COVID19 - Information & Resources
Updated Mask Recommendations
July 28, 2021 - Governor Murphy and Commissioner Persichilli Strongly Recommend Masking in Indoor Settings with Increased Risk
Following yesterday’s announcement by the Centers for Disease Control regarding masking, Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli today strongly recommended that both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents wear masks in indoor settings when there is increased risk. Examples of such situations include:
- Crowded indoor settings
- Indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated
- Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown
- Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease
Governor Murphy and Commissioner Persichilli made the following statement:
“Our metrics are trending in the wrong direction, and new data suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible even among vaccinated individuals, which is why we are making this strong recommendation. “Fortunately, our numbers are a fraction of those in many other states, most of which have significantly lower vaccination rates. Should our numbers reach those levels, we reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate.
“We have crushed this virus repeatedly like no other state in the nation, and we are proud to boast among the country’s highest vaccination rates. But at this point, given where our metrics are now, we feel the best course of action is to strongly encourage every New Jerseyan, and every visitor to our state, to take personal responsibility and mask up indoors when prudent.
"And we equally encourage every unvaccinated resident or visitor to get vaccinated. The vaccines are proven safe and highly effective, and are the surest way we can end this pandemic.”
Union County COVID19 Testing
Union County provides COVID19 testing at Kean University Mondays 8am-11:30 am and Thursdays 8:30am-11:30 am. Please click here for more information, or call (908) 613-7829. Walkup testing info for Union County can be found here.
Union County COVID19 Vaccine Information
Click here to schedule an appointment for a vaccination through Union County.
Vaccine Q&A for Residents, from the Berkeley Heights Board of Health
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is on the forefront of everyone’s mind right now. These days we are inundated with a lot of medical information. The Berkeley Heights Board of Health has compiled a list of answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in the community about the vaccines. We want to hear more from you! If you have questions about COVID-19, the chances are your neighbor has them too. Click here to read the Q&A.. Together, we can stay both healthy and informed.
Vaccine Appointment Resources:
- Union County has created a COVID-19 website for eligible residents to register for vaccine appointments.. Additionally, they have created a Union County Call Center for residents with questions: 908-613-7VAX (7829).
- The state COVID hotline 855-568-0545 continues to assist residents, with live agents from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in getting information on how to register, as well as how to schedule vaccine appointments as people become eligible. The agents remind residents that there is no out of pocket expense to get vaccinated and that the two vaccines are not interchangeable.
- Union County has compiled a list of available Vaccine Appointment sites, along with links to schedule a vaccine appointment. The list contains "Megasites" that any NJ resident can use as well as county-specific sites - the Union County facilities are listed with Union County, near the bottom of the list (alpha order!). Some handy links:
- Atlantic Health System is offering the vaccine. Click here to register.
- Hackensack Meridian Health is offering the vaccine at the Megasite in East Rutherford. Click here to check for appointment availability.
- CVS: Check availability at CVS locations throughout New Jersey here.
- Rite Aid: Check availability at Rite Aid locations throughout New Jersey here.
- ShopRite: Elizabeth and Clark locations are among those to offer the vaccine. Check availability and sign up at vaccines.shoprite.com.
I Tested Positive - Now What?
Please call the Berkeley Heights Health Officer at (908) 518-5620.
This kickstarts the contact tracing process SIGNIFICANTLY faster than waiting for your case to be officially reported from the testing site to the BH Health Officer. The official process can take multiple days. Please help out on this - you will be contacted anyway, so making this call just speeds up the process and hopefully protects more people.
Click the Contact Tracing image to the right for full details about contact tracing and why it's so important.
Next Steps If Your School-Aged Child Tests Positive for COVID-19:
It’s important to note what when the Township and/or Berkeley Heights School District has a known COVID case, there are two processes that take place with our Health Officer, Annie McNair, and her staff: contact tracing and case investigation. Read more about contact tracing here.
Case investigation is a longer process in which trained representatives from the Union County Office of Health Management call you to find out exactly who you, or the COVID-positive family member, has been in close contact with, their whereabouts, etc. All information provided to the Office of Health Management is completely confidential and names of positive cases are never provided during the contact tracing process.
Please note: Representatives from the Berkeley Heights Public School District may make preliminary calls to let you know your child may have come into contact with another student who tested positive and advise you to quarantine. In addition, our Berkeley Heights Health Department officials – who are also with Union County – may still need to talk to you. It is imperative that parents and older students return calls from the County health officials to ensure they can do adequate contact tracing and case investigation to stop the spread in our community.
What is Contact Tracing? How Does it Stop the Spread of COVID-19?
As part of the State's plan to safely restart the economy, we are implementing a comprehensive contact tracing program.
For more information, visit the New Jersey COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing Information Page or see below:
What is Contact Tracing and How Does it Help?
Contact tracing is the process used to identify those who come into contact with people who have tested positive for many contagious diseases – such as measles, HIV, and COVID-19 – and is a long-standing practice in New Jersey and around the world.
Contact tracing goes hand in hand with testing. It is part of the process of supporting patients with suspected or confirmed infection.
Download the COVID Tracker App
COVID Alert NJ is New Jersey's free and secure mobile app that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app also provides users with up-to-date information on New Jersey reopening news, key COVID-19 metrics, and a user-friendly symptom tracking tool. COVID Alert NJ uses Bluetooth proximity technology. The app will never record any identifying data. All users will remain anonymous.
Coronavirus: News Updates
Regular updates from the Township about COVID-19 Berkeley Heights, Union County, NJ and frequent helpful & important COVID19 news & information for residents and local businesses.
Act Fast on Grants for Small Businesses – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will begin accepting applications for its new grant program tomorrow, June 9, on a first-come, first-served basis. The $45 million program provides grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. For more details and a sample application, click here. The NJEDA is encouraging all nonprofit organizations to apply for the grants.
Tell the State What You Think – The state is requesting your input to better understand how to help businesses get back to work safely and productively. By filling out this online survey, you will help guide the state’s reopening strategy and upcoming business assistance opportunities.
For the U.S. Chamber’s return-to-work playbook for employers, click here.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s report on reopening and preparing workplaces for COVID-19.
The state’s PPE Supplier Registry connects suppliers of personal protective equipment with potential buyers. (Notice from the state: Parties are strongly advised to exercise due diligence when selecting vendors and are responsible for ensuring the quality and regulatory compliance of all goods/services purchased).
For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.
The U.S. Chamber’s guide to applying for loan forgiveness under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.
The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.
The IRS posted information on ’stimulus checks’ here.
The state’s jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates. For employers to participate, click here.
New Jersey’s website for information on all of the state’s business resources during the pandemic.
Unemployment & Consumer Affairs
Have Questions about the Status of an Unemployment Claim? - You can send a message to the state Labor Department through its website. Then follow these instructions:
* On the top of the page, scroll to the right for “Need Help” and unveil the drop-down menu
* Choose Send an Email
* Choose Email: Submit a message through the new online form.
* Follow the prompts
To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov.
In an effort to help people in Berkeley Heights manage during COVID-19, local volunteers set up a call center; residents can get connected to services, be assigned a check-in buddy, get info about Township & County programs, get groceries/supplies & more. Call (908) 312-2066 or email: BHHelpingNeighbors@gmail.com
#LightUpTheLights - BH Neighbors Helping Neighbors encourages everyone to put lights in your windows, or lights outside your home (Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali - any lights!), in a sign of solidarity with our community in the fight against COVID-19.
Stressed or Anxious?
If you’re experiencing fear, anxiety or stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please call one of these Union County Helplines:
For 24/7 Emergency Psychiatric Crisis Services, please contact
- Mobile Community Outreach (Adults): (908) 994-7131
- Union County Mobile Response & Stabilization (Children): (877) 652-7624
- RWJ University Hospital: (732) 381-4200
- Overlook Hospital: 908-522-2000
Additional Help Lines:
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- NJ Mental Health Cares: 1-866-202-4357
- The Peer Recovery Warmline: 1-877-292-5588
- Veterans Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (press 1)
- Addiction Help, NJ Hopeline: 1-855-654-6735
- Addiction Help, ReachNJ.gov: 1-844-REACHNJ
The state set up a 24-hour hotline where health care professionals are answering questions about coronavirus. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222. From outside the state, call 1-800-962-1253.