In Our Community

New Jersey Department of Health Guidelines and Information Regarding Organized Sports

Beginning today, organized sports may resume play. The New Jersey Department of Health released guidelines and detailed information about which sport may begin depending on its risk level.  Below, please find details regarding the guidelines and a link to the New Jersey Department of Health requirements.

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Health 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.

“Sports provide an opportunity for healthy exercise and skill building,” said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “This guidance will enable these activities to resume while protecting the players, coaches and staff – and the larger community – from the spread of COVID-19.”

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.

Link to the New Jersey Department of Health Guidelines for the Restart of Sports:

https://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/COVID_GuidanceForSportsActivities.pdf

Gloucester County Division of Senior Services Will Distribute Fans To Senior Citizens On June 24th , As Part of Its Annual “Keep Cool” Fan Distribution Event

(West Deptford, NJ)—The Gloucester County Division of Senior Services will hold its annual “Keep Cool” fan distribution on Wednesday, June 24.

The distribution will take place at the Gloucester County Senior Services Offices located at 115 Budd Boulevard, West Deptford from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“This year, due to COVID-19, our ‘Keep Cool’ event is a drive-up distribution,” said Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger. “Summer is on the way, and we want to make sure our seniors are comfortable and prepared.”

Gloucester County seniors will receive a fan at the front of the Budd Blvd office free of charge. After June 24, fans will be available for curb-pick up by contacting the Senior Services at (856) 384-6900.

Due to the limited number of fans and under the guidelines set forth by the Older Americans Act, fans are distributed to seniors 60 and above who must have proof of ID showing Gloucester County address and date of birth.

Seniors must show Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) or Medicaid card to show low income. Those who received a fan from Senior Services in 2019 are not eligible to receive one this year and one fan per household will be distributed.

“So many of us take our air conditioner for granted, but we have many seniors without access to air conditioning in their homes,” said Freeholder Jim Jefferson, liaison to the Division of Senior Services. “In addition to supplying fans to our seniors, we’d like to share some tips to stay cool and beat the heat.”

Gloucester County’s Department of Health and Senior Services recommends the following actions for all county residents to stay safe in the heat:
• Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day. Proper hydration is very important to ward off heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
• If possible, reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day.
• Wear loose and light-colored clothing. When in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen to all exposed skin and wear a hat or head covering.
• If you do not have air conditioning in your home, take advantage of any air-conditioned shelters such as libraries, movies, malls, schools or other publicly accessible buildings during the hottest hours of the day.
• Take care not to overdress children and to give them plenty of liquids to drink throughout the day. Children under age five, particularly those under age one, are especially sensitive to the effects of heat.
• Check on elderly relatives and neighbors to see if they need help taking proper heat precautions, or if they need medical attention because of the heat. Make sure individuals who are bedridden or have mobility problems have adequate fluids within easy reach.
• Don’t leave children, a frail elderly or disabled person or pets in an enclosed car as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.
• Talk to your health care provider about any medicine or drugs you are taking. Certain medications–such as tranquilizers and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s diseases–can increase the risk of heat-related illness.

For more information, please call the Division of Senior Services at (856) 384-6900 or visit www.gloucestercountynj.gov.

Personal Care Service Facilities To Reopen On June 22nd

Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 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.

“We’re able to confidently announce this important step in our restart and recovery because the health metrics tell us we can,” said Governor Murphy. “With the proper health and safety protocols in place, personal care business owners who are anxious get back to serving their customers and communities will have the opportunity to do so.”

  1. Under the Governor’s Executive Order, personal care service facilities include:
  2. Cosmetology shops;
  3. Barber shops;
  4. Beauty salons;
  5. Hair braiding shops;
  6. Nail salons;
  7. Electrology facilities;
  8. Spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed;
  9. Massage parlors;
  10. Tanning salons; and
  11. Tattoo parlors.

The Division of Consumer Affairs today issued an Administrative Order 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.

The Order further directs the Commissioner of the DOH 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.

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 Division of Consumer Affairs and DOH.  DOH issued an Executive Directive today that includes comprehensive health and safety standards for these locations.

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

Governor Announces Malls May Reopen on June 29th

TRENTON — Governor Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan announced an Administrative Order 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.

“Malls are an undeniable part of New Jersey culture, and we want these businesses to get back up and running in a safe, responsible manner,” said Governor Murphy. “To keep our restart moving in the right direction, we ask New Jerseyans who wish to head out to the mall or any public setting to do so safely.”

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 No. 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 No. 150.

Retail kiosks located within malls may operate subject to the applicable requirements contained in Executive Order No. 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.

Gloucester County’s Senior Farmers’ Market Voucher Program

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

DUE TO COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS, ALL PARTICIPANTS IN 2019 WILL RECEIVE A PHONE CALL FROM AN COMMUNITY SERVICE PROFESSIONAL WHO WILL COMPLETE THE APPLICATION AND IF FOUND ELIGIBLE, VOUCHERS WILL BE MAILED TO THE SENIOR’S HOME.

FOR SENIORS WHO ARE NEW AND/OR DID NOT RECEIVE IN 2019, CALL OUR OFFICE AT 856-384-6900 TO INQUIRE ABOUT THE VOUCHERS AND SOMEONE WILL FILL OUT THE APPLICATION AND MAIL THE VOUCHERS IF YOU ARE FOUND ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) promotes nutritional health among New Jersey’s senior citizens by providing them with locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

We will receive and begin distributing checks in June; authorized farmers, markets and roadside stands will be provided with checks and there will be distribution sites will be announced throughout the county.

Eligible seniors will receive $30.00 in checks and must show proof of age, address and income to receive checks.

Eligibility

Participants in the SFMNP must be at least sixty years old and meet the following Federal Income requirements:

Please note that income guidelines are subject to change July 1, 2020.

Family Size  Annual Monthly Twice-Monthly Bi-Weekly Weekly
1 $22,459 $1,872 $936 $864 $432
2 $30,451 $2,538 $1,269 $1,172 $586
3 $38,443 $3,204 $1,602 $1,479 $740
4 $46,435 $3,870 $1,935 $1,786 $893
5 $54,427 $4,536 $2,268 $2,094 $1,047
6 $62,419 $5,202 $2,601 $2,401 $1,201
7 $70,411 $5,868 $2,934 $2,709 $1,355
8 $78,411 $6,534 $3,267 $3,016 $1,508
For Each Additional Family Member, Add: $7,992 $666 $333 $308 $154

Link to markets:

http://www.co.gloucester.nj.us/documents/2020Markets.pdf

Mosquera, Swain, Conaway & Jimenez Urge Parents To Take Children To Doctor’s Offices With Safety Protocols In Place For Important Childhood Vaccinations

In response to pediatricians and the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) reporting a drastic decline in the number of children receiving their vaccinations on schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Assembly Women and Children Commitee, Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester) and Lisa Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic), along with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) and Angelica Jimenez (D-Bergen, Hudson), released the following joint statement:

“In addition to the coronavirus itself, this pandemic has posed another danger to the health and well-being of New Jersey children. Many parents who are understandably worried about their children contracting the virus have avoided taking their kids to the doctor’s office these past few months.  

“While it was and still is important for residents to social distance as much as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19, receiving medical care has always been an essential need.

“Not only are parents allowed to leave the house to seek medical care for their children, but they are strongly encouraged to do so if that care cannot be provided through the use of telehealth. Vaccines are not something that can be administered remotely.

“We encourage parents not to fear the doctor’s office right now. Many have put protocols in place to help prevent uninfected children from contracting COVID-19 during their visit. Whether they stagger scheduling so fewer patients are in the office at any given time or even provide care outdoors, there are ways to limit the spread of the virus while still helping children.

“This pandemic has truly highlighted just how important vaccinations are. Though we haven’t yet developed a vaccine for COVID-19, access to one would have saved countless lives.

“What we do have are vaccines for other dangerous illnesses such as measles, meningitis and polio that children need to receive in order to be protected from serious health consequences.

“It’s important for both the well-being of your own child and other children in the community to make sure kids are getting their vaccinations on schedule – especially as daycare centers and camps prepare to reopen. We urge every parent who hasn’t already done so to get in touch with your doctor about how and when to proceed with your child’s vaccinations as soon as possible.”