Coronavirus Update - March 19, 2020
Coronavirus Update (March 19, 2020)
DeclarA ation for a State of Emergency in Washington Township was signed and went into effect on March 18, 2020. This was in response to the first positive COVID-19 case identified in Washington Township. The Declaration is a reminder to all residents to be vigilant in social distancing and all precautions necessary to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe.
Under the local state of emergency, I have ordered changes to the scheduling of municipal employees. This has been done to limit the potential for COVID-19 spread amongst staff and to ensure continuation of operations through group separation. Some municipal office services will be limited as well or delayed, so please be patient. We appreciate your cooperation as we as a community persevere through this critical time.
Pending the outcome of bills pending in the legislature, we will very likely be implementing new procedures for public meetings of the governing body as well as other Township Boards and Committees. We also anticipate applying for FEMA reimbursement of Washington Township taxpayers expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 emergency.
The Township website front page has been updated to contain a link directly to the CDC and all the resource information they provide.
The Washington Township Municipal Offices will continue be closed to the public. Offices are staffed in a staggered manner to prevent spread of any illnesses should they impact Township employees. We are attempting to do all business via phone, email, and dropbox. When leaving messages for Township staff please clearly state, slowly and clearly, an email address and telephone number for contact purposes.
All Board and Committee meetings have been suspended.
Parks will remain open but playgrounds will be closed.
Athletic fields closed to all organized sports groups until further notice.
If utilizing walking trails, please maintain a distance of 6 feet, and limit group size, per CDC guidelines. (The CDC still recommends group sizes of no more than 50, but the Township encourages smaller groups.)
Programs at Senior Center and Teen Center are suspended.
Municipal Court has been cancelled through March 27.
Public inquiries and requests will be handled online or by email. The Township of Washington offers the ability to make payments on line for:
• Alarm Registration: https://wtmorris.org/index.php/services/make-a-payment/alarm-registration.html
• Service Requests can also be made online at https://wtmorris.net/
• Traffic Tickets: https://wtmorris.org/index.php/departments/municipal-court.html
o other tickets without mandatory appearances can be paid over the phone by credit card by calling 908-876-3852
You may also call ahead to obtain payment amounts for taxes, permits, etc. and identifying info for the memo line if you wish to pay by check and leave it in the Municipal Building dropbox (located on the left side of the front door) which will be checked frequently. Department contact phone numbers and email are available at: https://wtmorris.org/index.php/departments.html
Township staff will make every effort to provide any information you are looking for by phone, email or fax. Many documents and forms can also be found online at: https://wtmorris.org/index.php/government/township-forms-and-documents
Inspections will only be done for outdoor or unoccupied facilities. You will be asked if anyone in your household or business had fever, cough or shortness of breath to schedule a date at least two weeks into the future. No indoor inspections of occupied structures will be conducted through March 27.To reschedule contact the appropriate department:
Construction (building electrical. plumbing. mechanical): (908) 876-4711 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire Prevention: (908) 876-8637 email@example.com
Health (septic): (908) 876-3650 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tax Assessing: 908-876-9132 email@example.com
Current information and updates, as they become available, can be found on the township website at https://wtmorris.org/index.php/community/news/health-announcements.html
Many updates and announcements (hours for Seniors to shop in local stores, list of local restaurants providing take out, etc) have been posted to the Township website, a history of all postings be found here: https://washingtontwp.forumbee.com/category/articles
The New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) opened a COVID-19 Information Hotline to assist in answering questions from the general public. Residents should contact the call center at 1-800-222- 1222 or, if in NJ but using a non-NJ cell phone, at 1-800-962-1253. The call center is available 24/7 and can accommodate calls in multiple languages. Clinicians should contact their local health department for guidance.
Additional information can be found on NJ Department of Health’s website: https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
For more information, residents can also contact the Washington Township Health Department at 908-876-3650.
The Health Department does not conduct COVID-19 lab testing.
Matthew T. Murello