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The original item was published from 5/3/2020 9:11:00 AM to 5/4/2020 8:18:18 PM.

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BH Announcements

Posted on: May 1, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Coronavirus: Daily News Updates May 2020

Coronavirus Updates April 2020

May 3, 2020

Enjoy the weather this weekend, everyone, but PLEASE REMEMBER to maintain safe social distancing so we can all show the County and state that we CAN follow the rules and they can reopen more for us - sooner!

May 1, 2020

Parks OpenLocal, Board of Ed and County Parks Open to Passive Recreation Only Beginning May 2

Union County parks will partially re-open beginning at dawn tomorrow (Saturday, May 1) for limited and passive activities only. State parks and golf courses can also reopen with restrictions. The County’s two golf courses will open next week, after routine maintenance is conducted. However, all group activities and any activity that does not allow for proper social distancing is NOT allowed.

What’s a Passive Activity?

A passive activity is essentially anything you can do that does not require another person: fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing, hiking, walking, running or jogging, biking, birding, and horseback riding. This does NOT include:

  • Any type of group activity or sport (soccer, basketball, lacrosse, group running,
  • Gathering on fields
  • Any type of game
  • Or similar activities with others

Here in Berkeley Heights

Fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball and pickleball courts will remain closed. Passaic, Horseshoe, Sansone, and Snyder fields will be closed, along with the Snyder parking lot. Trails are open for walking, running and biking.

As it pertains to Berkeley Heights Public Schools outdoor facilities, the only areas that will reopen on May 2nd are the track at Governor Livingston High School and the walking path near the Lower Columbia Fields. The turf field and athletic fields on the High School property remain CLOSED, the basketball courts, tennis courts, fields and playground at Columbia remain CLOSED. We ask that residents respect the order and not use these unopened spaces even as access to them becomes more accessible. We can only reopen the track and walking path with these restrictions in place. If residents violate the restrictions, we will be forced to close these areas again. As a reminder, all group activities and any activity that does not allow for proper social distancing is not allowed.

In spaces that are open for use, everyone needs to properly social distance, except if you are with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

We encourage everyone to follow the rules regarding social distancing, masks, and permitted activities, so as to give confidence to local, county and state governments that more spaces can slowly reopen. Thank you for your cooperation. Enjoy the beautiful weekend!

More Support for Food Assistance, Seniors, Child Care & More

This week, NJ Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson announced new funding to help support New Jerseyans’ health and well-being during this public health emergency, including:

By the Numbers

  • NJ - 2,651 new cases; 121,190
  • NJ - 311 new deaths; 7,538 total
  • Union County - 214 new cases; 12,779 total cases
  • Union County - 24 new deaths; 714 total   

Hospitalizations in NJ

  • 5,972 total
  • 1,724 in ICU
  • 1,286 on ventilators
  • 46 in field hospital
  • 432 admissions
  • 571 discharged

Over 830 companies are hiring for over 57,000 jobs during this health crisis. Click here for job listings.

Call-in number for Union County Residents Only for testing site appointments at Kean University 908-214-7107.

More Money for Businesses is Coming - Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released guidelines for its soon-to-open Main Street Lending Program that will offer four-year loans starting at $500,000 for small- and medium-sized businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify, a business must have had fewer than 15,000 employees or less than $5 billion in revenue in 2019. Lending institutions are administering the program, and a high percentage of each of the loans will be guaranteed by the Fed. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year. 

Act Now - Once the Federal Reserve opens the Main Street Lending Program, qualified businesses should apply quickly. To prepare, the New Jersey Chamber encourages members to review the information and reach out to lenders now. For the Fed’s press release, click here. For frequently asked questions, click here

New Jersey Businesses Are Not Getting Their Fair Share of Paycheck Protection Program Loans - New Jersey is one of the states hardest hit by COVID-19, but less than 20% of small firms here got an award from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to offset COVID-19 losses. (NJ Spotlight) 

More Tests Coming- New Jersey will at least double its daily number of tests for the coronavirus after the federal government agreed to send 550,000 testing kits and 750,000 swabs, Gov. Murphy said. This development, he added, could be critical to reopening the state. ( 

At the White House - Gov. Murphy made a plea to President Trump yesterday that New Jersey needs federal money to help make up for what could be a $20 billion to $30 billion hit to the state government’s finances as businesses close and tax revenues plummet. ( 

Washing Machine - New Jersey has “secured” a system that can decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 respirators a day, Gov. Murphy announced. This helps address the current shortage of critical Personal Protective Equipment. The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System is centrally located in Edison and can service the entire state.  


The N.J. Chamber of Commerce Webinar with Neil Bradley, chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provides valuable details on the federal loan programs designed to help businesses navigate the pandemic.(April 23)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo provides vital information on the state unemployment insurance program and tips for applying. (April 16)

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with Al Titone, SBA district director of New Jersey provides vital information on SBA coronavirus relief loan programs. (April 14).

For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

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.

New Jersey’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

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

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.

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