• March 31, 2020

County limits, closes facilities - Ocean City Sentinel: News

County limits, closes facilities

No cases of virus have been reported locally

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Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5:17 pm

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — The Cape May County government ordered the closing of several facilities and changes affected by the spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of March 16, no confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Cape May or Atlantic counties. 

The Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders held a special meeting March 15 to discuss plans within the county regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“Cape May County has a significant elderly population and those individuals are at high risk,” Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton said. “We have to do everything possible to limit the spread of the virus to ensure their safety. We are also taking these actions to protect our employees and the public through this event.” 

The Cape May County Park and Zoo and all of the Cape May County Library branches will be closed to the public starting March 17. 

Fare Free Transportation will provide medical trips only for life-saving treatments such as dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and infusion therapy. It also will provide in-county shopping. 

The only out-of-county trips will be for Northfield Dialysis. All nonessential trips have been canceled. The Fare Free Transportation service interruption went into effect March 17 and will remain until further notice.

The Cape May County Freeholder Board supports the decision by Gov. Phil Murphy to restrict bars and restaurants to only take-out and delivery service and only during daytime hours.

The Cape May County Freeholder Board and Cape May County Health Officer Kevin Thomas recommend that all businesses limit employee and public interaction by restricting the number of customers to no more than 10 at a time. Social distancing measures help minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 in communities.

Cape May County government will also be doing its part to limit social interaction by continuing to restrict travel for county employees and limiting interaction with the public when possible by favoring teleconferences or online communications.

“All of the decisions made by the freeholder board are made with the ultimate safety of our residents at heart,” said Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson, liaison to Health and Human Services. “The county wants to take a lead role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and to protect those who are most vulnerable in our county.”

Murphy recommended a curfew statewide, restricting travel from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. All county employees are considered essential personnel and should be allowed to travel during those hours if it’s for work purposes, the freeholders noted. 

The freeholders also recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for cleaning at businesses that remain open. It is recommended and requested that all businesses implement and strictly adhere to the CDC guidelines for stringent workplace sanitizing and disinfecting, “social distancing” and limit public interactions within confined spaces. 

Cancellations and interruption of government services include:

• Crest Haven Nursing Home has restricted all visitors from entering the facility.

• A travel ban for employees going outside of the county has been enacted.

• All public events scheduled in which the public would be attending are suspended.

• County employees are restricted from attending meetings with the public.

• The Cape May County Park and Zoo is closed until further notice.

• All Cape May County Senior Centers are closed until further notice.

• All Election Board polling classes have been cancelled until further notice.

• Cape May County Health Care Resource Center scheduled for April 4 has been cancelled.

• The Cape May County Library branches are closed and all events cancelled until further notice.

• Reporting requirements have been suspended for all participants in the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP) through March 31.

• All U.S. Coast Guard recruits will be confined to the base and the graduation ceremony cancelled. 

• The Surrogate’s Office will be closed to the public. It will remain open and fully staffed with completion of necessary services over the telephone, internet and regular mail.

For general questions about COVID-19, call the NJ COVID-19 & Poison Center Public Hotline at (800) 962-1253 or (800) 222-1222.

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