UPDATED: JUNE 23, 2020
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION PAGE
EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP INFORMATION
TEMPORARY OUTDOOR DINING. In accordance with Governor Murphy's Executive Order No. 150 (CLICK HERE), effective Monday, June 15 at 7 A.M., Food and Beverage Establishments will be permitted to offer in-person service in outdoor areas. Mayor Mironov and Council Members, to support local eateries, have implemented a streamlined process to approve new or expanded temporary outdoor dining. The Township also is waiving all application, engineering and review fees, and required performance and maintenance bonds to support and encourage local businesses in their efforts to re-open to the public. Additional information for local establishments wishing to provide temporary new or expanded outdoor dining is available online (CLICK HERE) or by calling the Township Manager's office at (609) 443-4000, ext. 245.
Residents are encouraged to continue supporting all our local businesses, including our restaurants and food establishments, during these challenging times
Effective Monday, June 1, 2020 ALL Township curbside collection services have been restored.
REGULAR HOUSEHOLD GARBAGE is collected curbside TWICE per week.
- Garbage collection for Area 1 residents (CLICK HERE for Street Index), on Monday and Thursday.
- Garbage collection for Area 2 residents (CLICK HERE for Street Index), on Tuesday and Friday.
- Please continue to place garbage at the curb BY 7:00 A.M. Collection times may be later than usual as crews will be working longer shifts to accommodate the collection of larger garbage volumes.
RECYCLING CURBSIDE COLLECTION remains UNCHANGED from the regular schedule on alternating Wednesdays. For the Recycling schedule CLICK HERE. Please place recycling and regular household garbage at curbside separately, to ensure proper collection.
REMINDER: PUBLIC WORKS FACILITY on Ward Street remains CLOSED temporarily to the public, and the drop-off of any type of recycling (electronics, computers, monitors, televisions, car batteries and tires) is temporarily suspended. These items cannot be included in regular garbage and should be held until the drop-off facility reopens.
LEAF COLLECTION: Leaves may continue to be bagged for collection on your household garbage day. Collection of unbagged leaves at the curb will begin again in the fall in accordance with the existing Township schedule.
WOOD CHIPPING SERVICES which were temporarily suspended were restored effective June 1 on your bulk trash collection days.
BULK TRASH COLLECTION, normally collected once a month on designated Wednesdays, temporarily suspended has been restored.
WHITE GOODS, including appliances and metal waste, normally collected throughout the entire Township monthly on the third Wednesday has been restored.
Effective Monday, March 23, East Windsor Township CLOSED public access to ALL Township buildings and departments. Residents are strongly encouraged to conduct business with the Township by telephone, email, and regular mail. The Township main phone number is (609) 443-4000, the Police non-emergency phone number is (609) 448-5678. ext. 0, and the Township website is www.east-windsor.nj.us.
- EAST WINDSOR MUNICIPAL BUILDING: The Municipal Building remains staffed (Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.) to maintain services and respond to phone and email inquiries. Drop-off and pick-up boxes are located at the main building entrance.
- EAST WINDSOR MUNICIPAL COURT: In accordance with the New Jersey Supreme Court April 24, 2020 Order (CLICK HERE), allowing municipal court sessions to resume to the extent possible based on facilities and technologies, the East Windsor Municipal Court will conduct virtual, via video, Municipal Court sessions. The municipal court office remains staffed (Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.) to respond to phone and email inquiries. A drop-off box is located in the building entrance. Municipal Court payments can be made online at www.njmcdirect.com. For municipal court questions, call (609) 448-3228.
- EAST WINDSOR SENIOR CENTER: The Senior Center remains staffed (Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.) to respond to phone and email inquiries, including Medicare counseling. Call the Senior Center at (609) 371-7192. The Mercer County Nutrition Program continues with modified service providing boxed lunches for drive-thru curbside pickup at the front entrance to the Senior Center. For questions regarding the Nutrition Program, call Mercer County at (609) 989-6650.
- EAST WINDSOR PUBLIC WORKS FACILITY on Ward Street is CLOSED and All Drop-off are Temporarily Suspended until Further Notice of any materials, including electronic recyclables (computers, monitors, televisions), car batteries and tires. Residents are reminded these items cannot be included in regular garbage and should be held until the drop-off facility reopens. Call (609) 443-4000, ext. 215 with any questions about garbage collection or recycling.
- EAST WINDSOR MUNICIPAL UTILITIES AUTHORITY (EWMUA) remains fully operative, however the EWMUA Administrative Building, located at 7 Wiltshire Drive, is closed to the public. Residents can conduct business with the EWMUA by telephone, email, and regular mail. A drop box is located to the left of the front door for general mail and sewer/water payments. The EWMUA also has online payment for sewer/water bills. For further information or questions, visit the EWMUA website at www.eastwindsormua.com or call (609) 443-6000, ext. 7603.
- EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP PARKS, PATHWAYS AND TRAILS continue to remain OPEN subject to RESTRICTIONS. The Township continues to monitor for compliance and the need for further local actions if warranted. Park visitors are reminded to comply with all social distancing requirements.
PERMITTED ACTIVITIES: The only permitted activities in Township parks, pathways and trails are walking, running, bicycling or engaging in outdoor activities with immediate family, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
REQUIRED RESTRICTIONS: Playground equipment areas within the parks are CLOSED and have been fenced off to prohibit their use. Group close-contact activities, including games of basketball and soccer, which do not comply with state social distancing requirements, ARE PROHIBITED.
Residents are asked to call the police department non-emergency line at (609) 448-5678 ext. 0 to report any observed non-compliance issues.
- All non-essential Township advisory Board and Committee meetings have been CANCELLED.
EAST WINDSOR REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT continues with remote learning. Governor Murphy announced on May 4, 2020 that all New Jersey schools will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. Visit the East Windsor Regional School District website at www.ewrsd.org for additional school updates.
Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, State Director of Emergency Management, on May 9, 2020, issued updated clarification regarding Executive Order 107, about graduation-related events for the Class of 2020 and student celebrations generally. It states the following: “In light of the components of Executive Order No. 107, and in the best interest of the health and safety of the public, in-person ceremonies, including graduations, all parades, including "wave parades," that invite people to gather at a certain location, proms, and other similar celebrations violate the enumerated conditions of the order, and should, therefore, be canceled or postponed until such time as these restrictions are lifted. Until such time, virtual celebrations and other remote forms of recognition should take the place of any in-person or public ceremonies.” Therefore, the “wave” parade by East Windsor Regional School District Staff scheduled for Thursday, May 14 will no longer take place. Please click here to review Colonel Callahan's entire communication to the educational community.
MERCER COUNTY TESTING SITES
- Mercer County Drive-Up Testing Site for COVID-19, as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the Mercer County Drive-Up COVID-19 Testing Site has moved from Quakerbridge Mall in Lawrence Township to the parking lot across the street from 640 South Broad Street in Trenton. Testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY for Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a prescription from their primary health care provider (PCP). If you have questions about the testing process, call (609) 337-4081 Monday through Friday between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M.
- Central Jersey Urgent Care has relocated its COVID-19 testing site to outside the Robbinsville Fieldhouse (bubble), located at 153 West Manor Way in Robbinsville. COVID-19 nasal swab testing is available to residents of Mercer County, by appointment only and you must register online at www.clockwisemd.com/hospitals/5345/visits/new. No prescription is required to get tested, but you must be symptomatic, or have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient. For those without Internet access, call (609) 867-0600 for more information. The current testing schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Testing is limited to one person per-household. The cost for self-pay individuals without insurance will be $99 paid via credit card (no cash will be accepted) at the time of service at the site. Those with insurance also will be required to provide a valid credit card, but only after insurance is applied will any remaining patient responsibility be charged to the card. Contact your healthcare insurer for coverage verification, and be prepared to upload your photo ID and insurance card (if available) during registration. Notification of both positive and negative results will be made by phone in 2-3 days.
- Mercer County Walk-Up COVID-19 Test Site is open in Hightstown on Fridays at 12 Noon in the parking lot of St. Anthony of Padua Church, 156 Maxwell Avenue, for individuals who lack transportation to the Quakerbridge Mall. Testing will be provided for Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a doctor's prescription and by appointment-only.
- A doctor’s order and an appointment are required to be tested. Contact a doctor, and if a test is needed, the doctor will fax a prescription to the Mercer County health call center at (609) 630-4031, and the center will contact you to schedule an appointment.
- Call the Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton at (609) 259-5900, which will help you speak with a doctor by phone or video, to see if testing is needed.
- Call (609) 337-4081 Monday through Friday between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. with any questions about the testing process.
- There is no charge for the test at Mercer County testing sites.
COMMUNITY FOOD DISTRIBUTION AND DONATION OPPORTUNITIES
Demand for food has risen during the COVID-19 emergency as financial impacts affect individuals and families, hopefully temporarily, with job losses, school closures, and other significant financial impacts. At this challenging time, several local options exist to provide food support for our neighbors in our community. We appreciate these local groups and their great volunteers for stepping up and helping out. Donations are welcome directly to JFCS of Greater Mercer County and Rise Community Action Center to support the local food pantry programs. Food support for our neighbors in need will help get them through these difficult times and helps strengthen our community for all of us for the future.
- MERCER COUNTY NUTRITION PROGRAM, which partners locally with East Windsor, provides registered seniors 60 years of age or older, or married to a person 60 years or older, with nutritionally balanced meals. These meals are provided Monday to Friday at the East Windsor Senior Center currently with modified service providing boxed lunches for drive-thru curbside pickup at the front entrance to the Senior Center, located at 40 Lanning Boulevard. Call Mercer County at (609) 989-6650 for Nutrition Program information.
- JFCS OF GREATER MERCER COUNTY offers comprehensive social services in Central New Jersey for people of all ages and backgrounds. The JFCS Food Pantry, located at 707 Alexander Road, Suite 204, in West Windsor, is open to everyone in the community. Call (609) 987-8100, ext. 237 to make an appointment to pick up food. JFCS has a mobile food truck which has been scheduling stops within our community. Emergency one-time shopping is available for walk-ins. To volunteer or donate to JFCS of Greater Mercer County call (609) 987-8100 or visit the website at https://www.jfcsonline.org/.
- RISE FOOD PANTRY, located at 133 Broad Street in Hightstown, is currently open Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9 A.M. to 12 noon, and on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. Drive thru events may be scheduled. Rise also can arrange delivery for senior citizens in need. For additional information or to request a delivery, call (609) 443-4464. Rise is accepting donations and currently seeks volunteers to assist during "no contact" food drop-off hours Monday to Saturday from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. at the Rise Thrift Store, located at 114 Rogers Avenue in Hightstown. To volunteer or donate call (609) 443-4464 or visit Rise online at https://www.njrise.org/.
Help out however you can to enable Food Support and Distribution for East Windsor individuals and families! Together, we are always stronger and healthier, thank you.
NEW JERSEY STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER
Governor Murphy announced on June 9, 2020 the immediate lifting of the New Jersey "Stay at Home" Order and raised the existing limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- The limit on the number of people allowed to gather INDOORS has been increased effective immediately from 10 to 25 percent of the building's capacity or 50 people, whichever is lower. This includes religious services but not indoor dining. Indoor entertainment venues (casinos, movie theaters, concert halls, performing arts centers, and comedy clubs) remain closed.
- The limit on the number of people allowed to gather OUTDOORS has been increased effective immediately from 25 to 100 people, and the Governor announced the limit is expected to increase to 250 people on June 22 and 500 people on July 3.
- All attendees must still wear face coverings and stay six feet from each other.
Governor Murphy announced on June 8, that Public and Private Pools are permitted to open to the public beginning June 22, subject to compliance with New Jersey Department of Health health and safety guidelines.
Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 151 (CLICK HERE) on June 4 extending the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 by Executive Order No. 103, extended on April 7, 2020 by Executive Order No. 119, and extended again on May 6, 2020 by Executive Order No. 138. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Previously issued Executive Orders are available online (CLICK HERE).
NEW JERSEY STATEWIDE ORDERED BUSINESS CLOSINGS
Governor Murphy on March 21, 2020 issued Executive Order No. 107 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) which requires all Non-Essential Retail Businesses, which were previously limited to 5 A.M. and 8 P.M. operations, must now CLOSE (online delivery can continue). The list of Essential Retail Businesses that can stay open is limited to the following:
- Grocery and food stores, including retailers like Walmart/Target that sell food;
- Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
- Medical supply stores;
- Gas stations;
- Convenience stores;
- Ancillary stores within health care facilities;
- Hardware and home improvement stores;
- Banks and other financial institutions;
- Laudromats/dry-cleaning services;
- Stores that principally sell supplies for children under 5 years old;
- Pet Stores;
- Liquor stores;
- Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
- Printing and office supply shops;
- Mail and delivery stores.
The Governor's previous Executive Order No. 104 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) signed on March 16, 2020 remains in effect requiring closure of all personal care service facilities, including barber shops, hair, nail and eyelash salons, spas, massage and tattoo parlors, and tanning facilities, as well as public and private social clubs (whether or not they serve alcohol) including, but not limited to, facilities operated by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, and any other social clubs associated with community service organizations. Nail salons will be allowed to reopen on June 22, the same day hair salons and barbershops may reopen.
Governor Murphy on March 25, 2020 issued Executive Order No. 110 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) requiring All Day Care Facilities to close effective April 1, except for those that comply with new health and safety guidelines for the sole purpose of providing day care to the children of essential employees in healthcare and a few other service areas.
The New Jersey State Director of Emergency Management on March 24, 2020 signed Administrative Order No. 2020-5 (for a copy of the Order CLICK HERE), amending the list of Essential Retail Businesses that can stay open pursuant to Governor Murphy's Executive Order No. 107 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) to include the following:
- Mobile phone retail and repair shops.
- Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair.
- Livestock feed store.
- Nurseries and garden centers.
- Farming equipment stores.
Governor Murphy and the State Police, on March 30, 2020 issued Administrative Order No. 2020-6 (for a copy of the Order CLICK HERE) amending the list of businesses 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.
Governor Murphy on April 11, 2020 issued Executive Order No. 125 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) to implement additional mitigation requirements to Restaurants, and for NJ TRANSIT and Private Carriers, to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Executive Order requirements include:
- All restaurants, cafeterias, dining establishments, and food courts, with or without a liquor license, all bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges that are continuing to offer food delivery and/or take- out services pursuant to Executive Order No. 107 (“food business”) adopt policies, including among other requirements:
- Limit occupancy at 10% of the stated maximum capacity, wherever feasible;
- Ensure six feet of distance between workers and customers, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;
- Arrange for contactless pay and pickup/delivery options wherever feasible. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;
- Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like credit card machines, keypads, and counters to which the public and workers have access;
- Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the food business, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance; and
- Require workers to wear cloth face coverings and gloves while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that worker’s health, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods.
2. NJ TRANSIT, Private Carriers, Unaffiliated Private Carriers, and Paratransit Private Carriers must adopt policies, including among other requirements:
- Workers may limit occupancy at 50% of the stated maximum capacity, on all trains, buses and light rail lines, and on all Access Link and other vehicles in accordance with any guidelines instituted by NJ TRANSIT, or in consultation with NJ TRANSIT operational divisions;
- Arrange for contactless pay options across all modes of transportation wherever feasible. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;
- Arrange for back door entry on buses wherever feasible, and take seats out of service near the bus operator to allow for proper social distancing from the bus operator wherever feasible;
- Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas in stations, like restrooms, waiting areas, credit card machines, and keypads;
- Place conspicuous signage at stations and throughout train cars, buses and light rail vehicles, if applicable, alerting workers and customers to the required six feet of physical distance; and
- Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while on trains, buses and light rail vehicles except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers.
Governor Murphy announced on April 29, 2020, the Reopening of State Parks and Allowing Reopening of Golf Courses effective at sunrise on Saturday May 2. County parks have the option to reopen. Social distancing will continue to be mandated, passive recreation will be allowed, subject to restrictions that include: parking capped at 50 percent of capacity; playgrounds, pavilions, visitor centers and restrooms will remain closed; picnics, organized activities and team sports will remain prohibited. The state recommends wearing a face covering when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
The State Director of Emergency Management issued Administrative Order 2020-10 (CLICK HERE) providing clarification on essential businesses.
The order expands essential businesses to include pet grooming, pet daycare, pet boarding, and stores that principally sell items for religious observation or worship, however they must adopt an in-person operation that includes social distancing.
In addition, car dealerships are permitted to have customers that have ordered and/or purchased vehicles online or by phone to test drive the vehicle at the time of pick-up or prior to delivery. The car dealership must adopt in- person operations that include social distancing, permit the individual to have access to the vehicle alone, and appropriately clean and sanitize the vehicles after the test drive if the customer does not purchase the vehicle.
Finally, the order clarifies that personal care service facilities ordered closed by Executive Order No. 107 (CLICK HERE) paragraph 9(g) are not permitted to provide personal care services in their own homes, home of their clients or others. Personal care facilities include beauty salons, barber shops, hair braiding shops, nail salons, massage parlors, spas, tattoo parlors, and tanning salons. There is an exception for members of their household, immediately family, or other individuals with whom the provider has a close personal relationship. A prior business relationship does not qualify as a close personal relationship.
Governor Murphy on May 13, 2020 issued Executive Order No. 142 (CLICK HERE) permitting resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events. The construction and non-essential retail provisions will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, while the car gatherings provision will take effect immediately.
NON-ESSENTIAL CONSTRUCTION: The Order permits non-essential construction projects to resume effective on Monday, May 18, at 6:30 A.M. All construction projects must abide by the social distancing, safety, and sanitization requirements described in detail in the Governor’s Executive Order.
CURBSIDE PICKUP AT NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL BUSINESSES: The Order permits non-essential retail businesses to allow curbside pickup of goods, beginning on Monday, May 18, at 6 A.M. but businesses must continue to have their in-store operations closed to customers. Businesses which choose to offer curbside pickup must abide by the requirements in the Order, which include but are not limited to the following:
- In-store operations should be limited to those employees who are responsible for the operations required for curbside pickup;
- Customer transactions should be handled in advance by phone, email, facsimile or other means that avoid person-to-person contact;
- Customers shall notify the retailer by text message, email, or phone once they arrive, or make best efforts to schedule their arrival time in advance. The customer should be asked to remain in their vehicle, if arriving by car, until store staff delivers the purchase;
- Designated employees should bring goods outside of the retail establishment and place goods directly in a customer’s vehicle when possible, avoiding person-to-person contact; and
- Such businesses must follow social distancing and mitigation practices outlined in previous orders, including requiring workers to wear cloth face coverings when in contact with other workers or customers and gloves when in contact with goods or customers.
CAR GATHERINGS: The Order states that car gatherings do not violate the Governor’s ban on gatherings under Executive Order No. 107. Examples of such car gatherings include but are not limited to drive-in movies, religious services or drive-through farms or safaris. Car gatherings will be subject to the restrictions in the Order, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Attendees must remain in their same car throughout the gathering, unless 1) an occupant needs to get out of the vehicle for their health or safety or 2) an occupant needs to use the restroom;
- The vehicle must remain closed at all times unless 1) there is six feet of distance between other vehicles or individuals or 2) an officer, public official or guard requires the vehicle to open. There is a further exception allowing the opening of the vehicle if necessary for health or safety;
- Individuals organizing the gathering who are not in vehicles must follow social distancing and wear cloth face coverings; and
- To the degree that a gathering requires pre-payment, or seeks donations of any kind, contactless options for pre-payment or donation, such as online or by telephone, must be offered wherever feasible.
Retail businesses operating in shopping malls are permitted to operate by curbside pickup, in accordance with the other requirements of this paragraph, but staff must bring the goods to customers at the exterior of the mall. The indoor portions of shopping malls must remain closed, as required by the Governor's previous orders.
Governor Murphy on May 14, 2020 announced rules for BEACHES, BOARDWALKS AND LAKEFRONTS which include:
- Capacity limitations as determined by local officials, which could include limiting the number of beach tags issued or monitoring with technology;
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet, except for family groups, household members and couples;
- No organized games or contact sports, summer camps or special events like concerts;
- Rides and arcades on boardwalks and water fountains and playgrounds must remain closed;
- Restaurants can continue with takeout and delivery only; and
- Regular cleaning of showers and restrooms, which can be opened.
Governor Murphy on May 19, 2020 announced an Administrative Order (CLICK HERE) authorizing in-person sales to resume at car dealerships, motorcycle dealerships, boat dealerships, and bike shops, by appointment only and with social distancing measures in place. The Order took effect today Wednesday, May 20 at 6 A.M.
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has authorized licensed New Jersey pharmacists to widely administer COVID-19 tests to customers, paving the way for thousands of pharmacies statewide to serve as testing sites. There are 2,239 pharmacies in New Jersey, including retail chains and independent businesses. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director last week signed an Administrative Order (CLICK HERE) permitting licensed pharmacists to perform COVID-19 tests at, or immediately outside of, a registered pharmacy, and to administer the tests without a prescription.
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) agencies, road testing, and inspection facilities will remain CLOSED to the public through at least May 25. All driver licenses, non-driver IDs, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers expiring before May 31 have been extended by two months. Most renewals, replacements, changes of address and other transactions can be processed online at www.NJMVC.gov. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has added to its offering of web-based transactions, expanding the types of vehicles eligible for online registration renewals and replacements. A full list and additional services are available at njmvc.gov.
Governor Murphy on May 8, 2020 issued Executive Order No. 140 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) establishing a Restart and Recovery Advisory Council to advise on New Jersey’s restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council will work in conjunction with the commission named last week and will bring together leaders from various industry, community, and faith-based groups and institutions across New Jersey to advise state leadership on economic issues impacted by the pandemic. The Advisory Council is tasked to help "create the framework for coping with new long-term economic realities” and focus "on issues surrounding the short-term restarting of New Jersey’s economy and creating a framework for the long-term recovery." The Advisory Council will be co-chaired by New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan, and Choose New Jersey President and CEO Jose Lozano. The Advisory Council will have nine subcommittees: Facilities and Construction; Government; Health Care; Main Street; Manufacturing and Supply Chain; Professional Services; Social Services and Faith; Tourism and Entertainment; and Transportation and Infrastructure. East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov is one of five municipal elected officials appointed to the statewide Governor's Advisory Council. Members and their respective committees can be found HERE.
PRIMARY ELECTION INFORMATION
Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 120 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) on April 8, 2020 moving the state's Primary Election from June 2 to Tuesday, July 7.
Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 144 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) on May 15, 2020 regarding procedures for conduct of the July 7, 2020 Primary Election, generally as follows:
- Vote by Mail Ballots will automatically be sent to all "Active" registered Democrats and Republican voters without the need for a application to receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
- Vote by Mail Applications will be sent to "Active" voters who are registered as "Unaffiliated."
- All vote-by-mail return envelopes and vote-by-mail applications shall have prepaid postage.
- To the extent possible, each county shall procure at least 5 secure ballot drop boxes and place them in locations that are readily accessible to the registered voters within the county.
- Each county shall open a minimum of at least 1 polling place in each municipality. Provided that sufficient poll workers are available, each county shall open a minimum of 50 percent of its polling places, and may open more than the minimum number of polling places.
- Any voter who appears at a polling place on the day of the July 7 primary election shall vote via a provisional ballot, except that a voter with disabilities may vote on an ADA-accessible voting machine.
NEW JERSEY EMPLOYMENT & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION
Governor Murphy announced on March 28 Mortgage Payment Relief and Financial Protections for residents facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 related circumstances. Residents may be eligible for the following relief upon contacting their financial institution:
- 90-Day Grace Period for Mortgage Payments. Financial institutions will offer, consistent with applicable guidelines, mortgage payment forbearances of up to 90 days to borrowers economically impacted by COVID-19. In addition, those institutions will:
- Provide borrowers a streamlined process to request a forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
- Confirm approval of and terms of forbearance program; and
- Provide borrowers the opportunity to request additional relief, as practicable, upon continued showing of hardship due to COVID-19.
- No Negative Credit Impacts Resulting from Relief. Financial institutions will not report derogatory tradelines (e.g., late payments) to credit reporting agencies, consistent with applicable guidelines, for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19-related relief.
- Moratorium on Initiating Foreclosure Sales or Evictions. For at least 60 days, financial institutions will not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions, consistent with applicable guidelines.
- Relief from Fees and Charges. For at least 90 days, financial institutions will waive or refund at least the following for customers who have requested assistance:
- Mortgage-related late fees; and
- Other fees, including early CD withdrawals (subject to applicable federal regulations).
Homeowners interested in taking advantage of the mortgage forbearance agreement with private lenders can visit www.covid19.nj.gov and search “Get Assistance." Homeowners with questions or concerns related to conditions of an agreement with their mortgage lender will be directed to the Department of Banking and Insurance’s intake form for further assistance. For more information on the COVID-19 related mortgage relief program, visit www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/mortgagerelief.html.
Governor Murphy on April 9, 2020 issued Executive Order No. 123 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) extending grace periods during which certain insurance companies, including health insurers, life insurers, and property and casualty insurers, will not be able to cancel policies for nonpayment of premiums. The Executive Order provides:
Extends minimum grace periods: A minimum 60-day grace period will be required for health and dental insurance policies, and a minimum 90-day grace period will be required for life insurance, insurance premium-financing arrangements, and property and casualty insurance, which includes auto, homeowners, and renters insurance. Insurance companies will be required to notify policyholders of this emergency grace period and to waive certain late fees, interest, or other charges associated with delays in premium payments as directed by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. Insurers will also be required to provide each policyholder with an easily readable written description of the terms of the extended grace period. The extended grace periods will not apply to employer-funded health plans, which under federal law, are regulated exclusively by the federal government.
Requires insurance companies to pay claims during the grace period: Insurance companies will be required to pay any claim incurred during the emergency grace period that would be covered under the policy. The Order further prohibits insurance companies from seeking recoupment of any claims paid during the emergency grace period based on non-payment of premiums.
Ensures that unpaid premiums are made payable over a lengthy period: To ensure that policyholders are not required to make a lump sum payment on unpaid premiums at the end of the grace period, any unpaid premium will be amortized over the remainder of the policy term or a period of up to 12 months, as appropriate and as directed by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance.
CABLE, TELECOMMUNICATION AND INTERNET SERVICES. Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 126 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) on April 13, 2020 prohibiting cable and telecommunications providers from terminating internet and voice service due to nonpayment until 30 days after the current public health emergency has ended, and ordering that any internet or voice service that was disconnected after March 16 due to nonpayment must be reconnected.
BUSINESS ASSISTANCE. Information for impacted businesses, including resources, assistance and regulations is available at the State of New Jersey business portal at www.nj.gov/njbusiness/.
- The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) administers a series of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 impacts. Additional details on the NJEDA’s programs, including eligibility requirements are available online at www.cv.business.nj.gov.
- Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The New Jersey Economic Development Assistance Authority has opened applications for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The $10 million program provides direct low-cost financing to allow New Jersey small businesses and non-profits to cover operating expenses and ensure continuity of operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. The program is designed to provide a direct loan of up to $100,000 to NJ-based small businesses and non-profit organizations who that have been in existence for at least one year and has less than $5 million in annual revenue. Visit cv.business.nj.gov to apply and for more information on eligibility.
EMERGENCY CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES. New Jersey has established an Emergency Child Care Assistance Program for Essential Employees. To register or to find out more information visit www.childcarenj.gov/emergency. Essential Employees, as defined in Governor Murphy's Executive Order No. 110 (for a copy of the Executive Order CLICK HERE) include:
- Health care workers, including staff working in health care facilities and in community-based home health and behavioral health;
- Law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency services personnel, and staff at correctional facilities;
- Individuals employed at emergency child care centers;
- Staff working for entities that provide essential social services, including, but not limited to, group home and shelter staff;
- Essential government employees who are unable to work from home, including child protection services workers, child welfare workers, foster care workers, unemployment compensation processing staff, and public health employees; and
- Certain critical workers, as defined by the Commissioner of DCF, at essential retail businesses.
NEW JERSEY JOBS PORTAL connects out-of-work residents to job opportunities in critical industries. Job listings are available online at jobs.covid19.nj.gov.
UNEMPLOYMENT, SICK LEAVE & FAMILY LEAVE RESOURCES.
- New Jersey Department of Labor: www.nj.gov/labor
- Temporary Disability & Family Leave Insurance: Call (609) 292-7060
- Unemployment: Call (732) 761-2020
- The New Jersey Department of Labor has posted step-by-step instructions for those going online to claim weekly unemployment benefits. The guide can be found HERE.
- The New Jersey Department of Labor has also posted unemployment benefit information for Self-Employed Workers during the Coronavirus Emergency. The information can be found HERE.
NEW JERSEY STATE INCOME TAX filing deadline and the Corporation Business Tax filing deadline have been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. For additional tax information visit www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/.
STUDENT LOAN ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance announced (CLICK HERE) on April 21 that New Jersey residents with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are struggling to make their payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for expanded relief. The initiative is modeled on the agreement made by the New York Department of Financial Services with commercial student loan servicers in its state. Borrowers in need of assistance must immediately contact their student loan servicer to identify the options that are appropriate to their circumstances. Relief options offered by participating servicers include:
- Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance relief for borrowers;
- Waiving late payment fees for borrowers;
- Ensuring no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting;
- Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days; and
- Working with eligible borrowers to enroll them in other applicable borrower assistance programs.
More information and a list of participating servicers can be found CLICK HERE. To determine the types of federal loans and servicers, borrowers can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov or call the Department of Education Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD). Borrowers with private student loans can check the contact information on their monthly billing statements. Residents who have questions or are experiencing trouble with their student loan servicer may contact the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-446-7467 (8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST Monday-Friday), or go to the Department website and click on Consumer Assistance - Inquiries/Complaints, at www.dobi.nj.gov.
Residents who have questions or are experiencing trouble with their student loan servicer may contact the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-446-7467 (8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST Monday-Friday), or go to the Department website and click on Consumer Assistance - Inquiries/Complaints, at https://www.dobi.nj.gov.
LANDLORD AND TENANT INFORMATION. Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 128 (CLICK HERE) on April 24, 2020 providing additional options to tenants who are struggling financially as result of COVID-19 and allowing tenants to direct their landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent. The executive order waives provisions of statutory law that prohibit the use of security deposits for rental payments, enabling tenants to instruct landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent. Tenants will not be obligated to make any further security deposit relating to their current lease agreement but would still be responsible for any monies landlords expend that would have been reimbursable via the security deposit as outlined in the original contract (i.e. damage to the property). However, should the tenant and landlord extend or renew their lease, then the tenant would be obligated to replenish the security deposit in full either six months following the end of the Public Health Emergency established by Executive Order No. 103 (CLICK HERE) , or on the date on which the current lease agreement is extended or renewed, whichever is later. The order will take effect immediately and will be in place until 60 days after the public health emergency is terminated.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has established a rental housing information page at https://covid19.nj.gov/forms/renter as a single point of reference for tenants and landlords seeking information about their rights during the public health emergency.
COVID-19 FAQs (CLICK HERE)