Events continue to evolve rapidly. The Health Department is working closely with businesses, residents, private and public school districts, houses of worship, and other agencies within its jurisdictions to provide guidance and information.
The Department is enforcing COVID related Executive Directives while continuing to inspect state and locally regulated establishments, facilities, and activities in addition to investigating routine and non-routine public health threats and nuisances as they arise.
The public health nurses have recently been trained in extensive new contact tracing initiatives mandated by the State of NJ and are beginning their fifth month rigorously addressing case investigations, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine procedures, long term care facility outbreak management, and many other routine and non-routine duties.
New Jersey’s Recovery and Restart
“Stage 2” of New Jersey’s Recovery and Restart continues to progress, as rates of new infections and hospitalizations are stabilized and falling gradually. Effective 6/9/2020, the stay-at-home order had been lifted. Certain business, social, and recreational establishments, facilities and activities are receiving authorization to reopen. However, residents are strongly urged to continue to practice appropriate precautions, such as disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, hand hygiene, wearing a face covering when appropriate, and maintaining a minimum of six feet of social distancing.
Individuals are required to wear face masks:
In accordance with Executive Order 163, individuals are now required to wear face masks in all public outdoor spaces when they cannot social distance six feet or more.
Individuals traveling to New Jersey from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 are advised 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. Several outbreaks across New Jersey are directly tied to travel from COVID-19 hotspots nationwide. Those arriving from one of these nineteen states are urged to self-quarantine to prevent additional flare-ups across the state.
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 involved in contract tracing efforts or required to do so by any other federal, state or local law or order.
The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.
Limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings have recently been raised:
- Indoor gatherings must be limited to 100 people or 25% of a room’s capacity -- whichever number is lower. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.
- Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 500 people and social distancing must be practiced. There are no limits for First Amendment-protected outdoor activities, such as political protests of any persuasion or outdoor religious services.
Most businesses can open, while following appropriate mitigation requirements:
- Prohibit contact between attendees;
- 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;
- Require masks/face coverings where and when applicable
- Prohibit sharing of any physical items provided and require sanitization before and after each use; and
- Require contactless pay options wherever feasible.
Businesses that may be open:
- Workplaces that do not have walk-in customers or products for sale, including office spaces, were never closed, but must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangement and must make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.
- Retail businesses and indoor portions of retail shopping malls may open to customers, while following mitigation requirements.
- Bars and restaurants are open for drive-through, delivery, takeout and outdoor dining, while following appropriate safety and sanitization protocols. (Indoor dining is not allowed. The reopening of indoor dining spaces has been postponed.)
- Microbreweries and brewpubs may be open for home delivery. Depending on the type of license they hold outdoor service may also be allowed.
- Child care centers may reopen their doors to all clients, while following all safety guidelines.
- Golf Courses may open so long as they adopt minimum social distancing policies.
- Entertainment businesses may reopen, while following mitigation requirements, with the exceptions of indoor concert venues, indoor movie theaters, and indoor performing arts centers.
- Casinos may be open, at 25% capacity and following all requirements of the Executive Orders, the Division of Gaming, and the Casino Association of NJ.
- Playgrounds, outdoor amusement parks, and outdoor water parks may reopen, while following mitigation requirements. Indoor amusement parks and indoor water parks remain closed.
- Swimming pools may reopen, while following necessary mitigation requirements. Summer camps will be able to use their pools when they reopen on July 6.
- Horse racetracks may reopen for racing and for in-person bets, while following necessary mitigation requirements. Fans will not be allowed into racetrack grandstands.
- Construction may continue. Construction projects must follow appropriate mitigation requirements.
- Libraries can reopen, while following appropriate mitigation requirements.
- Gyms and fitness centers may reopen outdoor spaces so long as they follow required social distancing and other safety protocols. Indoor spaces remain closed except for individualized instruction by appointment only.
Personal care businesses may reopen, as listed below, while following appropriate mitigation requirements:
- Beauty salons
- Barber shops
- Cosmetology shops
- Day & medical spas
- Electrology facilities
- Hair braiding shops
- Massage parlors
- Nail salons
- Tanning salons
- Tattoo parlors
Recreational businesses may reopen, while following required mitigation requirements:
- All outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses may be open, including outdoor amusement parks and outdoor water parks as of July 2, 2020, following Department of Health standards including that park attendance must be kept at 50% of capacity, face coverings are required of all staff and attendees where practicable, and rides must be configured to ensure 6 feet distance between groups and those waiting for rides.
- Indoor recreational facilities, museums, and aquariums may be open, following all requirements of Executive Orders 157 and 158, including 25% capacity and required face coverings. Examples of indoor recreational facilities include indoor bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and arcades, and facilities for activities like dance, karate, arts and crafts, music lessons, theatre programs, gymnastics, indoor tennis, and yoga. Pools may be open and must follow requirements in Executive Orders 153 and 157 and the Department of Health Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities, including implementing a COVID-19 Pool Operation Prevention Plan. Any activity in gyms, fitness centers, or health facilities must comply with protocols for individualized training sessions in Section 10 in Executive Order 157 including limiting training to an individual and their household members, separated by room or floor-to-ceiling barriers. Gyms and fitness centers must remain closed for all other purposes, including classes.
Businesses that are required to remain CLOSED:
- Indoor water parks and indoor amusement parks
- Indoor movie theaters, indoor performing arts centers, nightclubs and indoor concert venues
For additional information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses, please visit the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Business Information Hub.
Additional Permitted Activities
- Youth day camps
- Outdoor Sports and competitions may begin for certain low and medium risk sports. Others are anticipated to be permitted in later July. (See the attached “COVID Guidance for Sports Activities” for details)
The Pequannock Township Health Department is working closely with all school districts within its public health jurisdictions to provide critical guidance and information in order to assist districts with its reopening plan for September. The NJ Department of Health and Department of Education have coordinated to provide school districts with general COVID infection control guidelines as a framework to assist districts’ in their planning efforts to safely reopen.
In regards to the availability of tests to detect COVID-19 illness, the State of New Jersey has recently authorized the more than 18,000 licensed pharmacists in New Jersey to administer FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 tests to their customers without a prescription. Testing is available at participating pharmacies including CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walmart. Please check with your local pharmacist as testing is not available at all locations and many require an appointment or online registration. For more information, CVS, and Rite-Aid have set up websites where you can book an appointment and find testing locations.
Executive Orders issued by Governor Murphy
State of NJ COVID -19 Information