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Posted on: October 1, 2020

Coronavirus: News Updates October 2020

COVID-19 Updates

October 17, 2020

Berkeley Heights case update: 

For Berkeley Heights Restaurants...

The Berkeley Heights Township Council on Oct. 6 introduced an ordinance extending outdoor dining through April 2021. Any restaurant wishing to extend their outdoor dining through the winter will need to follow certain protocols as it pertains to outdoor tent strength and heat. All of the information is here. 

Trick or Treating is On For NowHalloween

Halloween is ON in Berkeley Heights! We want the kids to enjoy the holiday but we cannot emphasize enough the importance of making sure both kids and adults practice safe COVID protocols. Trick or treating will be from 3-8 pm on Saturday, October 31. In addition, our Berkeley Heights PBA Local 144 will sponsor their annual Trunk or Treat for kids, this year at Connell (for extra space). More information on both events can be found here.

COVID-19 Transparency Website

Governor Phil Murphy on Friday announced the launch of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Transparency website, providing oversight and public confidence in the expenditure of federal recovery funds as the State continues to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The website tracks the State’s eligible and planned uses of any funds disbursed by the federal or State government to help New Jersey residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and other entities respond to or recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide a list of the contracts involving the allocation and expenditure of recovery funds, in addition to providing information on the various disaster recovery resources available to residents, businesses and government entities.

“New Jerseyans deserve to know how the State is addressing the COVID-19 crisis and how their taxpayer dollars are being spent,” said Governor Murphy. “This website represents a crucial step in our commitment to transparency during the ongoing pandemic.”

The website can be accessed here. 

Travel Advisory List

The New Jersey travel advisory list is updated weekly and can be access here. 

Pandemic Relief Stimulus Checks:  The IRS has extended the deadline to apply for economic impact payments until November 21st. Additionally, incarcerated individuals may have until October 30th to mail in applications and until November 21st to apply online to receive their stimulus checks. 
  • Social Security: To adjust for cost-of-living expenses, the Social Security Administration announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income will increase by 1.3% for 2021. 
  • Small Business: The SBA and Treasury Department released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program loans of $50,000 or less. 
  • NJ Childcare Assistance Grant: Families in need of full or part-time child care due to their child’s remote learning schedule can apply for a childcare/tuition grant HERE. The grant program reserves up to $250m from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and is administered by the State of NJ.

October 14, 2020

  • BH has 6 active cases

  • The transmission rate has fallen to 1.15

  • NJ has 38 states and territories on the quarantine advisory list

There are now 6 active cases in Berkeley Heights. Please wear masks in Berkeley Heights AND when travelling, and practice proper health protocols. 

38 States

By the Numbers:

  • 953 new cases in New Jersey; 216,023 total

  • 52 new cases in Union County; 18,375 total

  • 19 new deaths in New Jersey; 14,402 total

  • 1 new death in Union County; 1,195 total

  • Rate of Transmission: 1.15

  • Berkeley Heights: 

    • 6 active cases (3 VPI, 3 community)

    • 317 closed cases (137 recovered from LTC, 55 LTC deaths, 4 community deaths)

    • Total of 323 cases


  • 699 people remain hospitalized

  • 168 people are in intensive care

  • 58 people are on ventilators 

NJ to Provide $100M Business Relief - Governor Murphy is giving out $100M in federal aid to restaurants, small businesses, and families. Businesses will be able to apply for loans. There is also an additional $12M in rental and mortgage assistance for struggling families. 

Updated Quarantine Advisory - NJ has added Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia to the Quarantine Advisory list. The new state list: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming . All individuals travelling to NJ from these states should self-quarantine for 14 days.

What’s Reopening - For a summary of the arts/entertainment venues and other recreational destinations throughout NJ, please read the following article.

October 11, 2020

  • BH has 8 active cases

  • The transmission rate has risen to 1.17

There are now 8 active cases in Berkeley Heights. The newest case involves a woman in her 50s. Please wear masks in Berkeley Heights AND when travelling, and practice proper health protocols. 

By the Numbers:

  • 751 new cases in New Jersey; 213,628 total

  • 42 new cases in Union County; 18,206 totalBH now has 8 Active Cases

  • 15 new deaths in New Jersey; 14,386 total

  • 2 new deaths in Union County; 1,194 total

  • Rate of Transmission: 1.17

  • Berkeley Heights: 

    • 8 active cases (1 VPI, 7 community)

    • 312 closed cases (137 recovered from LTC, 55 LTC deaths, 4 community deaths)

    • Total of 320 cases


  • 170 people remain hospitalized

  • 60 people are in intensive care

  • 13 people are on ventilators 


Murphy Says Indoor Dining Not Causing COVID-19 Surge - Governor Murphy has stated that there is no evidence that indoor dining is causing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. He is considering increasing the 25% indoor capacity by increments of 10% over time.

16 NJ Schools Have COVID-19 Outbreaks - 16 NJ schools have had students or teachers contract the virus on school property or in school extracurriculars. There have been no outbreaks in Union County.

NJ Gives Out $60 Million In Federal COVID-19 Aid - NJ has established a $60 million Local Emergency Grant Fund to help counties and municipalities. The funds are meant for public safety/health, overtime for workers, remote technology, sanitation services, and more. 

October 8, 2020

Union County Freeholder Board Provides $2 Million in Federal CARES Act Funding for Restaurants

Restaurants impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for grants of up to $20,000 each; online application portal opens on Wednesday, October 14.

Union County, NJ – Restaurants in Union County that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak may be eligible to receive federal CARES Act funding through the new Union County COVID-19 Emergency Restaurant Grant program established by the Freeholder Board. The new program provides a total of $2 million to qualified restaurants located in Union County on a first come, first served basis. A maximum of $20,000 per grant applies.

“Local restaurants are woven into the fabric of our neighborhoods, providing innumerable opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, and civic service for our residents. Their contribution to our quality of life is irreplaceable, and this allocation of federal CARES Act funds will help offset the expense of COVID-19 prevention measures that protect the health and safety of our community,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

The Restaurant Grant COVID-19 Emergency Restaurant Grant program provides reimbursement for expenses related to compliance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders on restaurant operations during the COVID- 19 public health emergency, including items for facilitating outdoor dining, social distancing, and disinfecting a facility.

The online application portal will open at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 14 through the link Awards will be made to eligible applicants on a first come first served basis.

Applicants should be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Have you received any other type of grant funding? If so, what were the funds used for? During what months were the funds used? What was the dollar amount?
  • What was the approximate sales volume/revenue of your business during the months of January through September in 2019, and January through September in 2020?

In addition, the following documents must be submitted online with the application form:

  • A current Food Service License from the local or County Board of Health
  • All reimbursement expenditures must have a corresponding invoice and proof of payment
  • Business Registration Certificate, certificate of incorporation or formation
  • Good Standing Certificate (Short Form) found here:
  • 2019 Tax return or Tax Extension
  • W9 gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf

Please note that one file will be allowed for each required type of documentation.  A third party tool such as Genius Scan is highly recommended for this purpose. It will allow the user to scan and merge multiple images and documents into single PDFs.

For Apple Devices, the Genius Scan link is:

For Android (Google) Devices, the Genius Scan link is:

The application portal will open on 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 14 at

If further assistance about the Restaurant Grant program is needed, email Deana Mesaros, Coordinator, Office of Business Development in the Union County Department of Economic Development at

In other COVID news...

  • On Thursday, hospitalizations in New Jersey went over 600 for the first time in over two months. The state saw its biggest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since May, with Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli warning that could escalate quickly. “We are anticipating a second wave,” Persichilli said. “This wave has a potential to become a surge.”
  • Updated Quarantine Advisory Issued for Individuals Traveling to New Jersey, Bringing New Total to 35 States and Territories: 35 States and Territories Include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  • Long Lines at the MVC are Nothing New, But... – People don’t need to queue for hours, said Sue Fulton, chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor VehiCOVID Alertcle Commission. Instead, they can receive a ticket and return to the agency when texted, she said. (NJ Spotlight News) 
  • N.J. Coronavirus Cases - New Jersey Residents (Source: N.J. Health Department)
    • Total Confirmed Deaths Reported: 14,364
    • Total Positive COVID-19 Cases Reported: 209,850
    • For data on hospitalizations and discharges, click here.

COVID Alert NJ - Add Your Phone to the COVID Fight 

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.

How it Works:

  1. Download COVID Alert NJ on the App Store or Google Play Store. Opt-in to receive "Exposure Notifications"
  2. As you go about your day, the app will use Bluetooth to sense any "close contacts"—other app users who are within 6 feet of you for more than 10 minutes
  3. When your app senses a close contact, your phone will exchange a secure random code with the close contact's phone. It's important to note that your location and name are never disclosed
  4. If you test positive for COVID-19, a public health representative will call you and ask if you're willing to anonymously notify your "close contacts" by uploading your app's close contact codes
  5. Each day, the app will compare your list of close contact codes to the list of codes associated with positive COVID-19 app users. If there's a match you will get an Exposure Alert, along with appropriate next steps

Governor Livingston Senior Desmond Lam contributed to these reports. 

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