Chester Township
1 Parker Road
Chester, New Jersey 07930
908-879-5100

From the Health Department:

When an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is identified, the Washington Township Health Department follows all appropriate NJ Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control protocols in conducting an efficient and comprehensive follow up.  The Washington Township Health Department identifies close contacts of all confirmed cases to determine the need for self-monitoring. Individuals who have been in close contact with that person will be notified and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Please note that HIPAA requirements protect each individual’s right to privacy, so no identifying information will be publicized.

IMPORTANT – This virus is in our community, and it is spreading. We cannot emphasize enough how critical it is for you to STAY HOME to slow its spread. The longer we can hold out and impede its spread by not giving it the chance to move from person to person, the greater the chance that equipment and treatments will be available that will save lives, yours included.

COMMUNITY COVID-19 UPDATES

Morris County COVID-19 cases are updated regularly at: https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/#cases

After April 1, you can view data for Chester Township and other municipalities at that site.

As of April 1, Chester Township has 6 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases.

Morris County COVID-19 newsletter, April 1

The Township has 4 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases.
 
From the Health Department:
“It is the responsibility of the local Health Department to first review and confirm all test results. Residents do not need to self-report, as the Health Department follows up on each result received. It is important to remember that we need to confirm results on our end before an investigation begins.
 
Once the Health Department receives a positive COVID-19 result through their electronic system, an interview of the positive case is then conducted to obtain information on demographics, signs, symptoms and possible exposure sources (for example work, travel, exposure to another confirmed COVID 19 case). The resident is then provided guidance on social distancing and other infection control measures. The resident is also given the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and to add anything they feel is important about their particular case.
 
Once the interview is complete, the Health Department focuses on any close contacts the confirmed case had. A close contact is defined as anyone who has been less than six feet apart from the case for more than ten minutes. It is not defined as brief casual contact. Close contacts are notified and provided information for quarantine, with an emphasis placed on those contacts who are high risk. An example of a high risk contact would be someone who has a co-morbidity, is an elder adult, or someone who is a health care worker.
 
Public release of identifying information is not a recognized public health measure for control of COVID-19. Such data is used internally by public health officials in our county for epidemiological surveillance and planning purposes. Beyond said internal use, the public releases appear to be the result of various pressures (including media and residents) for misguided reasons and/or to satisfy those who are inquisitive under the guise of the need for greater transparency. Our office will continue to protect information in accordance with applicable regulations and in the same manner we would want our own individual information protected.”
 
 

Governor Murphy and State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan, yesterday, enacted Administrative Order 2020-06 amending which businesses are permitted to operate and clarifying ways in which some businesses may operate in accordance with Executive Order No. 107 as follows:

  • Individual appointments to view real estate with realtors by individuals or families shall be considered essential retail business.  Open houses are still considered impermissible gatherings.
  • Car dealers may continue to conduct online sales or remote sales that are consistent with current law.  In the event of such a sale, the car may be delivered to the purchaser or the purchaser can pick up the car curbside or in the dealership service lane.
  • In accordance with the guidance released by the federal Department of Homeland Security, effective Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 8:00 a.m., firearms retailers are permitted to operate – by appointment only and during limited hours – to conduct business which, under law, must be done in person.  The NICS background check system will be up and running to process firearms purchases.
  • Golf courses are considered recreational and entertainment business that must close to the public and to members associated with private golf clubs.

March 26

Chester Township Confirms an Additional Case of 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Health Department, in conjunction with NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), and the Chester Township Office of Emergency Management has confirmed its third case of COVID-19 in Chester Township.  The Health Department is working closely to monitor all of the cases and to track any contacts that they might have had. To date, 6872 cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in New Jersey and 81 deaths due to COVID-19. Morris County has 285 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and community transmission is suspected in the cases located in Chester Township.

 

PLEASE STAY HOME TO SAVE A LIFE

According to a Center of Disease Control study, 40% of the closed cases in the United States were younger than 50 years of age.  It is important for all residents, young and old, to follow the Executive Orders signed by the Governor to protect all of the residents of New Jersey.  While the rate of infection in Chester Township remains low compared to other parts of the state, any person showing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath, residents should contact their healthcare provider to ensure they are taking the proper steps to control the spread.

Please inform yourself on COVID-19:

COVID-19 Rumor Control and Disinformation Updates from NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness

Visit the COVID19 information hub at https://covid19.nj.gov/

The New Jersey Department of Health website https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

NJDOH Coronavirus Dashboard – https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

Caring for your Mental Health

NJPIES Call Center

1-800-222-1222

1-800-962-1253 non-NJ cell phone

Text: NJCOVID to 898-211 for text message updates on COVID-19 in New Jersey

Call 211 for additional information.

March 24Chester Township Confirms First Cases of 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

The Health Department, in conjunction with NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), and the Chester Township Office of Emergency Management has confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 in Chester Township.  The Health Department is working closely to monitor the patients’ conditions and to track any contacts that they might have had. To date, 3,675 cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in New Jersey and 205 cases have been identified in Morris County.

Currently, there is no vaccination for COVID-19.  The Health Department is encouraging all residents to take simple precautions to protect themselves and others from respiratory illness:

 

  • Stay home as per the directive of the Governor of New Jersey.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Limit close contact with people who are sick if you must go out.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid handshakes. Try an elbow bump.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hand).
  • Get a flu shot to prevent the flu if you have not done so this season.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, indicated that the virus is affecting younger individuals as well as our senior population. According to the latest data from the Center of Disease Control, 40% of the cases were younger than 50 years of age.  It is important for all residents, young and old, to follow the Executive Orders signed by the Governor to protect all of the residents of New Jersey.  While the rate of infection in Chester Township remains low, should a person start showing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath, residents should contact their healthcare provider to ensure they are taking the proper steps to control the spread.

Mayor’s newsletter March 22

March 21 – A new Executive Order issued Saturday, March 21st, by Gov. Murphy further expands restrictions on public outings, prohibits gatherings for parties and celebrations, and requires all New Jersey residents to remain at home or their place of residence with limited exceptions.

Highlights of the Executive Order:
All NJ residents shall remain home unless they are:

 

  • Obtaining goods or services from essential businesses
  • Obtaining takeout food
  • Seeking medical attention
  • Visiting family members as a caretaker or romantic partner
  • Reporting to or performing their job
  • Engaging in outdoor activities (social distance permitting)
  • Leaving home for an educational, religious, or political reason
  • For safety
  • At the direction of law enforcement or a government agency

 The following businesses are essential and may remain open with normal operating hours:

 

  • Grocery stores, farmers markets
  • Pharmacies and dispensaries
  • Medical supply stores
  • Retail functions of gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
  • Hardware and home improvement stores
  • Retail functions of banks and other financial institutions
  • Stores that sell supplies for children ages 5 and younger
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Car dealerships for auto maintenance and repair services, and auto mechanics
  • Retail functions of printing and office supply shops
  • Educational institutions providing online-only learning options

 The following should function at a limited capacity:

 

  • Public transportation should be used only as a last resort
  • Schools may remain open only if they are operating on a limited basis for food or essential care services that are non-educational

 Essential businesses that cannot work from home shall reduce staff on site to the minimal necessary number:

 

  • Law enforcement, fire fighters, and first responders
  • Cashiers
  • Construction, utility, and repair workers
  • Warehouse workers
  • Lab researchers and information technology maintenance workers
  • Janitorial and custodial staff
  • Necessary administrative staff

 The following activities are prohibited:

 

  • Parties, celebrations, or social events are cancelled
  • Non-essential retail businesses
  • On-premise consumption of alcohol
  • Casinos, racetracks
  • Golfing
  • Gyms, fitness centers
  • Movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues
  • Nightclubs, performing art centers
  • Public libraries and computer labs
  • Indoor retail shopping malls
  • Amusement parks, zoos, children’s play centers, bowling alleys
  • Personal care services that inherently non-conform to social distancing (salons, spas, tattoo shops)
  • Social clubs such as the VFW, American Legion
  • Public, private, and parochial preschools, elementary and secondary schools

 The Morris County Order previously issued for the closure of playgrounds remains in effect.

March 20 from the Health Department:

NJ 211 has been activated to assist with handling COVID-19 calls from NJ residents. Residents can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and to stay informed. To receive live text assistance, residents can text their zip code to 898-211.

For an update of cases by county, the New Jersey Dept of Health (NJDOH) has set up a dashboard with information:  https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

Mayor’s newsletter March 17

Coronavirus Update (March 12, 2020)

The Chester Township Council, OEM, First Responders, and Administration are working closely with the Board of Health, Health Department and emergency preparedness officials at the federal, state and local levels to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates accordingly.

Our first responders and health officials are participating in the ongoing conferences with the county and state officials and are monitoring CDC and state guidelines.  They are prepared to handle any potential COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) case in accordance with those guidelines.  Current information and updates will be posted on this site.

New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) opened a COVID-19 Information Hotline to assist in answering questions from the general public. Residents should contact the call center at 1-800-222-1222 or, if in NJ but using a non-NJ cell phone, at 1-800-962-1253.  The call center is available 24/7 and can accommodate calls in multiple languages.  Clinicians should contact their local health department for guidance.

The Chester Township Health Department is encouraging all residents to take simple precautions to protect themselves and others from respiratory illness:

  • Limit close contact with people who are sick. Stay home if you are sick.

 

  • Self-Quarantine for 14 days if you have travelled to countries with widespread outbreaks of COVID-19.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid handshakes. Try an elbow bump.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hand).
  • Get a flu shot to prevent the flu if you have not done so this season.
  • Ensure that an adequate supply of necessary prescriptions are on hand in case of quarantine or shortened supply.

Additional information can also be found on NJ Department of Health’s website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml and CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html.

Preventing CoVID-19 Spread in Communities

Click here to find out what you can do to lessen your chances of contracting Coronavirus  and other contagious respiratory diseases.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Washington Township Health Department by phone at 908-876-3650 or by email at health@wtmorris.net

Mayor’s newsletter March 12