COVID-19

The Montville Health Department, along with the other Township Departments, is closely monitoring the continuing COVID-19 global pandemic. We are in regular contact with the Morris County Office of Health Management, NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that accurate and timely information is being provided. 

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 underlying chronic health conditions. Testing for COVID-19 is available through healthcare providers and testing sites throughout the state, however, it is advised that other possible causes for symptoms, such as influenza or other viruses, are also investigated. If a COVID-19 test comes back positive for a Montville resident, the Montville Health Department is notified through the NJ Department of Health’s electronic Communicable Disease Registry and Surveillance System (CDRSS). Our department then contacts that person to conduct a case investigation, contact tracing for household and close contacts, and monitoring of that person and their contacts their isolation and quarantine periods. 

If you are ill and have symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, it is recommended that you stay at home, avoid other members of the public, and to call your healthcare provider for guidance.

If you are not ill and have no symptoms, please continue to practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, avoid sick people, and adhere to social distancing recommendations and directives from the State, the County, and the Township. 

Please see below for data and reports, information about cases, news items, and resources regarding COVID-19. Thank you.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

DATA and REPORTS:

Montville Township cases:



Date
New cases
Total casesRecovered/clearedTotal recovered/cleared casesCurrent cases
07/14
0
237
0
237
0
07/13
0
237
3
237
0
07/12
0
237
0
234
3
07/11
0
237
0
234
3
07/10123702343
07/09023612342
07/08023632333
07/07023612306
07/06023612297
07/05023602288
07/04023602288
07/03023602288
07/02023622288
07/012236122610
06/30023402259
06/29223402259
06/28023202257
06/27023202257
06/26023202257
06/25123202257
06/24023102256
06/23023102256
06/22223102256
06/21022902254
06/20022942254
06/19122922218
06/18022802199
06/17122802199
06/16022712198
06/15022722189
06/140227021611
06/130227021611
06/121227121611
06/111226121511
06/100225021411
06/090225121411
06/081225021312
06/070224021311
06/060224021311
06/050224021311
06/040224121311
06/032224121212
06/020222021111
06/011222021111
05/310221021110
05/301221021110
05/29222012119
05/28021802108
05/27121812108
05/26021702098
05/25021702098
05/24121702098
05/23021602097
05/22021602097
05/21021612097
05/20121632088
05/191215020510
05/18021412059
05/170214020410
05/160214020410
05/150214420410
05/14*0214820014
05/130214119222
05/120214219123
05/110214218925
05/100214018727
05/090214218727
05/082214218529
05/071212518329
05/060211217833
05/0552111317635
05/041206016343
05/032205016342
05/023203016340
05/0122001216337
04/3021981815147
04/292196213363
04/2831941513163
04/273191011675
04/264188011672
04/254184111668
04/246180911565
04/232174310668
04/224172110369
04/2141681010266
04/20616409272
04/19015809266
04/181115809266
04/17314719255
04/161114499153
04/151133128251
04/140132157062
04/13313255577
04/12412905079
04/11712505075
04/10511885068
04/09411344271
04/08310963871
04/07210683274
04/06910402480
04/05129532471
04/0498332162
04/03127421856
04/0246271646
04/013580949
03/314550946
03/3010516942
03/296410338
03/289352332
03/2710261125
03/264160016
03/251120012
03/240110011
03/230110011
03/220110011
03/213110011
03/2028008
03/1936006
03/1833003
03/1700000
03/1600000


* 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.

For Morris County data broken down by municipality, please see the Morris County COVID-19 page. Please note the limitations and provisos posted under the County’s chart regarding their data. Due to a variety of factors, slight differences may occur between data on the county website and the data on municipal websites throughout the county.

For county and state data, please see the NJ COVID-19 Data Dashboard on the NJ COVID-18 Information HubThe Data Dashboard also includes data on cases associated with hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as demographic information for cases associated with hospitals.

For NJDOH Confirmed Case Summary reports for the state (updated daily), please see NJDOH CDS COVID-19 page for Public Health Professionals.

INFORMATION ABOUT CASES:

All appropriate precautions and protocols regarding contact tracing and monitoring are in place and are being followed by the Montville Health Department. 

Individuals who have tested positive have been contacted by the Montville Township Health Department, are under isolation from the public, and are being regularly monitored by the Health Department as per NJDOH and CDC requirements to ensure compliance with all local, county, and state protocols and the protection of our community. 

Document (updated 5/18/20): Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Document (updated 5/28/20): NJ Residents with a Positive COVID-19 Test: Instructions and Next Steps

Document (updated 5/28/20): Residentes de NJ con una prueba COVID-19 positiva: instrucciones y próximos pasos

Document (updated 6/11/20): Ill NJ Residents Who Tested Negative for COVID-19: Instructions and Next Steps

Document (updated 6/11/20): Instrucciones para personas que resulten negativas para COVID-19

Document (updated 5/11/20): NJDOH COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Document (updated 5/11/20): NJDOH COVID-19 Hoja de datos

Document (3/26/20): Guidance for Close or Casual Contacts of a Confirmed or Suspected Case of COVID-19

Document (3/29/20): FAQs for Close Contacts of NJ Resident with a Positive COVID-19 Test

Documents: Isolation vs Quarantine     Aislamiento vs cuarentena     隔离与隔离

Additional documents can be found on the NJ Department of Health COVID-19 website.

Household contacts and/or close contacts of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the Montville Health Department, asked for information, and provided with instructions for quarantine and monitoring.

  • A household contact is defined as: a person who lives in the same household. 
  • 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.

Casual contacts: 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 (fever, cough, shortness of breath). 

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

Please answer the phone 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 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 you tell us about, so they can be called and cared for. Your identity is kept anonymous and your information confidential, and we will never share with your contacts who gave us their information. If you tested positive, your contacts will NOT be told that it was you.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Federal 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. 

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 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 correctly, cough/sneeze into elbows instead of hands, and monitor yourself for symptoms. If you experience symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), please telephone your healthcare provider for guidance.

We will continue to update the public regularly regarding the status of cases within Montville Township.

NEWS ITEMS

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 are critical to a business’s ability to function.
  • Projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services, including homeless shelters.
  • Any project necessary to support law enforcement agencies or first responder units in their response to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Any project that is ordered or contracted for by Federal, State, county, or municipal government, or any project that must be completed to meet a deadline established by the Federal government.
  • Any work on a non-essential construction project that is required to physically secure the site of the project, ensure the structural integrity of any buildings on the site, abate any hazards that would exist on the site if the construction were to remain in its current condition, remediate a site, or otherwise ensure that the site and any buildings therein are appropriately protected and safe during the suspension of the project.
  • Any emergency repairs necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents.
  1. Manufacturing businesses, warehousing businesses, and businesses engaged in essential construction projects must adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:
  • Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the worksite;
  • Limit worksite meetings, inductions, and workgroups to groups of fewer than ten individuals;
  • Require individuals to maintain six feet or more distance between them wherever possible;
  • Stagger work start and stop times where practicable to limit the number of individuals entering and leaving the worksite concurrently;
  • Stagger lunch breaks and work times where practicable to enable operations to safely continue while utilizing the least number of individuals possible at the site;
  • Restrict the number of individuals who can access common areas, such as restrooms and breakrooms, concurrently;
  • Require workers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings, in accordance with CDC recommendations, while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves while on the premises. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees.  If a visitor 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 businesses must decline entry to the individual.  Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or visitors 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 businesses 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 the premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Limit sharing of tools, equipment, and machinery;
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to workers and visitors; and
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, breakrooms, equipment, and machinery.
  1. All essential retail businesses, warehousing businesses, manufacturing businesses, and businesses performing essential construction projects must also adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:
  • Immediately separate and send home workers who appear to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 illness upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day; and
  • Promptly notify workers of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite, consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable laws;
  • Clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when a worker at the site has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness;
  • Continue to follow guidelines and directives issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, the CDC and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as applicable, for maintaining a clean, safe and healthy work environment.
  1. Where a business is authorized to maintain in-person operations, owners of buildings used for commercial, industrial or other enterprises, including but not limited to facilities for warehousing, manufacturing, commercial offices, airports, grocery stores, universities, colleges, government, hotels, and residential buildings with at least 50 units, shall adopt policies that, at minimum, implement the following cleaning protocols in areas where operations are conducted:
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with CDC guidelines, particularly in spaces that are accessible to staff, customers, tenants, or other individuals, and ensure cleaning procedures following a known or potential exposure in a facility are in compliance with CDC recommendations;
  • Otherwise maintain cleaning procedures in all other areas of the facility; and
  • Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of workers to perform the above protocols effectively and in a manner that ensures the safety of occupants, visitors, and workers.

The order will take effect on Friday, April 10, at 8:00 p.m.

04/09/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 121, which increases the maximum weight limit on certain interstate highways and toll roads from 80,000 pounds (40 tons) tons to 92,000 pounds (46 tons) for vehicles transporting COVID-19 relief supplies.

04/08/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 120, which postpones primary elections on Tuesday, June 2nd to Tuesday, July 7th in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This includes primaries for President, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the 25th District of the New Jersey Legislature, and county and municipal elections, as well as county committee elections.  Last month, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 105, which delayed certain elections set to take place in March and April until May 12th. The Order also states that all deadlines for meeting statutory requirements for a primary election that are currently scheduled to occur after April 11 will be calculated using the July 7, 2020 primary election date.  This would not affect any deadlines that 1) have already passed, such as the filing deadline for candidate petitions for the primary election, or 2) will pass prior to April 11. The only exception is the deadline for change of party affiliation declaration forms to be filed, which is currently scheduled for April 8 and will move to May 13. Additionally, independent candidate petitions will be due by 4:00 p.m. on July 7, 2020, and the electronic signature and submission requirements that were set forth in Executive Order 105 for primary candidates will be extended to these independent candidate petitions.

04/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 119, which extends the Public Health Emergency declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order 103. Under the NJ Emergency Health Powers Act (N.J.S.A. 26:13-1 et seq., enacted in 2005 in the wake of 9/11), a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Executive Order No. 119 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.

04/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 118, which closes all state parks and forests and county parks to further social distancing measures.

04/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 117, which waives 2019-2020 statutory school year assessment requirements for eight grade and twelfth grade students who have not yet met the graduation assessment requirement due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

04/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 116, which extends certain statutory school district deadlines, and extends school board terms to allow school board elections that were scheduled for April to be postponed until May.

04/07/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 115, which allows retirees to return to State and local government employment without impacting their retirement pensions, and removing restrictions on law enforcement’s ability to temporarily supplement their ranks. Governor Murphy’s Executive Order also enrolls newly hired State employees in the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) immediately upon hire. The SHBP enrollment only applies to new State employees hired in connection with COVID-19 response efforts.

The Governor’s Executive Order makes the following changes to the State’s personnel policies for the duration of the public health emergency:

Retirees: Retirees may return to public employment in any capacity, including full-time, part-time or as SLEOs, provided:

  • The retiree has retired before the date of the executive order;
  • The retiree has completed at least a 30-day separation from their employment, dating from the date of retirement or the date of board approval, whichever is later; and
  • The retiree’s return to employment is necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEOs): The 25% SLEO cap is suspended and a municipality may employ the number of SLEOs as are necessary in the judgement of the law enforcement agency to address public health and safety.

New Hires: Any individual hired by a State or local entity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may immediately enroll in SHBP.

04/06/20: Hackensack Meridian Health has been approved to recruit recovered and recovering COVID-19 patients to assess their blood and test it for antibodies in response to the virus. These antibodies may help other patients who are infected with COVID-19. Patients are asked to fill out an online survey, and those patients with promising antibodies will be asked to come back to donate an additional blood sample which may be helpful for sick COVID-19 patients. This convalescent plasma therapy is still pending approval from the FDA, which they hope to receive soon. If you, or someone you know, have recovered or are recovering from COVID-19, you may be eligible to donate. Patients can find the survey here.

04/04/20: The CDC has announced that recent studies have shown that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19 to others. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The CDC has a guide for the use of cloth face coverings, which includes patterns to make masks, and laundering instructions (machine-launder). 

04/03/20: The Montville Health Department has received several inquiries regarding the recommended washing/disinfecting procedure for home-made masks. There is no guidance on this at this time from the CDC or NJ Department of Health. However, the World Health Organization recommends the following for clothes and bedlinens:

  1. Machine wash in hot water (between 140F to 200F) using regular laundry detergent
  2. Add bleach, if available, according to label and washing machine directions
  3. Machine dry on high heat until completely dry

04/03/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 114, which orders all American and New Jersey state flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities indefinitely, starting Friday, April 3rd, in recognition and mourning of all those who have lost their lives and been affected by COVID-19. “COVID-19 has taken far too many relatives, friends, and loved ones in New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “This virus has affected every corner of our state, and as we continue to work to break the back of this pandemic, we recognize those who have been lost to this terrible illness and all those affected by it. Many families cannot hold funerals for their loved ones at this time. By doing this, we remind them that their losses are not forgotten.”

04/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 113, which authorizes the NJ State Director of Emergency Management to commandeer personal services and/or real or personal property.  This includes medical supplies and equipment from private companies and institutions in order to help meet the continued need for ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the state in hospitals, health care facilities, and emergency response agencies due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

04/02/20: As a public health and safety reminder, Montville Township is requesting that all residents who are now using personal protective equipment (PPE), i.e. masks, gloves, etc., to dispose of these items properly after use. Please dispose of all used PPE by placing them in the trash with other solid waste. Please do not leave used PPE anywhere that another person can come into contact with it, including leaving it on the ground or in streets.

04/02/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 112, which supplements the State’s existing health care workforce by:

  • Authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to temporarily reactivate the licensees of healthcare professionals previously licensed in the State within the last five years. This will enable doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who have recently retired or have allowed their licenses to lapse to temporarily reactivate their license.  
  • Authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to grant temporary medical licenses to doctors who are licensed and in good standing in foreign countries.
  • Temporarily waiving certain scope of practice restrictions on Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) related to physician collaboration, including a rule requiring that an APN enter into a joint protocol with a collaborating physician and a rule requiring APNs to obtain authorization from a collaborating physician in order to dispense narcotic drugs. 
  • Temporarily waiving certain scope of practice restrictions on Physician Assistants (PAs) related to physician supervision, including a rule requiring PAs to obtain physician authorization prior to prescribing a controlled dangerous substance.  

04/02/20: The Montville Township Committee and Montville VFW Post 5481 issued a press release expressing faith that together, as one, our nation will overcome this challenge as it has others in the past, to announce that they have directed staff to mount American flags throughout our community as a reminder of our collective spirit, and to remind our community to thank our first responders and healthcare professionals for serving and protecting our community.

04/02/20: The Montville Health Department announces that the Spring Rabies Vaccination Clinic originally scheduled in April has been postponed indefinitely. If/when this clinic is rescheduled, the new date will be announced to the public.

04/01/20: Montville Township issued a press release with details of the continued cancellation of Township events and meetings, modifications/cancellation of Township programs, and closure of some Township buildings and facilities.

04/01/20: The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) Communicable Disease Service (CDS) today released their first COVID-19 Confirmed Case Summary reportThis report provides state-level information on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases by patient age and gender, severe outcomes, geographic distribution, and timing of illness onset, and provides trends on COVID-19 testing. This report will be updated and posted online each day on CDS’s COVID-19 webpage for Public Health Professionals.

03/31/20: The Morris County Office of Emergency Management has created Operation Save-a-Life, an emergency call for Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and medical professionals who are available during this COVID-19 health crisis to sign up for paid job openings at healthcare facilities across Morris County that are in dire need of qualified medical personnel. For more information, please see the Operation Save-a-Life page of the County’s website.

03/30/20: The County of Morris, in partnership with Atlantic Health, is offering free drive-through COVID-19 testing at the County College of Morris, in Randolph. Those who wish to be tested must:

  • Be a Morris County resident 
  • Schedule an appointment 
  • Be symptomatic
  • Have a prescription from their healthcare provider for testing

For more information, please see Morris County’s COVID-19 page of their website.

03/30/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Administrative Order 2020-6, which updates and clarifications to the list of essential retail businesses that are allowed to operate.This now includes:

  • Individual appointments to view real estate with realtors by individuals or families shall be considered essential retail business. Open houses are still considered impermissible gatherings.
  • Car dealers may continue to conduct online sales or remote sales that are consistent with current law. In the event of such a sale, the car may be delivered to the purchaser or the purchaser can pick up the car curbside or in the dealership service lane.
  • In accordance with the guidance released by the federal Department of Homeland Security, effective Tuesday, March 31, at 8:00 a.m., firearms retailers are permitted to operate – by appointment only and during limited hours – to conduct business which, under law, must be done in person. The NICS background check system will be up and running to process firearms purchases.
  • Golf courses are considered recreational and entertainment businesses that must close to the public and to members associated with private golf clubs.

03/28/20: The CDC issued a Health Advisory warning the public of the risk of severe illness and/or death from using non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate (a chemical used in home aquariums) to prevent and/or treat COVID-19. Pharmaceutical chloroquine, and the related compound hydroxychloroquine, should be used only under the supervision of a healthcare provider as prescribed medications. Note: there are currently no USFDA-approved drugs specifically for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. At present, clinical management includes infection prevention and control measures and supportive care.  An array of drugs approved for other indications, as well as several investigational drugs, are being studied in several hundred clinical trials that are underway across the globe.

03/27/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release on March 25th announcing that law enforcement agencies across New Jersey are strictly enforcing all state Executive Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who refuse to comply will face criminal charges. NJ Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal reiterated that first responders should not be expending their limited PPE and putting themselves at risk to break up gatherings.  

03/27/20: On Saturday, March 28, New Jersey’s two federally-supported, state-run community test sites (Bergen County and Monmouth County) will be open only to symptomatic healthcare workers and symptomatic first responders (police/fire/EMT), who must present valid credentials and proof of NJ residency. Testing for each of these dates is limited to 250 specimens maximum at each of the sites, for a total of 500 from both sites combined. 

Beginning Sunday, March 29, the two sites will begin a schedule that alternates between being open to symptomatic healthcare workers/first responders and being open to the symptomatic general public. This alternating schedule will continue until further notice:

Bergen: Public: Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays. Healthcare/first responders: Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays.

Monmouth: Public: Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays. Healthcare/first responders: Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays.  

Other testing sites are also available that are open to all those who are symptomatic. A list of all sites and their requirements for testing can be found at https://covid19.nj.gov.

03/26/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing that President Trump has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey. “This declaration will allow us to lift remaining bureaucratic barriers to assistance and enhance our statewide response to COVID-19. I am grateful to the Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their collaboration and coordination in supporting our response and recovery efforts to COVID-19 in New Jersey.” In his request dated March 23, 2020, Governor Murphy requested two types of statewide assistance, including individual assistance, which provides assistance to individuals and households, and public assistance, which includes assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

03/25/20: Montville Township issued a press release announcing the extension until further notice of the continued cancellation of Township programs and closure to the public of Township buildings and facilities. The Health Department, with limited staff, and with protections in place for that staff, is still providing essential services to the Township, including communicable disease tracking and monitoring, ensuring Dial-A-Ride clients still have access to essential goods and services with a modified Dial-A-Ride program, and assisting the Montville Social Services Department to provide a variety of essential services to residents in need.

03/25/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 110, directing all child care centers in New Jersey to certify by Friday, March 27, that they will solely serve as emergency child care centers for the children of essential workers. Child care centers that do not certify that they can and will exclusively care for these children of essential workers must close by Wednesday, April 1. Certification is to be submitted by licensed childcare facilities on the NJ Department of Families and Children COVID-19 page.

03/24/20: NJ State Administrative Order 2020-06 was issued, which expanded the list of essential businesses to include mobile phone retail and repair shops, bicycle shops (but only to provide service and repair), livestock feed stores, nurseries and garden centers, and farming equipment stores.

03/21/20: Atlantic Health Systems has issued a call to communities for assistance with making masks for our local AHS hospitals, including Morristown Medical Center and Chilton Medical Center, among others. The masks will be used for those in healthcare spaces who are not directly at risk for COVID-19, but still may require protection. This allows professional-level masks to be used exclusively by healthcare workers who are at higher risk. Please see this Youtube video tutorial, but be sure to use the materials specified in these mask-making instructions. A representative from Atlantic Health will pick up completed masks (details included in the written instructions).

03/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the opening of a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. Starting on Monday, March 23rd, the drive-thru testing center will be open seven days per week, beginning at 8:00 a.m. until supplies last. Gates will not open until 8:00 a.m. and individuals will not be permitted to line up along the Garden State Parkway. The PNC Bank Arts Center Commuter Lots will be closed. In order to be eligible for testing, individuals must be current New Jersey residents and experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. Priority will be given to symptomatic individuals experiencing cough, fever (99.6F or above) and shortness of breath.

03/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the launch of the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub, a new, visitor-friendly website available at covid19.nj.gov. The New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub provides New Jerseyans with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the State’s response, including information about services such as food assistance and small business assistance. 

03/21/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 107, which directs all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities. The order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized by the Order. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners. It further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:

  • Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
  • Medical supply stores;
  • Gas stations;
  • Convenience stores;
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
  • Hardware and home improvement stores;
  • Banks and other financial institutions;
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
  • Pet stores;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
  • Printing and office supply shops;
  • Mail and delivery stores.

03/20/20: Montville Township Mayor Frank Cooney issued a press release announcing that he has tested positive for COVID-19, and urging residents to exercise caution and follow public health recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus.

03/20/20Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing a list of several pieces of legislation regarding COVID-19 that he signed today.

03/20/20: NJ State Administrative Order 2020-03 was issued which ordered the state-wide closure of all municipal, county, and state public libraries, and all libraries and computer labs and public and private colleges and universities.

03/19/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing the opening of a drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Bergen County starting Friday, 03/20/20, from 8am to 5pm daily. It will be open 7 days a week, and will remain operational until further notice. Testing at the site is limited to New Jersey residents who have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever of 99.6F or above, or shortness of breath). Individuals without symptoms will not be tested. Testing is free, and will be covered by the federal government or personal insurance company. Individuals are encouraged to bring insurance cards if they have one.

03/19/20: The Montville Kiwanis Food Pantry announced in a press release special hours on Saturday, March 21, 2020 for residents impacted by COVID-19Free, non-perishable care packages will be provided via curbside pickup to impacted residents at the Food Pantry at 91 Passaic Valley Road. To minimize crowding and adhere to social distancing guidelines, they ask for those residing south of Horseneck Road to arrive from 10:00am to 12:00 noon, and those residing north of Horseneck Road to arrive from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm.

03/19/20: Morris County Emergency Management Coordinator Scott DiGiralomo today issued an Order Pursuant to a Declaration of Emergency effective 8:00pm this evening, ordering the closure until further notice of all indoor public or private recreational bathing facilities, indoor recreational facilities, and all playgrounds and all playing fields, and restricting use of parks for passive recreation.

03/19/20: Governor Murphy today announced on Twitter that effective 8:00pm this evening, he is ordering the closure until further notice of all personal-care businesses which cannot comply with social distancing guidelines (including barber shops, hair salons, spas, nail salons, eyelash salons, and tattoo/body art facilities), as well as social clubs.

03/19/20: Governor Murphy today issued a press release announcing Executive Order 105 that implements changes to upcoming elections to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

03/18/20: The County of Morris issued a press release detailing adjustments to county Department of Human Services programs.

03/18/20: Montville Township issued a press release announcing that the Township has issued a proclamation of a State of Emergency in Montville Township.

03/17/20: Montville Township issued a press release regarding the first presumed positive case in Montville Township. Along with that notice, they issued a Risk Level chart received today from NJDOH, which describes various risk levels to the public based on their own health status and exposure.

03/16/20: Governor Murphy issued a press release announcing Executive Order 104:

  • All gatherings of persons in the State of New Jersey shall be limited to 50 persons or fewer, with limited exceptions;
  • All public, private, and parochial preschool programs, and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, will be closed beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and remain closed as long as the Order remains in effect;
  • Institutions of higher education will cease all in-person instruction beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and shall cease such in-person instruction as long as the Order remains in effect;
  • The Commissioner of Education shall continue working with each public, private, and parochial school to ensure students are able to continue their education through appropriate home instruction;
  • The Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Education shall take all necessary actions to ensure all students eligible for free or reduced meals will continue to receive the services necessary to meet nutritional needs during closures;
  • All casinos, concert venues, nightclubs, racetracks, gyms, fitness centers and classes, movie theaters, and performing arts centers will be closed to the public beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. and remain closed as long as this Order remains in effect;
  • All other non-essential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses must cease daily operations from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. (examples of essential businesses excluded from this directive include grocery/food stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, gas stations, healthcare facilities, and ancillary stores within healthcare facilities);
  • All restaurant establishments, with or without a liquor or limited brewery license, are permitted to operate under their normal business hours, but beginning after 8pm this evening 03/16/20, they are limited to offering delivery and/or take out-services only. Grocery/food stores are exempt from this directive.  

03/16/20: In an abundance of caution and concern, and to follow the lead of the Office of the Governor, who today announced  in a press release which ordered closed all schools pre-K through higher education, the Montville Township Health Department issued a strong recommendation to all child care centers within Montville Township to close to the public beginning March 18, 2020 and to remain closed until such time as deemed by health officials to be safe to resume operations.

03/16/20: NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton has announced in a press release that all NJMVC agency and road testing facilities will be closed effective immediately as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and that they anticipate to re-open on Monday, March 30, 2020.  

03/15/20: To promote social distancing measures in response to COVID-19, use of the Montville Dog Park has been suspended effective immediately through Friday, March 27, 2020. Fob entry to the gate has been disabled, and signs have been posted on the gate.

03/14/20: The Chief Justice of the New Jersey Courts issued a press release announcing that municipal court sessions will be suspended for two weeks, starting Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. Individuals scheduled to appear before a municipal court to contest a traffic or parking ticket, or minor local ordinance violation, should instead await notice of a new court date. 

03/13/20: Montville Township has issued a press release regarding social distancing measures the Township is taking in response to COVID-19, including cancellation of events and meetings, modifications of some programs, and closure of some Township buildings and facilities. These measures are being taken to reduce transmission of COVID-19, primarily to prevent a surge for our healthcare systems. Please remember that although the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is high because it is a new virus and we do not have immunity to it, the risk of serious health outcomes to most of our population is low. The two groups most at risk for serious outcomes are the elderly, and the chronically ill. Let’s all do our part to protect our most vulnerable - practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette as described in the flyer below, avoid sick persons, and stay home if you are feeling sick.

03/13/20: The Montville Dial-A-Ride senior transportation program has been modified until further notice in an abundance of caution to protect the two groups most vulnerable to COVID-19: the elderly and the chronically ill. Please see the Montville Dial-A-Ride page for details on these temporary modifications.

03/13/20: Montville Township Schools will be closed on Monday, March 16th for staff planning in the event of a prolonged health-related school closure. In order to promote social distancing, they will remain closed from Tuesday, March 17th through Friday March 27th. Distance learning will be in place for students during that time. All extracurricular and athletic activities are cancelled through March 27th. In addtion, the Board of Education meeting scheduled for March 17th has been cancelled. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

As information can be subject to frequent updates, we’d like to remind the public that the most accurate and up to date information can be found at the sources listed below.

General Inquiries - websites:

NJ State COVID-19 Information Hub - a visitor-friendly website that provides New Jerseyans with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the State’s response.

NJDOH COVID-19 website - information for the general public, schools, businesses, healthcare providers, public health professionals, and state employees. Questions about COVID-19 can be submitted electronically to NJDOH on this site.

NJOHSP COVID-19 Rumor Control and Disinformation Updates - regularly updated information from the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) to help the public distinguish between facts and rumors/disinformation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

CDC COVID-19 website - general information, situation updates, and information particular to specific audiences.

CDC COVID-19 Managing Stress and Anxiety website  - information on reducing stress in yourself and others, information for parents, information for responders, and information for people released from quarantine.          

General Inquiries - text alerts and phone numbers: 

Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive state alerts 

NJDOH 24-hour COVID-19 Public Hotline: 1-800-222-1222 for general inquiries from the public. Those in NJ using an out-of-state cell phone number can call 1-800-962-1253. The hotline is staffed 24/7 by trained professionals, in multiple languages.

NJ General COVID-19 Questions: 2-1-1 (7a-11p)

Clinical Questions: 1-800-962-1253 (24/7)

NJ Department of Human Services 24-hour "Warmline" for those seeking mental health services during this event: 1-877-294-HELP (4357). The Warmline is staffed 24/7 by trained professionals, in multiple languages.

Residents with health concerns: Please contact your healthcare provider.

Healthcare providersPlease contact the Montville Health Department at 973-331-3316.

Video

NJDOH - All About COVID-19

Tips to Stay Healthy: A Video Message in American Sign Language


A-3813/S-2292

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