Please look out for each other and check-in with your neighbors during this challenging time. We are in this together, and we will get through this together!
Monmouth County has many COVID-19 vaccine appointments available to book right now for this week at Brookdale Community College. Vaccine appointments are available for residents who are 18 years old or older and live, work or attend school in Monmouth County. The County-operated sites administer the Moderna vaccine, which is not approved for anyone under the age of 18. To schedule an appointment, go to www.visitmonmouth.com or click here: https://bit.ly/3xmZelt
If you or someone you know is homebound, please call the Monmouth County Administrator’s office at 732-431-7384 to schedule an appointment.
Governor Murphy & Governor Cuomo Announce Indoor Dining in New Jersey and NYC Will Expand to 50 Percent Capacity Beginning March 19
Click here to see the new rules and regulations concerning indoor dining: Expanded Dining NJ & NY
NOTE: On March 19, 2021, the general indoor gathering limit is planned to increase to a maximum of 25 people and the general outdoor gathering limit is planned to increase to a maximum of 50 people. This article will be updated with additional details shortly.
Attending a gathering, ceremony, or celebration is permitted, but different limits apply depending on the type of gathering and where it is happening:
Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain. Given the current surge in COVID-19 cases, indoor gatherings should be limited to immediate household members if possible.
- General indoor gatherings must be limited to 10 people. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.
- Indoor gatherings for religious services and celebrations, including wedding ceremonies, funerals and memorial services that involve a religious service, must be limited to 50 percent of a room's capacity. Wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that do not involve a religious service must be limited to 35 percent of a room's capacity, but no more than 150 individuals.
- Indoor wedding receptions are capped at 35 percent of the room's indoor capacity, but no more than 150 individuals. Learn more.
- Indoor gatherings for political activities protected under the First Amendment must be limited to 35 percent of a room's capacity, but no more than 150 individuals.
- Indoor sports practices and competitions may exceed the general indoor gathering limit under specific exceptions, described in this article.
- Indoor gatherings for entertainment centers where performances are viewed or given, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, must be limited to 35 percent of a room's capacity, but no more than 150 individuals.
- Large venues, including sports and entertainment venues, with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or more will be permitted to host events at 10 percent capacity indoors; the 10 percent capacity limit will exclude participants, such as athletes and performers, and staff, such as coaches and ushers, but include patrons and other members of the public.
- Indoor meetings of addiction support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, must be limited to 35 percent of a room's capacity, but no more than 150 individuals.
- Legislative and judicial proceedings are not subject to the limits on indoor gatherings.
- General outdoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people and social distancing must be practiced.
- There is no limit for outdoor gatherings for wedding ceremonies, funerals, memorial services, religious activities, or political activities.
- Outdoor wedding receptions are limited to 150 individuals. Learn more.
- Outdoor sports practices and competitions may exceed the general outdoor gathering limit under specific exceptions, described in this article.
- Large venues, including sports and entertainment venues, with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or more may host events at 15 percent capacity outdoors; the 15 percent capacity limit will exclude participants, such as athletes and performers, and staff, such as coaches and ushers, but include patrons and other members of the public.
Safety Tips For Gatherings
To avoid putting your loved ones at risk as COVID-19 cases remain high, the NJ Department of Health has offered safety tips for in-person gatherings:
- Wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick.
- Given the current surge in COVID-19 cases, only gather indoors with immediate household members if possible. Indoor gatherings are particularly dangerous places for the virus to spread. Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities as much as possible.
- If you do host indoors, increase ventilation by opening windows and doors or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.
- The smaller the gathering is, the less likely it is that someone is infected and put loved ones at risk.
- Require guests to wear masks when not eating, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Plan ahead and ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering.
- Guests should avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, with others outside their household.
- Make hand sanitizer available for guests.
- Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.
- When hosting activities, do so with people only from your local area as much as possible. Activities with attendees traveling from different locations increase the risk of infection and spread, especially if they are coming from or traveling to a location with higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread.
- Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days, are showing COVID-19 symptoms, or recently travelled to an area or a state with high COVID-19 infection rates.
- Limit the number of people handling or serving food—for example, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
- Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
- Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
- Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs. If you are called by a contact tracer, it's critical that you answer the call to protect us all. Your help is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.
- Download the COVID Alert NJ App. The app 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. COVID Alert NJ uses Bluetooth proximity technology, never records any identifying data, and all users will remain anonymous. Download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
Monmouth County CARES Program for Businesses
FREEHOLD, NJ — Small businesses in Monmouth County can apply for more funding under an expansion of the CARES Economic Assistance Grant Program.
Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone announced that businesses that already have received a $10,000 grant can now apply for another $10,000 of coronavirus-related funding through the program.
“Any small business that has already applied and submitted expenses in excess of $20,000 does not need to do anything — your application will be reviewed and eligible expenses will be processed,” he announced during a November 2 press conference. “If you submitted more than $10,000 but less than $20,000 and have incurred additional expenses, please submit them as soon as possible.” Since the program launched on August 3rd, the county has approved more than 2,100 applications and dispersed nearly $18 million in CARES grants, Arnone said.
To qualify, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Be physically located in the county since January 1, 2019 or earlier.
- Provide documentation of being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Have $5 million or less in annual gross revenues.
- Employ 50 or fewer full-time workers, including the owner, as of March 1, 2020.
To learn more about the program or apply, visit monmouthcountycares.com or call 732-375-2196, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Economic Assistance Grant Program Portal: https://solixconsulting.force.com/Monmouth/s/?language=en_US
10% off PPE for all NJ based businesses and non-profits
New Jersey Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Access Program, all NJ-based businesses and non-profits are eligible for a 10% discount on PPE purchases made through an approved online retailer. Small businesses with 100 employees or fewer may be eligible for an additional 65% discount.
The deadline for registration is extended to Thursday, December 17, 2020. For more information, please visit ppe.covid19.nj.gov.
Monmouth ACTS Financial Recovery InitiativeThe devastating COVID-19 pandemic has created financial challenges for Monmouth County residents – some for the very first time in their lives. This is where the Monmouth ACTS Financial Recovery Initiative (FRI) can step in to help.
Through FRI, residents can connect with the following resources to help put them on the path to financial recovery:
- Financial Assistance and Support
- Financial Coaching and Income Tax Assistance
- Housing Assistance
- Workforce Training and Employment Assistance
- Nutrition Assistance
- Child Care Resources
- Financial Recovery Initiative Service Areas (Monmouth ResourceNet): http://www.monmouthresourcenet.org/search/financial-recovery-initiative/
- Monmouth County official website: https://www.co.monmouth.nj.us/index.aspx
Residents with general questions or concerns about the COVID-19 are able to contact the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) phone bank by calling 732-845-2070 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
When the phone bank is not operational, please visit the MCHD website at www.visitmonmouth.com/health for general information related to COVID-19. Residents can also visit the NJ 211 website for additional information at www.nj211.org/coronavirus-covid-19 or by dialing 2-1-1.
If you would like to read more Monmouth County news updates and information regarding the COVID-19 situation, go to www.visitmonmouth.com.
State of New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub COVID19.NJ.GOV has several links available for assistance.
MASKS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN IN ALL BOROUGH BUILDINGS AT ALL TIMES