News Flash


Posted on: May 11, 2023

Public Health Update Including COVID-19 & Other Information - May 11, 2023

Maintaining mental and physical health is an essential part of overall well being! Please find the latest update from the Pequannock Health Department below.

Mental Health

Maintaining one’s mental health is an essential part of achieving overall well-being, especially during times of crisis. During the height of the COVID pandemic, every facet of society was severely impacted. This intensified and sharply increased the growing problems that pre-existed COVID, such as addiction, dependency, suicide, depression, anxiety, domestic violence and a variety of negative mental health impacts.  

  • Prevalence of Mental Illness

The World Health Organization ranks mental health conditions, including  alcohol and substance use disorders, as the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Approximately 1 in 4 adults experience a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year (approximately 61.5 million Americans) and 1 in 17 adults live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Yet more than half will not seek treatment. Why? 
The primary reason individuals fail to seek the help they need is due to the stigma associated with the disease of mental illness. Main reasons cited are shame and fear of judgment from friends, family and co‐workers. Such judgment is often rooted in a lack of knowledge or training. It’s important to make the public aware of the help that is available so the information has a chance of reaching those most in need.   

  • Available Mental Health Assistance and Addiction Resources 

Excellent resources are available for those seeking help. The links and the information about hotlines below may be helpful in connecting individuals who can benefit from talking to someone about how they are feeling or to get the help and support they need:  

NJ 211

Information about virtual support groups and hotlines are available through various organizations: Call 211 or click

988 Suicide and Crisis Line Number 

New Jerseyans are now able to use 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  988 will be available for call, text, or chat to those experiencing a mental health-related or suicidal crisis, or those looking to help a loved one through a crisis. The existing Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255, will also continue to be available.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to persons of all abilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Providers rendering services to persons with IDD and/or TBI are reminded that 988 is distinct from 911. Under Danielle’s Law P.L. 2003, c.191, 911 must continue to be called in any situation where a prudent person could reasonably believe a life threatening emergency exists. More information on Danielle’s Law can be found here. For more information about 988, please visit the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline website. Additionally, a helpful Frequently Asked Questions document for persons with IDD can be found here.

NJ Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services 

Call 1-844-276-2777 or click

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration 24 Hour Hotline


New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence (NJCEDV)

1-800-572-SAFE (7233)
Deaf Videophone: 1-855-812-1001
 Text LOVEIS to 22522

New Jersey Mental Health Cares

1-866-202-HELP (4357)
 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. 7 days a week 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit


NAMI text helpline- Text NAMI to 741741 24/7

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Jersey Battered Women’s Service, Inc. (JBWS)

Text Line 973-314-4192  
 Hotline 973-267-4763

Mental Health America

Morris County Mental Health Resources

For information about resources in Morris County, visit the Morris County Human Services Stigma Free page.


Currently, the dominant variant nationwide is Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, with 68.8% of cases, followed by XBB.1.16, with 11.7% of cases, and XBB.1.9.1 with 9% of cases.

  • At the moment, the total number of lab confirmed COVID positive cases are dropping rapidly. The main reasons are as follows:
  • A sharp decline in the number of people contracting COVID
  • A reliance on home COVID tests in which positive test results go unreported 
  • An increase in the numbers of symptomatic or exposed individuals who are choosing not to get tested at all because the severity of the illness caused by the current, prevailing subvariant of COVID has declined.   
  • United States is ending the COVID public health emergency as of May 11, 2023. WHO ended the global health emergency declaration for COVID-19 on May 5, 2023

Though still technically a global pandemic, the reduced impact of COVID-19 has prompted an end to the declarations of these public health emergencies.  

  • State-wide COVID Activity

For the latest Statewide COVID Activity Report that specifies the Risk Levels by County (usually updated by the State each Friday), please click the following link:  

Please see the links below for the NJDOH COVID Activity Dashboard, the NJ County COVID Activity Reports and the links to the Morris County Health Department COVID Websites. For Morris County, cases by municipality may be found in the Morris County link below.  

NJDOH Dashboard:

Statewide and Regional COVID Activity Report and Risk Level by County:

Morris County-Based COVID Information including Data for Total Positive Cases by Municipality and COVID Testing Availability:

Use of Masks and Other Important Safety Precautions

  • Masks

Please see the link below to the CDC recommendation for the  use of masks indoor for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals especially when County transmission is substantial or high.

  • Other Important Precautions to Consider to Protect against Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19:
  • Get vaccinated! (Flu and COVID)
  • Get boosted! (Flu and COVID)
  • Distance six or more feet when possible
  • Wear masks/face coverings when appropriate, as recommend by the CDC in the link above
  • Keep indoor spaces well ventilated to the greatest extent possible
  • Practice hand hygiene
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • Stay home when symptomatic
  • Get tested when appropriate and recommended 
  • Follow all of the requirements and advisories set forth in the Executive Orders, Executive Directives and Travel Advisories that might be in effect. 
  • Adhere to isolation and quarantine recommendations  
  • Strengthen the immune system by:
  • Getting good nutrition with a healthy diet. Consult your healthcare provider about supplementing with Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and zinc
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising. Consult your physician about what regimen is best for you.
  • Maintaining mental health and managing stress. Learn to recognize those times when you may need to employ destressing techniques or seek support.
  • Keeping on schedule with healthcare visits

No vaccine is 100% effective. People must balance preventive actions with vaccination to reduce possible transmission and maintain safety. When making decisions about using precautions and getting vaccinated/boosted, consider a risk/ benefit approach based on age, overall health, underlying medical conditions and in consultation with a healthcare provider. 

People who have weakened immune systems should especially consider practicing precautions and vaccination during times of substantial transmission of influenza, RSV and COVID.  

COVID-19 Testing Options

  • For All New Jersey Residents 

No-Cost COVID Testing is Available

For more informationclick on the following link:  Find a list of free, public testing sites, including pop-up testing sites

  • Morris County

For more information, please see the Morris County website at

  • Atlantic Health System

As COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to impact our community, Atlantic Health System has increased their testing capacity.

If you suspect you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, please consider one of Atlantic Health System’s dedicated testing locations or other community testing sites listed on the following link:

Choosing between a COVID-19 PCR or antigen test can be confusing. Atlantic Health has created the attached graphic to help you choose the right test option for you and your family. COVID-19 testing is available for patients with or without symptoms at specific Atlantic Health locations. Find a community lab, testing center or urgent care testing location near you:

COVID-19 Vaccination

For Updated COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Information, please click on the following links:


Atlantic Health System

There are Multiple Ways to Get Vaccinated and Boosted. Appointment Based or Walk-up clinics are Now Easily Accessible. For up-to-date vaccine locations in New Jersey, please visit

Quarantine and Isolation Recommendations of the NJDOH

For those who’ve tested positive (Isolation) or those who’ve been exposed to someone who tested COVID positive (Quarantine) please see the following NJDOH link:


For updated CDC/NJDOH Travel Information and guidance, please follow the links below:



K thru 12 Schools, Childcare and Youth Camp Operations

K thru 12 schools, childcare facilities and youth camps have specific guidance unique to these institutions. Guidance for K-12, Childcare and Youth Camps may be found at the following link: COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for K-12 Schools, Childcare and Youth Camps 

Executive Orders and Executive Directives

Please note, Executive Orders or Executive Directives may be issued by the Governor or the Commissioner of Health at any time to establish or relax restrictions on certain businesses, institutions, social activities and gatherings. For up to date and more complete information, please refer to the entire contents of the Executive Orders and Executive Directives listed at the links below.

 Please see the link below for all Executive Orders to date:

 Please see the link below for an up to date list of Executive Directives of the NJDOH:

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