COVID19 - Information & Resources
New COVID 19 Booster Shots for Union County Residents, please click link below for more info.
February 3, 2022
With the CDC now recommending highly protective N95 masks to combat surging cases of Covid-19′s omicron variant, and news of President Biden providing 400 million N95 masks to pharmacies and community health centers in the next few weeks, you might be wondering how to get them — especially for free.
You can find a health center near you here and see which pharmacies / retailers are participating with this program near you here. Suggestion is to call ahead for availability, however, as the program will only be “fully up and running by early February,” according to a White House official.
January 19, 2022
Residential households in the U.S. can now order one set of 4 free at-home tests from the U.S. Postal Service via USPS.com. Here’s what you need to know about your order:
State of NJ Home Test Update
Due to nationwide inventory constraints, Vault has capped the number of daily requests for New Jersey to 30,000 per day. If you try to request a kit and get a message stating that the cap has been reached for the day, please try again the next morning.
The NJ Department of Health and Vault Medical Services have partnered to offer a free, at-home COVID-19 saliva test kit that is available to every New Jerseyan who thinks they need a test – even if you don't have symptoms. To order a free test kit, visit learn.vaulthealth.com/nj
January 11, 2022
In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the County of Union will now offer booster shots to eligible, vaccinated children aged 12 and older, beginning today, Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Details + appointment links: https://wp.me/p4sLwl-o8s
December 22, 2021
Union County’s free COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs will continue under a modified schedule during the holidays.
“Considering the surge in cases linked to the delta and omicron variants, it is still vitally important to take every precaution against infection. We continue to encourage everyone in the Union County community to get fully vaccinated at the earliest opportunity,” said Union County Commissioner Board Chairman Alexander Mirabella.
Union County residents can visit https://ucnj.org/covid19/vaccinations-page/ to view the latest schedules and make an appointment online at any free vaccination clinic or testing site operated by Union County. You will also find the holiday schedules for the three free vaccination sites at Warinaco Sports Center, Downs Hall at Kean University and Plainfield High School.
Residents needing additional assistance to make an appointment can contact the Union County COVID-19 Call Center at 908-613-7829, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except holidays.
New Jersey residents can now request a free COVID-19 home test kit from the New Jersey Department of Health. For more information on home testing, or to use the Department of Health’s online testing site search tool, visit https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing.
December 13, 2021
Omicron & Protections to Keep Residents Safe -
A case of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) was identified in New Jersey in November.
"The Omicron variant is among us and we need to take steps to stop its spread. It is vital that residents remain as vigilant as possible as we await more information about the variant,” said Governor Murphy. “Vaccinations and mask wearing have proven to be an effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and I urge everyone ages 18 and over to receive a booster.”
On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization classified this new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and named it Omicron. On November 30, 2021, the United States also classified it as a Variant of Concern. The New Jersey Department of Health has been working with other states, local health departments, clinical laboratories, hospitals, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rapidly identify individuals who may have been infected with the Omicron variant.
Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection may decrease over time. Booster doses provide essential additional protection. While more than 70 percent of residents have received their primary vaccine series, only 31 percent of residents eligible have received a booster.
The CDC recommends that all individuals 5 and older should get vaccinated and those 18 and older receive a booster dose.
Residents should visit covid19.nj.gov or call the Vaccine Call Center at 855-568-0545 to find a vaccine or booster appointment.
Additionally, CDC has issued new guidance on international travel, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html
Schedule a Vaccine
Helpful COVID19 Vaccine Resources
(click on the links below to view flyers)
UCEDC Offers Second Round of 0% Working Capital Loans for COVID-19 Crisis Relief
In this phase of the COVID-19 Crisis, UCEDC is offering a low-interest, quick-response, working capital loan program. Small business owners can borrow up to $15,000 at 0% for up to five years with no collateral requirements to meet their COVID-19 crisis needs.
The Crisis Relief Loan Program is designed to provide broad access to much-needed working capital. The program features a quick turnaround (after completing the application requirements), no collateral requirements, no pre-payment penalties, and no processing or application fees. More info here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics and Testing in Union County
Union County Launches Free COVID-19 Vaccination Program for Children Ages 5-11
The Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11 will be available free of charge through the Union County COVID-9 clinic at the Warinanco Sports Center, located at 1 Park Drive in Warinanco Park, in Roselle. The Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and up will also be available at this clinic.
Adults and children ages 12 and up in need of vaccinations, including booster shots, can continue to use the Union County COVID-19 clinic located at Downs Hall at the Kean University campus, at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union Township.
Union County’s mobile vaccination clinic will also continue to provide vaccinations to adults and children ages 12 and up.
Appointments can be booked online at ucnj.org/vax or call 908-613-7829 (7VAX) if additional assistance is needed.
Union County residents who are home-bound or have difficulty leaving the home can arrange for a home vaccination visit by contacting Union County’s service provider, Mobile Medical Services. Call 1-833-256-2478 during regular weekday business hours to speak with an operator, leave a voice message after hours to receive a callback, or email a callback request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Messages are returned on the following business day.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
Mental Health & Addiction - COVID CONNECT
Covid-19 Connect Entity (also known as CCE) is a grant-funded venture formed by Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare (UBHC) and the State of New Jersey. Rutgers UBHC will serve as a 3rd party to assist clients with getting connected with a mental health clinician and/or substance abuse clinician to assist with their short-term needs. We have a toll-free phone number which is live Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, serving as an initial point of entry for individuals seeking mental health and substance uses services as a result of-19. Therapeutic services are provided through telehealth only.
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.
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.