COVID-19 Maplewood

59-Year-Old Woman Is 24th Maplewood Resident to Die of COVID-19

A 59-year-old Maplewood woman has died due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of Maplewood residents to die of the disease to 24. The identity of the woman was not shared. 

Mayor Frank McGehee relayed the news in an update that included detailed information on guidelines for reopening business districts and public amenities as well as a new declaration of emergency related to face coverings in parks. 

From Mayor Frank McGehee:

Dear Community,

The Township Committee met this past Tuesday and announced several reopening plans related to our tennis courts, Library, our Business Districts, July 4th, our community pool, and our summer recreational programs. In addition, tonight we are announcing a Declaration of Local Emergency regarding facial coverings in relation to our parks effective 8:00am Friday, May 22, until further notice.

Before I provide an overview of these reopening plans, it saddens me to share that our community has lost another member. She was 59. Please keep the family and the 23 other families who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in your prayers.

The Maplewood Public Health Division numbers for the period of Saturday 5/16 through Thursday 5/21 are as follows:

Total Cases: 279 (+6)

Probable Cases: 4 (+2)

Total Deaths: 24 (+1)

Total recovered cases: 181 (+11)

NJ Statewide confirmed cases: 151,472

Essex County confirmed cases: 16,906 (3rd highest county in NJ)

Essex County confirmed deaths: 1,576 (+66)  (highest county in NJ)

DECLARATION OF LOCAL EMERGENCY 

FACIAL COVERINGS REQUIRED IN MAPLEWOOD PARKS

WHEREAS, The Governor’s Executive Order 143, states that all employees and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when present on the public and private beaches, lakes, and lakeshores in any settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age; snd

WHEREAS, While the state has only strongly encouraged face coverings in public spaces, counties and municipalities may require face coverings; and

WHEREAS, The Governor’s Executive Order 147 states that employees, visitors, members, and other individuals should wear face coverings in any setting at outdoor recreational businesses or activities permitted to reopen where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health, or where the individual is under two years of age; and

WHEREAS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. The virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity— including speaking —even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms; and

WHEREAS, In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain especially in areas of significant community-based transmission; and

WHEREAS, for the safety of others, it is advised that individuals should carry a face mask or face covering with them at all times, when they go out in public.

NOW THEREFORE, pursuit to the powers in Chapter 251 of the Laws of 1942 as amended and supplemented, N.J.S.A. App. A-930 etc. Seq.: N.J.S.A. 40-48-1(6) and ordinances enacted pursuit thereto; N.J.S.A. 2C:33-1 etc. Seq.; — whichever law or laws apply, and by ordinances adopted by the Maplewood Township Committee:

1.  Effective 8:00am on Friday, May 22nd until further notice, individuals within the Township of Maplewood’s parks are required to have face coverings and practice social distancing and use face coverings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The Maplewood COVID-19 website https://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/covid19 

For COVID-19 questions, please call 2-1-1 or our Public Health Division at (973) 762-8120.

We are healthier together by staying apart.

REOPENING PLANS

No July 4th fireworks in 2020

Because public safety is our number one priority, we are cancelling this year’s 4th of July celebration.

Tennis Courts

Based on the Governor’s Executive Order No. 147, we are re-opening our public tennis courts tomorrow, May 22 at 6:00 a.m. with rules to ensure public safety and social distancing. Since the governor opened up clubs, we wanted to ensure equality across our town.

Rules

Only singles tennis will be allowed; no doubles.

Courts will open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., with a one-hour match time limit.

Players will stay on their same side

Use your own equipment

Do not congregate on or near the courts.

Face coverings are recommended prior to and after play (but not during).

Avoid the net game if possible while playing.

Please bring sanitary and disinfectant products

The Community Pool and Summer Camp Activities

We are working to have a truncated pool season starting in early July but our summer swim team and diving team will be cancelled.  If we are allowed to open, all pools will be accessible and we will leverage a phased capacity approach coupled with a daily time slot program.  Sign ups will occur primarily online with an offline component available if needed.  We are monitoring the Governor’s office and will follow his directive.

We will have a limited season and smaller version (a maximum of 50 children per week) of Kids camp, art camp and tennis camp with a lot of outside activities. Campers will be broken into small groups of 10, no field trips and no pool time. We have created a robust communication program for parents/guardian and a lot of training for our staff

Business Districts

On Tuesday night, the Township passed 15 resolutions to support our small businesses.  Please see the summary list below:

Expanded Outdoor Dining (outdoor cafe) for food establishments

Sidewalk sales and services for retail establishments

Establish 15 minute curbside parking zones

Signage to indicate that a business is open

Street Closures to accommodate more pedestrian space for dining & retail

Parklets – taking parking spaces immediately in front of retail establishments for dining.

ABC (Alcohol) rules related to BYOB and patio dining

The Library

This Library is also exploring a phased approach to reopen our facilities and reintroduce the public to our physical spaces, materials, and building-bound services with new health and safety protocols in place. Each phase includes proposed timelines; restrictions and extensions on services, hours, and places.  More to come.

TESTING

Testing will also continue at Weequahic Park for all Essex county residents. Test times are from 9 am to 12 noon and Residents must arrive by car. You can register at www.essexcovid.org 

Also, the township is continuing our conversations with a private company to provide testing and antibody testing open to all residents. Again, the plan is to have a mobile van in a location or rotating locations in town that are accessible via driving or walking. Please stay tuned.

COMMUNITY

Online Grocery Shopping for SNAP Recipients

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online starting next week on May 28th.  Online shopping will be available through Amazon and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers. Visit njhelps.org to learn more and apply for food assistance and other benefits.

South Mountain Y Duck Race 2020

The South Mountain YMCA’s Annual Duck Race is going virtual this Monday at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day via South Mountain Y Facebook, Metro You Tube or South Mountain’s Instagram to cheer, waddle at home, and celebrate this race. This year 25 percent of duck proceeds will go toward supporting local businesses in Maplewood and South Orange that have supported the Duck Race with sponsorships and race prizes for over 20 years. To purchase ducks go to:https://www.metroymcas.org/south-mountain-ymca/duck-race/

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Mayor Frank

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