with Executive Order 122, and Retail Food Establishmenst and Bars with Executive Order 125. If you observe a business in Montville failing to comply with either of these Executive Orders, please contact the Montville Police Department at 973-257-4300. 

Essential retail businesses that are still permitted to operate must comply with the following:

  • Limit occupancy at 50 percent of the stated maximum store capacity, if applicable, at one time;
  • Establish hours of operation, wherever possible, that permit access solely to high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC;
  • Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between customers and cashiers/baggers wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;
  • Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, and/or delivery of goods wherever feasible. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers;
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, credit card machines, keypads, counters and shopping carts;
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the store, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance;
  • Demarcate six feet of spacing in check-out lines to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing;
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline entry to the individual, unless if the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business policy should provide alternate methods of pickup and/or delivery of such goods. Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or customers from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the business is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering on store premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the essential retail business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.

Restaurants, cafeterias, food courts, bars, etc. that are still permitted to operate must comply with the following:

  • Limit occupancy at 10% of the stated maximum capacity, wherever feasible, at one time;
  • Ensure six feet of distance between workers and customers, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;
  • Arrange for contactless pay, pickup, and/or delivery options wherever feasible;
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff;
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like credit card machines, keypads, and counters;
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the food business, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance;
  • Require workers to wear cloth face coverings and gloves while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that worker’s health, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees.  Customers that enter the food business will similarly be required to wear cloth face coverings, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under the age of two, but will not be required to wear such covering when receiving a delivery or when picking up goods outside of the food business.  If a worker or customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the food business at the point of entry, then the food business must decline entry to the individual. Such food business should, however, arrange for delivery, curbside pick-up or alternative arrangements wherever possible.  Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or customers from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the business is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering inside the food business due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the food business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.

04/17/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has unanimously voted to suspend rent increases at all eligible properties within the Agency’s portfolio, which includes 36,000 rental units across the state. The suspension of rent increases will remain in place until the termination of Executive Order 103. Also, homeowners and renters whose ability to pay their mortgage or rent has been impacted by COVID-19 can now seek housing counseling to help prevent possible eviction or foreclosure. These services are available at no cost to the consumer, and a full list of participating housing counselors and more details on the program can be found at: www.njhousing.gov/foreclosure.

04/16/20: Atlantic Health System has created a Coronavirus Grief and Loss Support Group that will meet virtually via Zoom on Wednesdays from 12:00pm to 1:00pm starting April 22, 2020. Led by AHS Behavioral Health Clinicians and Social Workers, the forum will provide a safe place for you to express your feelings of bereavement, grief, and loss, guide you through the grief process, connect you with others going through the same experiences, and provide resources for personal, one-on-one behavioral health supports. To register, please call their hotline at 862-260-3199 and press #3 to speak with an AHS Social Worker.

04/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he had signed the following legislation:

  • A-3901/S-2334 - Permits professional and occupational licensing boards to reactivate licensure of certain individuals during state of emergency or public health emergency
  • A-3903/S-2336 - Allows remote notarial acts during Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020
  • A-3904/S-2337 - Permits use of virtual or remote instruction to meet minimum 180-day school year requirement under certain circumstances
  • S-2333/A-3910 - Provides civil and criminal immunity to certain health care professionals and health care facilities during public health emergency and state of emergency; facilitates issuance of certain temporary licenses and certifications during public health emergency and state of emergency
  • S-2338/A-3918 - "COVID-19 Fiscal Mitigation Act"; clarifies filing and payment deadline for CBT and GIT taxpayers, modifies duration of State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, requires certain updates and presentation for State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021
  • S-2342/A-3915 - Permits nonprofit corporations to allow members to participate in meetings by means of remote communication, and permits nonprofit corporations to hold meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication during state of emergency
  • S-2349/A-3922 - Changes date of 2020 primary election from June 2 to July 7
  • S-2353/A-3938 - Excludes from severance requirements under "Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act" mass layoffs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic

04/15/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that he had signed legislation (S2374), which expands protections of the Family Leave Act to allow employees forced to take time off to care for a family member during the COVID-19 outbreak with up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs.

04/14/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the implementation of technology improvements and customer service improvements from upgrading computer technology to adding personnel and boosting phone capacity, in order to get unemployment claims processed faster and customers’ questions answered quicker. The announcement comes as record numbers of unemployment claims continue to flood the New Jersey Labor Department, and labor departments across the country.   

04/14/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 127, which extends various deadlines associated with rulemaking for state agencies until 90 days following the end of the public health emergency. The order additionally allows for any rules or emergency rules that would expire during the current public health emergency to be extended until 90 days following the end of the public health emergency.

04/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing his intention to sign into law a bill extending New Jersey’s income and corporate tax filing deadline to July 15. The bill received final passage in the Legislature today and will be signed by the Governor tomorrow.

04/13/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 126, which prohibits cable and telecommunications providers from terminating Internet and voice service due to nonpayment until 30 days after the current public health emergency has ended. The order also mandates that all service downgrades, service reductions, or late fees due to nonpayment are prohibited unless they are imposed in accordance with a policy approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Additionally, any Internet or voice service that was disconnected after March 16 due to nonpayment must be reconnected.

04/13/20: Governor Murphy announced in a press release that the Governors of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island (and announced later the same day, Massachusetts) will form a multi-state council comprised of one health expert, one economic development expert and the respective Chief of Staff from each state that will work together to develop a fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states’ stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.

04/12/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 125, which imposes additional mitigation requirements on NJ TRANSIT and all private carriers to limit the spread of COVID-19, and also outlines specific policies on restaurants that have remained open for takeout orders.

04/12/20: Governor Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan issued a press release announcing that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved New Jersey’s request to use emergency, non-congregate sheltering for individuals impacted by COVID-19 that do not have the means or ability to isolate themselves.

FEMA’s approval allows State, county, and local entities to be reimbursed for providing housing at hotels or motels for certain vulnerable populations, including:

  • Homeless families who live in congregate shelters with at least one family member who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Homeless individuals who require quarantine or isolation due to a positive test for COVID-19;
  • Children and adults living in congregate living settings, such as group homes, who have tested positive for COVID-19;
  • First responders and healthcare workers who do not require hospitalization but nevertheless need to avoid direct contact with their families due to exposure to COVID-19; and
  • COVID-19 positive patients who do not require hospitalization in a traditional setting but who nonetheless require quarantine and isolation outside their resident to prevent the further spread of the virus. 

04/11/20: Montville Township is asking residents, congregations, and community groups to participate in ringing their bells tomorrow, Easter Sunday, at 10:00 am, as a way to come together to encourage and support each other during the State’s social distancing and stay-at-home order. 

In addition, each fire station - Montville, Pine Brook and Towaco - is encouraged to sound their sirens at 10:15am on Easter Sunday morning as a way to say thank you to our health care workers on the front lines, as well as acknowledge their incredible work and sacrifices.

As a community, we will beat this virus, and come out even stronger!

04/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 124, which establishes a process by which the Department of Corrections may grant temporary reprieve to certain at-risk inmates during the public health emergency. The Governor’s Executive Order creates the Emergency Medical Review Committee to make recommendations on which inmates should be placed on temporary home confinement through the Commissioner’s statutory furlough authority. All recommendations to place an individual on home confinement will be made after thorough review and consideration of the conditions that an individual may face in the community.

04/11/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the acquisition of 15 point-of-care ID NOW testing instruments from the federal government to expand access to COVID-19 testing in New Jersey. The portable, rapid testing machines will be dispersed to health care systems throughout the state, will be able to test for COVID-19 and process specimens in approximately 5-13 minutes. In March 2020, Abbott received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval for molecular point-of-care testing for the detection of COVID-19. The test runs on the company’s ID NOW platform, providing rapid results in a wide range of health care settings. In addition to the 15 ID NOW instruments, New Jersey has received an initial allotment of 125 tests and will require additional resources to achieve maximum testing capacity.

04/10/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 123, which extends grace periods during which certain insurance companies, including health insurers, life insurers, and property and casualty insurers, will not be able to cancel policies for nonpayment of premiums.

  • Extends minimum grace periods: A minimum 60-day grace period will be required for health and dental insurance policies, and a minimum 90-day grace period will be required for life insurance, insurance premium-financing arrangements, and property and casualty insurance, which includes auto, homeowners, and renters insurance. Insurance companies will be required to notify policyholders of this emergency grace period and to waive certain late fees, interest, or other charges associated with delays in premium payments as directed by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. Insurers will also be required to provide each policyholder with an easily readable written description of the terms of the extended grace period.  The extended grace periods will not apply to employer-funded health plans, which under federal law, are regulated exclusively by the federal government.
  • Requires insurance companies to pay claims during the grace period: Insurance companies will be required to pay any claim incurred during the emergency grace period that would be covered under the policy. The Order further prohibits insurance companies from seeking recoupment of any claims paid during the emergency grace period based on non-payment of premiums.  
  • Ensures that unpaid premiums are made payable over a lengthy period: To ensure that policyholders are not required to make a lump sum payment on unpaid premiums at the end of the grace period, any unpaid premium will be amortized over the remainder of the policy term or a period of up to 12 months, as appropriate and as directed by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance.  

04/09/20: Montville Township has issued a memo to all Township residents with answers to frequently-asked questions about the kinds of information relative to COVID-19 that is being collected by the Township, how the Township is protecting the private information of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, what information the Township is allowed to share with the public, and how that information is shared with the public as it becomes available. 

04/09/20: Valley Health System is asking recovered COVID-19 patients to be serum donors. Eligible patients may volunteer to donate blood, which will be screened for the presence of the disease’s antibodies. Antibody-rich plasma can then be transferred into COVID-19 patients at Valley whose conditions are considered severe or life-threatening. This process, called plasmapheresis, has been used in China to help COVID-19 patients improve. Learn about the criteria for COVID-19 serum donation, and request to have your blood screened here.

04/09/20: Morris County issued a press release announcing free professional resources for mental health support for Morris County residents. Morris County residents can call NJ Mental Health Cares at 866-202-HELP (4357) to speak to a trained specialist from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Also, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services or SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 provides 24/7, 365-day-a- year crisis counseling and support. In addition to these two resources, the press release also lists other tips and resources for mental health self-care.

04/09/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive 122, which ceases all non-essential construction projects and imposes additional mitigation requirements on essential retail businesses and essential industries to limit the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey. The order also outlines specific protections and policies for all essential retail, manufacturing, and warehousing businesses, as well as businesses engaged in essential construction projects. 

  1. Essential retail businesses that are still permitted to operate under Executive Order No. 107 (2020) must adopt the following policies:
  • Limit occupancy at 50 percent of the stated maximum store capacity, if applicable, at one time;
  • Establish hours of operation, wherever possible, that permit access solely to high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC;
  • Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between customers and cashiers/baggers wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;
  • Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, and/or delivery of goods wherever feasible. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers;
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, credit card machines, keypads, counters and shopping carts;
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the store, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance;
  • Demarcate six feet of spacing in check-out lines to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing;
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline entry to the individual, unless if the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business policy should provide alternate methods of pickup and/or delivery of such goods. Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or customers from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the business is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering on store premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the essential retail business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition. 
  1. The physical operations of all non-essential construction projects shall cease at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10. “Essential construction projects” include the following:
  • Projects necessary for the delivery of health care services, including but not limited to hospitals, other health care facilities, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
  • Transportation projects, including roads, bridges, and mass transit facilities or physical infrastructure, including work done at airports or seaports.
  • Utility projects, including those necessary for energy and electricity production and transmission, and any decommissioning of facilities used for electricity generation.
  • Residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing.
  • Projects involving pre-K-12 schools, including but not limited to projects in Schools Development Authority districts, and projects involving higher education facilities.
  • Projects already underway involving individual single-family homes, or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides, with a construction crew of 5 or fewer individuals. This includes additions to single-family homes such as solar panels.
  • Projects already underway involving a residential unit for which a tenant or buyer has already entered into a legally binding agreement to occupy the unit by a certain date, and construction is necessary to ensure the unit’s availability by that date.
  • Projects involving facilities at which any one or more of the following takes place: the manufacture, distribution, storage, or servicing of goods or products that are sold by online retail businesses or essential retail businesses, as defined by Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent Administrative Orders adopted pursuant to that Order.
  • Projects involving data centers or facilities that ar