South Orange VP Updates: COVID-19 Testing, Pool, Business Re-Openings

by The Village Green
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From Village President Sheena Collum:

As of noon today, 924 South Orange residents have received access to COVID-19 testing, and of that number, 97 tests have returned positive and 827 have returned negative. To date, four members of our community have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Please continue to keep their families in your prayers.

Expanded Testing Sites in Essex County

Essex County has expanded its COVID-19 testing initiative to include satellite testing sites throughout the county in addition to continuing to operate its drive through testing center in Weequahic Park. The satellite sites will offer saliva tests, are by appointment only, and are being offered to Essex County residents free of charge. To make an appointment, please visit or call 973-324-9950.

Satellite testing will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations:

Tuesday, June 16, 4 to 6:30PM, Essex County, Brookdale Park, Enter off Watchung Avenue, Lower Parking Lot, Bloomfield

Wednesday, June 17, 4 to 6:30PM, Fairfield Community Pool, 306 Big Piece Road, Fairfield

Thursday, June 18, 4 to 6:30PM, Essex County Economic Development Center, 50 South Clinton Street, East Orange

Tuesday, June 23, 4 to 6:30PM, Belleville High School, 100 Passaic Avenue, Belleville

The Weequahic Park testing site continues to be open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am-Noon.

Maplewood Testing Site

The Township of Maplewood in partnership with Salerno Medical Associates continues testing that is available to South Orange residents. The testing process is a throat swab and blood sample for COVID-antibodies, provided by a professional licensed nurse.

Online registration is available at or print out and complete the three required forms and bring them along with your ID and health insurance card to expedite the sign in process.

Time: 8am to 3pm

Location: 129 Boyden Ave. – Maplewood Office of Emergency Management Building

When you arrive: Enter through the Maplewood Community Pool Parking Lot and park your vehicle. This is a walk through and they are conducting up to 125 tests each day.

All insurances are accepted (private, Medicare, Medicaid). You MUST bring an insurance card with you and a form of I.D. is required. If you do not have insurance, please bring your social security card to be tested and there will be no charge.

Please get tested, whether you have symptoms or not, First come, first serve. Kids 70 pounds or greater are welcome to get tested.

Local Updates

South Orange Municipal Offices located at 76 South Orange Avenue are now open to the public. Residents are reminded that mask requirements and social distancing measures will continue to be in effect when visiting municipal locations in person. Residents are also encouraged to continue utilizing the Village’s online features to obtain necessary services and documents; as well as through the mail and telephone.

The South Orange Recycling Facility reopened last week with restrictions in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Facility hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30am-3:30pm and Saturdays 8am-12pm. The facility will be closed to residents on Saturday, June 27th as the Container Day event is being held by appointment only (at this time all appointment slots have been filled). The following policies are in place for access to the facility:

  • Residents are required to wear a face mask while using the facility
  • Maintain a socially responsible distance of six feet from other visitors
  • Residents should be able to remove and dispose of items from vehicles without employee assistance
  • If it is necessary at peak times traffic flow will be limited
  • Standard policies remain enforced

The Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, located at 298 Walton Ave, is open to the public Monday – Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

On June 22nd non-contact organized sport practices will be able to resume and the department is still awaiting guidance on organized gameplay from the governor.

On July 6th the South Orange Community Pool will be open to the public. At this time the pool construction is in its final stages as it began during the start of the pandemic and was delayed because it. The department is also putting in place new policies and procedures to meet the state department of health requirements for pool operations. We hope to have our policies issued in the coming week.

At this time our summer concert series has been cancelled but we hope to reschedule some of our events as restrictions continue to loosen and the governor allows for larger gatherings.

The department is holding off on fall program registration until guidance on organized gameplay is released by the governor.

South Orange Businesses Prepare to Reopen

Today, June 15, marks the beginning of Governor Murphy’s Phase 2 of the Reopening and Recovery Plan and that means outdoor dining, the opening of our nonessential retailers and personal service businesses!

South Orange Village, the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA), the South Orange Parking Authority (SOPA) and business owners have worked to create a plan to reopen our business districts in accordance with the State guidelines.

The goal is to allow businesses to have the flexibility to maximize revenue by using sidewalks, municipal parking lots and our parks to increase their footprint while creating welcoming environment that allows for proper social distancing and health and safety requirements and best practices.

South Orange’s plan provides for expanded outdoor dining, creates outside areas for retailers and classes, and establishes a process for merchants to request free 15-minute parking for curbside pickup.

Outdoor Dining

21 South Orange restaurants have applied for outdoor dining permits. We expect most restaurants to open their outdoor cafés during this week. Most will continue offering the pick-up and delivery service we’ve grown accustomed to these last 3 months.

Here’s list of businesses offering outdoor dining beginning this week:


Jackie and Son

BGR Burgers

La Villa Mexican & Salvadoran

Bistro d’Azur

Miti Miti Latin Street Food

Bunny’s Sports Bar

Reservoir Restaurant

Cold Stone Creamery

David Burke at Orange Lawn

Elitist Coffee Shop

Tito’s Burritos & Wings

Fox and Falcon @ The Snug

Toro Loco


Grid Iron Waffle Shop

Village Diner

Inkosi Cafe

The Dancing Blender

The Order

Town Hall Deli


Non-essential retail operations can open on June 15 in compliance with State guidelines. In-store occupancy is limited to 50% of maximum allowed capacity. Most retailers will continue offering online ordering, delivery and curbside pickup for their customers.

Hair Salons and Barbershops

Hair salons, barbershops, spas and nail salons can reopen on June 22 under State guidelines. Guidelines will restrict the operations each of these establishments can offer. Capacity will be restricted and we are awaiting more detailed guidelines on how these businesses can operate.


Some of our fitness businesses have started offering classes outside and in our parks. Please call for details.

How to Support Our Businesses

The support our local merchants have received throughout the shutdown has been tremendous. As they reopen they will continue to need your support in different ways as they once again transition to a new way of doing business.

To that end, please keep in mind the following considerations:

Be Patient – businesses are creating new processes and procedures and operating with reduced staff and under constantly changing conditions.

Follow the Guidelines – Please respect social distancing and Department of Health guidelines.

Wear masks – except when eating and drinking.

Understand that restrictions on capacity and rest room use are State imposed.

Check first – every store and restaurant will have different hours and operations. As the situation continues to evolve these may change so check first before venturing out.

Weekday dining – dine out and order in during the week. Restaurants are overwhelmed with business on the weekends (thank you!) but consider dining out and ordering in throughout the week to help them keep their doors open during this transition.

Be conscious of where you park. Avoid meters designated for curbside pick up and when possible park away from outdoor cafés.

As things unfold we will update the South Orange COVID-19 Business Directory to reflect the most recent openings, hours and operations. Also, follow SOVCA on Facebook and Instagram for openings @sovillagecenter.

We look forward to reopening our business districts to you and can’t wait to see you around town!

Please continue to remain safe, and thank you for your patience, compassion, and generosity over the past three months.


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