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Health

Free Naloxone Giveaway on September 24-26, 2020

Naloxone Saves Lives!

The State of New Jersey is providing naloxone for free at participating pharmacies. Naloxone can reverse opioid overdoses. It will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Limit one per person.

Click here for a list of participating pharmacies. Available while supplies last. For Addiction Help 24/7 call 1-844-REACHNJ.

Professionals, professional entities, first responders and first responder entities, as defined in N.J.S.A. 24:6J-3, are not eligible to obtain the opioid antidote through this project.

Click here for a copy of the flyer for this event in English and Spanish.

What do Schools do if Students or Teachers Test Positive?

The state Health Department has issued schools 19 pages of advice on what to do if someone tests positive for COVID-19. The guidelines include charts explaining when schools should shut down classrooms or entire school buildings, with several matrices to help schools decide if and when they should ask students to quarantine or shut down school buildings if someone tests positive for COVID-19.

Closure

The COVID-19 Regional Risk Matrix on page 3, (see below for link to entire document) is one tool that can inform the decision-making process for school districts when considering when remote learning might be indicated. Local circumstances should be considered when making decisions impacting specific school districts and schools. Many factors would need to be considered when deciding to close schools such as the distribution of cases within the school.

Closure is a local decision that should be made by school administrators in consultation with local public health. While it is not possible to account for every scenario that schools may encounter over the course of the school year, the following scenarios may help inform the decision for when schools should temporarily close.

The following chart is found on page 15 (see below for link to entire document).

To read all the COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools from the NJ Department of Health, click here.

Indoor Dining Reopens Today at 25% Capacity

The 25% capacity limit is not the only rule for indoor dining. Under the Department of Health’s Health and Safety Standards, food or beverage establishments offering in-person service must adhere to the following protocols, among others:

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

To see Governor Murphy’s press release regarding reopening indoor dining, click here.

Union County COVID-19 Test Sites

Union County residents can now walk to our free COVID-19 test sites, provided by the Union County COVID-19 Mobile Test Unit. The Mobile Test Unit is visiting local communities to offer free COVID-19 tests to the public, by appointment. All tests are conducted on a walk-up basis; no car is needed.

  • Any Union County resident can make an appointment at any Mobile Test Unit location.
  • Union County residents who need assistance by phone can call the Mobile Test Unit at 908-518-4307.
  • The Union County COVID-19 Mobile Test Unit has conducted more than 2,000 tests to date and is staffed by health professionals with the Union County Division of Health.
  • Residents can attend any of the following upcoming Walk-up Sites. Click each site to make an appointment online.

Test Sites

  • Elizabeth Erxleben Center 513 Richmond Street, Tuesday, August 25th 4pm – 7pm
  • Plainfield Gerald Green Plaza 200 West Second Street, Tuesday, August 25th 4pm – 7pm
  • Rahway Zion Lutheran Church 215 Elm Avenue, Tuesday, August 25th 10am – 1pm
  • Westfield Tamaques Park Thursday, August 20th 10am – 1pm (1872 Lamberts Mill Road in Scotch Plains for your GPS)

Returning to the Office

There have been various interpretations of the state’s rules regarding when offices can reopen and at what capacity. Although indoor gatherings are now limited to 25% of a building’s capacity or up to 50 people, whichever is less, Gov. Murphy maintains that those who can work from home should continue to work from home.

New COVID-19 Confirmed Case Data Format on the City Website

Today a new page was brought live to the City website to replace the Google Doc with the daily updated confirmed COVID-19 case data. The new page has live CDC and NJ Department of Health data and graphics embedded into it. The page is available to view here, and is linked to the COVID-19 Menu and to the Smartphone Menu. The new page contains data with embedded, immersive content, and is best viewed from a computer or tablet. On a smartphone, the page is best viewed in landscape.

The City website also has additional information with immersive content about COVID-19 called the Coronavirus Pandemic Data Explorer, which can be found here.

Governor Murphy Announces New Jersey to Enter Stage Two of Restart and Recovery on June 15th

Outdoor Dining and Indoor, Non-Essential Retail Allowed as of June 15th

Hair Salons and Barber Shops May Reopen on June 22nd

TRENTON – As part of his restart and recovery plan, “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” Governor Phil Murphy today announced that New Jersey will enter Stage Two 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.

“As we move through Stage One of our strategic restart and recovery process, public health data continues to demonstrate our collective success in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” said Governor Murphy. “It is with these favorable metrics, coupled with expanded testing capacity and contact tracing, that we can responsibly enter Stage Two of our multi-stage approach to recovery. Our economic restart must instill confidence among our residents and visitors that their safety, and that of their families, is our number one priority. I encourage all New Jerseyans to continue their vigilance in keeping themselves and their communities safe by social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and limiting gatherings.”

STAGE 2:
Restrictions are relaxed on activities that can be easily safeguarded.

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

All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.

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.

Click here to read the full press release.

COVID-19 Alternatives to Traditional Commencement Ceremonies (Update)

The COVID-19 public health emergency caused unprecedented disruption to the 2019-20 school year. Recognizing that graduation is a major milestone for students and families, Governor Murphy is committed to providing school districts with maximum flexibility to honor graduating classes while abiding by health and safety requirements and guidelines that continue to evolve based on the latest public health data.

The Department is providing three alternatives to traditional commencement ceremonies for public school districts, charter schools, renaissance school projects and nonpublic schools (collectively “school districts”): (1) virtual, (2) drive-through/drive-in, or (3) modified in-person, outdoor ceremonies. DOE has previously addressed virtual ceremonies, and has provided guidance accessible here. This guidance document provides information on drive-through/drivein ceremonies, and modified in-person, outdoor ceremonies. Decisions about the most appropriate type of ceremony for each community will be made at the local level in consultation with local officials based on the specific circumstances in each municipality and school district.

Please click here to view and/or download the update with all the information about acceptable alternatives to traditional commencement ceremonies.