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Covid-19 News Recent News

Gov. Phil Murphy Announces New Jersey to Enter State Two of Restart & Recovery June 15

(Camden, NJ) – As part of his restart and recovery plan, “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” Governor Phil Murphy announced on June 2, 2020 that New Jersey will enter Stage Two on June 15, 2020.

Guided by strict protocols from the New Jersey Department of Health, as well as input from the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission and complementary Advisory Councils, Stage Two will include outdoor dining for restaurants and indoor, non-essential retail as of June 15. Beginning on June 22, barber shops and salons will be able to reopen.

In the period to follow, New Jersey will work toward the gradual opening of personal care, gyms, and health clubs, at reduced capacities as the stage progresses. All of these activities will be allowed pursuant to strict health and safety guidelines that will be issued in the coming days. New Jersey ended maximum restrictions and moved to Stage One on May 18, 2020.

“This is welcome news for thousands of Camden County residents and business owners who have endured months of shutdowns and restrictions that have been necessary to stem the spread of coronavirus,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “As the governor stated when making this announcement, we must continue to pair this period of gradual reopening with social distancing, good hand hygiene, and mask wearing to ensure that we stay on the road to recovery. We cannot mistake progress for victory, we still have a long fight ahead of us to save lives and rid ourselves of COVID-19.”

STAGE 2:
Restrictions are relaxed on activities that can be easily safeguarded.

Phased-in businesses and activities, with adherence to safeguarding and modification guidelines, include:

  • Outdoor dining (beginning on June 15th)
  • Limited in-person retail (beginning on June 15th)
  • Hair salons and barber shops (beginning on June 22nd)
  • Youth summer programs (beginning on July 6th)
  • In-person clinical research/labs
  • Limited fitness/gyms
  • Limited in-person government services (e.g. – Motor Vehicle Commission)
  • Museums/libraries

All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home. Precautions that apply across all stages include:

  1. Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  2. All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines:
  • Wash hands
  • Wear masks in public
  • Respect social distancing
  • Minimize gatherings
  • Disinfect workplace and businesses
  • Minimize gatherings 
  • No mass gatherings

New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including:

  • Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use;
  • Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity;
  • Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce;
  • Widespread safeguarding of workplaces;
  • Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and mass transit;
  • Continued public compliance.

If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back to more restrictive stages as well.

For a one-page summary of Governor Murphy’s multi-stage approach to restart New Jersey’s economy, click here.

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Covid-19 Feature Stories Recent News

Bellmawr’s 4th of July Parade & Summer Rec Program Cancelled

Bellmawr’s annual Fourth of July Parade and the Summer Recreation Youth Program have both been cancelled this year because of safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We regret to announce that our traditional 4th of July parade and the Summer Youth Program are cancelled due to the continuing restrictions on large gatherings and safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,” an announcement stated on the Borough’s website.

SJO Photo from the 2019 Bellmawr Fourth of July Parade

“Mayor and Council have reached this unfortunate conclusion that the celebration, which attracts hundreds of residents and others, cannot be held. This decision was made with the guidance from both the State and County Officials as well as similar decisions being made by neighboring communities. We are disappointed that we will not be able to celebrate the 4th of July with our Bellmawr families as we have in the past,” the post stated.

Mayor Chuck Sauter said: “We do not want to take any unnecessary chances with the health and well being of our residents as well as those involved in making the parade happen. We look forward to the future when we can all come together at a town wide community event.”

As for the annual Summer Youth Program, that has also been cancelled.

“We are equally regretful that the Summer Youth Program must be canceled. We have not received any guidance from the State on how to proceed with the program. In addition, funding from the Clean Communities Program has not been provided. With restrictions on the use on recreational facilities and social distancing requirements, sadly makes it impossible to run the program. We hope for your understanding in these decisions and look forward to a healthier future,” the post read.

SJO Photo Gallery from the 2019 Fourth of July Parade:

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Bright Side Covid-19

New Jersey American Water Donates 1,600 Pounds of Food and $2,000 to Southern New Jersey Food Banks

New Jersey American Water’s South Operations employees from Water Works Union Local 99 deliver 400 pounds of food to the Food Bank of South Jersey. Pictured from left: Christopher Sabatina, Joseph Field, Matthew Govito, LeVar Black (kneeling), Walter Buzby, Bob Brown, John Walsh and Andrew Glass. Photograph taken by Sean Roscoe. Not pictured: Michael Watts.

CAMDEN, N.J. – May 28, 2020 – Led by the Water Workers Union Local 99, New Jersey American Water South Operations employees donated 1,600 pounds of food and $2,000 from New Jersey American Water to four local food banks in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties last week. Burlington Township Food Pantry, Food Bank of South Jersey, Pitman Pantry and St. John Outreach Food Bank each received 400 pounds of food and $500 to help fight hunger in these communities.

“Food insecurity is an obstacle many individuals face every day, but right now, more people than ever are relying on extra help to get through these difficult times,” said David Forcinito, Senior Director of South Operations at New Jersey American Water. “I am so proud of my team and especially Michael Watts, President of the Water Workers Union Local 99 for leading this effort.”

For more information about food insecurity and to locate a food bank near you, visit www.feedingamerica.org.

About New Jersey American Water

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people.

For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook

About American Water 

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing.

For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Bright Side Covid-19 Feature Stories

Jewish Family Service Receives Grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for $60,000 to Fund Wellness Network and COVID Relief Fund

(Pictured left to right): Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties Chief Executive Officer Andrea Steinberg previously accepted a check from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey Senior Program Officer Jennifer Goudy to support the JFS Wellness Network program. This partnership provides resources for the JFS Wellness Network to assist Atlantic County residents who have chronic conditions and experience barriers to care to identify healthier personal goals, create care plans and adopt self-management practices. (Photo provided)

Margate, NJ (May 26, 2020) – Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties has been selected to receive a $60,000 grant from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. The grant earmarks $40,000 for JFS’ Wellness Network and $20,000 for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

“The generous Wellness Network grant will assure that our programs and events, specifically focused on the health of individuals with mental illness, will continue seamlessly for residents throughout the county, especially during this unprecedented time,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS’ Chief Executive Officer.

For years, the Wellness Network (WN) has provided a lifeline for more than 500 Atlantic County residents who have one or more chronic conditions and experience barriers to care. The Wellness Network encourages individuals to identify healthier personal goals, create care plans and adopt self-management practices. JFS’ experience shows that WN’s innovative care coordination and patient advocacy services result in better health outcomes and a reduction in preventable hospitalizations.

“Horizon is pleased to support the important work being done by Jewish Family Service,” said Jonathan R. Pearson, Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “The Wellness Network and COVID Relief Fund align with Horizon’s commitment to helping our members access the resources they need to manage their health. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey works across the state with grantees who share our commitment to improving the health and communities we serve,” he added.

While still providing its dozens of programs, including Wellness Network, since March, JFS has seen a 35% increase in the Food Pantry use and more than 65% increase in Kosher Meals on Wheels program. In addition, the JFS Shop at Home program grew by more than 200%. With many neighbors, especially older adults without transportation or concerned about their vulnerability of being in public, these programs are essential to ensure they remain safe and well-cared for in their home environment.

“The grant for JFS’ COVID relief efforts will assure we can continue to supply the services and resources needed to residents in our community. With many people either unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic, the need for food has more than doubled and this grant will enable JFS to keep its Food Pantry well-stocked for individuals and families,” explained Steinberg.

Jewish Family Service Receives Grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for $60,000 to Fund Wellness Network and COVID Relief Fund

For more information on JFS programs and services, visit www.JFSatlantic.org or on social media at JFSAtlantic.

Categories
Bright Side Covid-19 News

First Responder Organizations Receive $10,000 in Donations From New Jersey American Water for COVID-19 Relief

New Jersey American Water is providing $10,000 in donations to the COVID-19 emergency funds of two first responder support organizations in New Jersey. New Jersey American Water is donating $5,000 each to the EMS Council of New Jersey and the New Jersey Firemen’s Home.

“We are so pleased to be able to support organizations that provide aid to the first responders who serve our communities throughout the state year-round but especially during this public health emergency,” said Cheryl Norton, President of New Jersey American Water. “These donations are just one way New Jersey American Water says thank you for the bravery and selflessness of our everyday heroes.”

The 90-year-old nonprofit EMS Council of New Jersey represents 17,000 EMS volunteers affiliated with 259 first aid and rescue agencies throughout the state.

“Volunteer EMS is an integral part of New Jersey’s prehospital response system,” said Barbara Platt, President of the EMS Council of New Jersey. “Our member organizations are comprised of volunteers who rely on donations and fundraisers to buy equipment and PPE. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced cancellation of numerous fundraising activities for our squads, so we’re grateful for New Jersey American Water’s support during this difficult time. This donation will help us secure much-needed PPE to help keep our volunteers safe as they continue serving their communities.”

The New Jersey Firemen’s Home is the only nursing home and residential-care facility dedicated to the state’s 77,000 active and retired firefighters. The home, administrated by the New Jersey Firemen’s Board of Managers, has served over 1,787 people since it opened over 100 years ago in Boonton and currently offers 75 long-term beds, 20 residential, and 10 memory care.

“New Jersey American Water’s contribution to our COVID-19 relief fund will help us purchase the essential supplies needed to protect the health of our residents, staff, and nurses who are working very hard during this difficult time,” said Hugh Flood, Superintendent and CFO of the New Jersey Firemen’s Home.

Last month, New Jersey American Water and the American Water Charitable Foundation together provided $65,000 in donations to the COVID-19 emergency response funds of the Cooper Health Foundation, Inspira Health, RWJBarnabas Health, and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.

About New Jersey American Water:

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people.

For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook

About American Water 

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states.

American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.