In Our Community

Libraries Reopening Guidelines

Today, libraries are permitted to reopen at 25% capacity.  Below, please find the requirements for the reopening:

 NJ COVID-19 Information Hub:

Libraries are permitted to open for curbside pickup.

Indoor portions of libraries can reopen on July 2 at 25 percent capacity, while following appropriate mitigation requirements.

Reopening plans vary by library. Please check with your local library for more details on hours and procedures.

Libraries offering curbside pickup services must follow appropriate mitigation requirements detailed in section 2 on page 5 of Administrative Order 2020-15. Beginning July 2, libraries can open indoor spaces while instituting mitigation requirements detailed in section 7 on page 13 of Executive Order No. 157.

What to Expect at Libraries

The following summarizes some of the protocols contained in AO 2020-15 and EO 157. However, this summary is not a replacement for fully complying with the terms of AO 2020-15 and EO 157 and libraries should read the full guidance carefully to ensure full compliance.

Libraries opening for curbside pickup must institute the following policies:

  • Patrons cannot enter the brick-and-mortar premises, but instead can pick up or drop off materials outside of the facility that they have already ordered;
  • In-premises operations will be limited, wherever feasible, to those employees who are responsible for the operations required for curbside pickup/drop-off;
  • Transactions will be handled in advance by phone, email, fax, or other means that avoid person-to-person contact, wherever feasible;
  • Patrons will notify the facility by text message, email, or phone once they arrive, whenever feasible, or make best efforts to schedule their arrival time in advance. The patron will be asked to remain in their vehicle, if arriving by car, until staff delivers or retrieves the materials;
  • Designated employees will bring materials outside of the facility and place the materials directly in a patron’s vehicle whenever feasible; and
  • Libraries will adopt required infection control, sanitization, and hygiene practices.

Beginning July 2, libraries opening indoor and outdoor spaces must institute the following policies:

  • Limit total capacity of any outdoor area to a number that ensures that all individuals can remain six feet apart;
  • Limit the number of patrons in any indoor premises to 25 percent capacity – excluding employees;
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while indoors, 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 then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises;
  • Limit occupancy in restrooms that remain open to avoid over-crowding and maintain social distancing through signage and, where practicable, the utilization of attendants to monitor capacity; and
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to customers.

For full details, see section 2 on page 5 of Administrative Order 2020-15 and section 7 on page 13 of Executive Order No. 157.

Source: Administrative Order 2020-15Executive Order No. 157

Motor Vehicle Commission Announced That In-Person License and Vehicle Transactions Will Be Delayed Until July 7th

The Motor Vehicle Commission announced that in-person license and vehicle transactions will be delayed until July 7th. Please note that road tests and inspections will begin today.
 
Below, please  find press release regarding the announcement:
 
Road Tests and Inspections Still Scheduled to Start June 29
 
TRENTON – The Motor Vehicle Commission announced today that most in-person transactions scheduled to start on June 29 will be delayed until July 7, while the text notification system undergoes final testing.
 
Statement from Chief Administrator Sue Fulton:
“We intended to rely on our new text notification system to check people in, then allow them to leave the building and go elsewhere. Unfortunately, this new system requires further testing, so we will not be able to open as fully as we anticipated on June 29. Without the text notification system, the number of people waiting for transactions who will need to be on site will far exceed capacity limitations. We have said that the health and safety of our customers and employees is our first priority; therefore, we cannot put people in this situation.
 
Road testing and Inspections stations will still be fully operational June 29. Our new opening date for other transactions previously scheduled for June 29 will be July 7.
 
Those who successfully complete their road tests will have to wait to get their new licenses until July 7, but they will be given access to “Road Test” express lanes at every Licensing Center.
 
In addition, during the month of July we will be CLOSED ON MONDAYS to allow us to do Health & Safety assessments of our facilities following each week of expanded activity.
 
COVID-19 presents unique problems for all of us, but especially those of us whose operations require people to be indoors. We will not compromise the health and safety of New Jerseyans.”
 
Most licenses, IDs, registrations, and other documents scheduled to expire after March 13 have been extended to July 31 or later (more info at NJMVC.gov).
 
Starting July 7, designated Licensing Centers will be processing new licenses and permits, out-of-state transfers, and REAL ID for those whose appointments were canceled.
 
Starting July 7, designated Vehicle Centers will be adding individual registration and title transactions.

Transactions that can be done online will not be available in person until further notice.
 
The Commission continues to urge customers to use NJMVC.gov to renew or replace licenses, renew or replace registrations, or change their address.

Indoor Dining Will Not Reopen On July 2nd

Moments ago, Governor Murphy announced that INDOOR DINING will NOT REOPEN on July 2nd as previously stated.  The Governor said “We planned to loosen restrictions this week. However, after COVID-19 spikes in other states driven by, in part, the return of indoor dining, we have decided to postpone indoor dining indefinitely.”
 
The NJ COVID-19 Portal was updated as of 2:30pm with changes to what was previously stated, please see the details below. 
 
Link to COVID-19 Portal:
 
Which businesses may be open and what guidelines must be followed?
 
Businesses opening brick and mortar locations are advised, in addition to all State rules below, to follow CDC business guidance and OSHA workplace guidance, which includes: industry-specific guidelines for a variety of industries; a 35-page guide on preparing workplaces [PDF]; and record keeping requirements.
 
The CDC offers a decision-making tool to assist employers in making (re)opening decisions, especially to protect vulnerable workers. Employers with questions about their responsibilities regarding return to work can review the NJ Department of Labor’s site for Employers and Businesses.
 
Businesses That May Be Open
If your business is not a retail business, you have been allowed—and may continue—to operate, but you must let your workers work from home whenever possible. The U.S. Department of Labor has guidance on the Fair Labor Standards Act pertaining to your obligations to employees regarding telework. If you have employees that need to be on site, you must keep them to the minimum number needed for critical operations; examples of these include cashiers, store clerks, construction workers, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, custodial staff, and certain administrative staff. Any building open to workers must follow minimum cleaning protocols as described in Executive Order 122.
 
Retail businesses may be open to customers while following Department of Health Guidance for Retail Businesses [PDF], including limiting occupancy to 50% of store capacity, installing a physical barrier such as a shield guard where possible and wherever you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing, all required infection control practices, and mandating everyone in the store to wear face coverings. Indoor shopping malls remain closed, but customers are allowed in stores that have their own outdoor entrance. Indoor portions of retail shopping are allowed to be open as of Monday, June 29, 2020, while common areas such as communal seating and food courts and entertainment businesses must remain closed.
 
Bars and restaurants are open for drive-through, delivery takeout, and outdoor dining, while following Department of Health Guidance for Bars and Restaurants [PDF] and Department of Health Protocols for Outdoor Dining [PDF]. Microbreweries and brewpubs may be open for home delivery only.
 
Personal care businesses may be open. These include: beauty salons; barber shops; cosmetology shops; day spas (but not saunas, steam rooms, or shared bathing facilities) and medical spas which solely perform elective and cosmetic medical procedures; electrology facilities; hair braiding shops; massage parlors; nail salons; tanning salons; and tattoo parlors. Licensed businesses must abide by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ comprehensive safety standards for Cosmetology, Massage, and Bodywork licensees [PDF], including providing services by appointment only, prescreening and temperature checks of clients and staff, and staff-client pairs remaining at least 6 feet apart unless separated by physical barriers. Tattoo and tanning facilities must follow Department of Health standards for tanning and body art establishments [PDF]. Everyone in a personal care business must wear a face covering at all times, and no services may be performed that would require the removal of the client’s face covering, except by a client face down on a massage table.
 
Child care centers may be open to all clients. The Department of Children and Families’ Child Care Safety Requirements [PDF] specify rules which centers must abide, and 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 previously operating emergency child care centers, within fourteen days of the effective date of Executive Order No. 149, attesting that it will follow all applicable health and safety standards.
 
Libraries may offer curbside pickup. Library buildings remain closed to patrons. Libraries will be able to reopen doors to patrons July 6, 2020, at 25% capacity.
 
Golf courses may be open as long as they adopt policies that include: tee times at least 16 minutes apart; limiting golf carts to a single occupant; restricting players’ ability to touch the flagstick, hole, and other surfaces; and requiring face coverings, sanitization, and social distancing. Four player tee-times, forecaddies, equipment rentals, and restrooms are allowed. Refer to Executive Orders 133 and 147 for all requirements.
 
Recreational campgrounds, both public and private, may be open. Certain other outdoor recreational areas and businesses may operate as well, within a capacity limit of 25 individuals. These include batting cages and golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs, and community gardens. Refer to Executive Order 147 for all requirements.
 
All outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses may be open, with the exception of amusement parks, water parks, and arcades. 
Outdoor amusement parks and outdoor water parks will be able to reopen July 2, 2020. Park attendance will be kept at 50% of capacity, face coverings will be required of all staff and attendees where practicable, and rides will be configured to ensure 6 feet distance between groups and those waiting for rides.
 
Municipal and private-club swimming pools may be openDepartment of Health Pool Standards [PDF] must be followed, which include but are not limited to: reduced capacity, social distancing in and out of the water, staff fever screening, and maintaining a patron sign-in sheet. Prior to June 22, pool facilities have been allowed to be open for the purpose of lifeguard training and lifeguard swimming lessons. Summer camps will be able to use their pools when they reopen on July 6.
 
Organized sports activities may operate. Activities will be limited to sports activities conducted outside, and there can be no contact drills or activities. Department of Health Guidance for Sports Activities must be followed.
 
Horse-racing can take place. Fans will not be allowed into racetrack grandstands.
 
Gatherings of vehicles, such as drive-in movies or religious services, are allowed, so long as all participants remain in their vehicle, all vehicles remain closed (unless the vehicles are at least 6 feet apart), organizers wear face coverings and all appropriate protective equipment, and contactless payment is offered.
 
Chartered-boat services, including fishing and watercraft rentals, may operate.
 
Transportation Carriers must comply with restrictions in Executive Order 125, which include, but aren’t limited to, cutting capacity on all trains, buses, light rail vehicles, and paratransit vehicles to 50% of maximum, allowing back door entry where possible, infection control practices, and requiring face coverings.
 
If your business falls into one of the blanket exemption categories, you may operate; these businesses include:
· Health care or medical service providers;
· Essential services for low-income residents, including food banks;
· The media;
· Law enforcement;
· Federal government operations, or the movement of federal officials in their official capacity.
 
Construction projects, including nonessential construction, may operate; construction projects must follow all protocols in Paragraph 2 of Executive Order 142, including social distancing, limited sharing of tools or machinery, limited meeting size and staggered start times, all required infection control practices and sanitation, and required face coverings.
 
Businesses That Must Be Closed
Other recreational and entertainment businesses must be closed; these types of businesses include:
· Casino gaming floors, including sports wagering lounges and concert/entertainment venues;
· Gyms and fitness centers, including classes;
· Entertainment centers, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and nightclubs;
· Indoor parts of shopping malls. Restaurants and other stores in shopping malls that have their own external entrances may continue offering food delivery and/or take-out services;
· All indoor places of public amusement, including locations with amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions. Outdoor amusement parks, water parks, and arcades remain closed as well. 
 
Casinos may reopen on July 2, 2020, at 25% capacity. Further health and safety guidance will be forthcoming. Racetracks will be able to reopen for in-person bets, including at their sportsbooks and lounges, as long as they abide by applicable gathering limits.
 
Museums, aquariums, and indoor recreational facilities will be able to reopen on July 2, 2020, 25% capacity and with required face coverings. This includes indoor bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and arcades. Indoor entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and nightclubs will remain closed. Gyms and fitness centers will remain closed as well, though individualized training sessions will be available by appointment, with detailed standards forthcoming.
 
Career and training schools will be able to reopen on July 1, 2020. Health and safety protocols will be forthcoming.
 
In-person clinical, lab, and hands-on programming at institutions of higher education will be able to resume July 6, 2020, subject to the submission of the institution’s restart plan.
 
Youth day camps will be able to resume on July 6, 2020, including municipal summer recreation programs, only if they comply with required youth camp COVID-19 standards and they submit an attestation at least 24 hours prior to opening; see the Department of Health’s Youth Camps page for all guidelines and forms. Residential and overnight camps are prohibited from operating.
 
Other Information
Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are allowed at limited capacities and also subject to all other current business closures and restrictions. Indoor gatherings are permitted at 25% of a building’s capacity or 100 persons, whichever is lower; attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 250 persons, with an exception allowing no limits for First Amendment-protected outdoor activity, including political protests or outdoor religious services. (The CDC defines gatherings to include conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.)
Manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, shipping, food production, food delivery, and other commercial operations may continue to operate; manufacturing, warehouses, and other commercial buildings must follow protocols as described in Paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of Executive Order 122, including immediate separation of workers with COVID-19 symptoms, notification of any workers exposed to COVID-19, limited group size and staggered start times, all required infection control practices and sanitation, and required face coverings.
 
Marine terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey are open and fully operational. For additional information and updates, please check the Port of NY & NJ websiteas well as register for Port e-alerts, log into the Port Truck Pass portal, or subscribe to the Breaking Waves newsletter.
 
Medical facilities may continue to operate. Medical facilities include any facility where a sick or injured person is given care or treatment, such as: doctor’s offices, hospitals, dentist offices, long-term care facilities, and other medical offices.
 
Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restrictions that conflict with Executive Order 107. The only exceptions are: 1) short-term rentals and online marketplaces offering lodging; 2) municipal or county parks; 3) beaches and boardwalks.
 
If any business is violating the required guidelines, you can report it to the State at covid19.nj.gov/violation, or to your Local Health Department, which you can identify with the Find Your Local Health Department tool.

State Department of Community Affairs Announces Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) will provide temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income or became unemployed due the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants may be eligible for a maximum of up to six months of emergency rental assistance. The assistance will be capped at DCA’s fair market rent standard or the total of the rent, whichever is lesser. All participants will be reviewed at the three-month interval to see if they are still in need of assistance. Persons applying must meet all applicable CVERAP income and eligibility requirements.  You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to apply or be an emancipated minor. Only one (1) pre-application per household will be accepted. DCA will extend reasonable accommodations to disabled individuals, and persons who have limited English proficiency on a case-by-case basis and will take into consideration the disability and the need(s) of the individual(s) or those households without internet access. Applicants can call DCA’s Applicant Service Unit at 609-292-4080, Option 1 or 8, to request an accommodation.

All participants will be selected through an online lottery process.  Participants do not have to be diagnosed with COVID-19 to be eligible.

Anyone selected for the program must meet the following requirements:

·         Have a gross, annual household income that is at or below the maximum income limits for the county where they will be residing

·         Be a New Jersey resident and have a valid lease for a unit in New Jersey signed by the landlord

·         Rent must be current as of March 2020; this program will not assist with arrears

·         Have a substantial reduction in income or be unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

·         Lack of assets or savings to pay rent

·         Will pay a minimum of 30% of their income towards the rent

 

Applicants must have an email address to apply online at: https://www.waitlistcheck.com/NJ559-2809

Additional details are available at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/cverap.html, which include information on the Maximum Income Limits and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for this program.

During the Open Enrollment Period, persons who would require a reasonable accommodation, including persons with limited English proficiency or do not have internet access, can call 609-292-4080, Option 1 or 8 for assistance.

Completion of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Pre-application does not guarantee placement in the program. 

Outdoor Amusement Parks, Outdoor Water Parks, Boardwalk Rides and Playgrounds Will Reopen On July 2nd

Today, the Governor announced that outdoor amusement parks, outdoor water parks, boardwalk rides and playgrounds will reopen on July 2nd.   Guidelines and safety protocols will be announced in the next few days. Below, please find details about the announcement, as well as, a list of businesses that have been or will be opened during stage two of the state’s restart plan.

NJ-Covid 19 Information Hub:  

Outdoor playgrounds, outdoor amusement parks, and outdoor water parks can reopen on July 2, subject to required protocols detailed in forthcoming guidance. Reopening details for arcades will be announced in the coming days as well.

Open outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses must adopt social distancing guidelines and the safety policies described in section 4 on page 6 of Executive Order No. 153, that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The public is permitted only in such outdoor spaces, except that members of the public may enter the indoor premises of the recreation business when entering or exiting the establishment in order to access the outdoor area, or to use the restroom
  • Limit total capacity to a number that ensures that all individuals can remain six feet apart
  • Open-air rain tarps, tents, and other outdoor structures shall be allowed solely for the purpose of protecting against foul weather or for shade
  • Require that reservations, cancellations and pre-payments be made via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service or credit cards
  • Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between visitors and employees wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment
  • Demarcate and post signs that denote six feet of spacing in all commonly used and other applicable areas or where people may form a line
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers
  • 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; o. 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

For a full list of required safety policies, refer to section 4 on page 6 of Executive Order No. 153.

——

Stage Two (New Jersey is currently in Stage Two)

In Stage Two, moderate-risk activities restart. When leaving home, New Jerseyans should wear a face covering and keep a social distance from others. All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.

In Stage Two, additional phased-in businesses and activities, with adherence to safeguarding and modification guidelines, will include:

  • In-person clinical research/labs
  • Limited fitness/gyms
  • Limited in-person government services

Museums/libraries

New Jersey Department of Health Guidelines Allowing Outdoor Visits at Long-Term Care Facilities

Last Friday, the New Jersey Department of Health issued a directive containing guidelines allowing outdoor visits at long-term care facilities beginning June 21st.  The directive states that only two visitors at a time are permitted to visit a loved one.  In addition, visitors must stay 6 feet apart from the resident and all people must wear facial masks. A staff member who is also wearing a mask, must remain with the resident at all times during the visit. Below, please see additional details about the announcement and a link to the NJ Department of Health directive.   

 TRENTON – 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– under a directive to long-term care facilities issued today by the state Department of Health.

The Health Department has received input and worked collaboratively with long-term care providers on developing this directive to accommodate visitors.

 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.

 “Being apart from our loved ones has been one of the most difficult challenges throughout the pandemic—especially for long-term care residents and their families. This directive outlines the measures that must be in place to reduce risk to this vulnerable population while allowing visits outdoors,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Virtual communication could never replace gathering face to face gatherings with loved ones. We hope these outdoor visitations bring joy and comfort to residents as well as their loved ones—while also protecting them.”

 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.

 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.

 Link to The New Jersey Department of Health Directive allowing outdoor visits to long-term care facilities:

https://nj.gov/health/legal/covid19/6-19-20_ExecutiveDirectiveNo20-017_StandardsProtocolsVisitorsFacilityStaff.pdf