Updates on the impact of the COVID-19 / 2019 Novel Coronavirus ("Coronavirus Disease") upon the Bergenfield community, and the actions the Borough is taking
GUIDANCE ON CLOSURES & RESTRICTIONS IN BERGENFIELD DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
AS OF 3/19/20 3:00PM
- Open to the public by appointment only
- Mandatory closure for child daycare
Gyms, fitness centers, entertainment centers (movie theaters, concerts, night clubs, etc.)
- Mandatory closure
- All parks are closed to the public except as noted below.
- Only Cooper’s Pond and the walkways through Memorial Park are open for “passive recreation.”
- No organized activities or use of playground equipment is permitted in any park
Personal-care businesses (barber shops, hair salons, spas, nail/eyelash salons, tattoo parlors, etc.)
- Mandatory closure as of 3/19/20 at 8:00pm
- Limited to 50 persons
- Exemptions: medical facilities, offices, factories, industrial/manufacturing work, construction sites, mass transit, purchase of groceries or consumer goods
Restaurants & bars
- Normal business hours are permitted
- Must be take-out or delivery only
- Buildings are closed to students
- All grounds are closed except the track at BHS is open for “passive recreation” (i.e., jogging)
Stores (essential: grocery, food, pharmacies, medical supply, gas stations, healthcare facilities, etc.)
- No restrictions
- May open from 5am to 8pm
- Maximum occupancy of 50 people
This list is subject to change.
Ryan Shell, OEM Coordinator
Borough officials are announcing that the number of current positive test results for COVID-19/Coronavirus recorded in Bergenfield is now eight, and that a borough resident has died of COVID-19. The deceased resident was 52 years of age, had been receiving intensive care treatment at a local hospital since testing positive last week and passed away earlier today.
“On behalf of the Borough Council and our entire community, I want to express our deepest sympathies to the family of the resident whose life was tragically taken by Coronavirus,” said Mayor Arvin Amatorio. “We are working closely with state and county government to implement actions designed to reduce the spread of the virus and we urge all residents to stay in their homes and practice social distancing.”
Of the eight positive tests, five are currently hospitalized and three are quarantined and recovering at home. Bergenfield Health Department officials are working closely with County and State Health officials investigating each incident for potential community spread and working to identify anyone who has come into contact recently with someone who recorded a positive test. These residents will be required to self quarantine to prevent further spreading of the virus, or to receive medical treatment and testing if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The Borough of Bergenfield declared a State of Emergency earlier this week and has been frequently updating residents through the borough website, reverse 911 and several other means. Borough officials will continue to communicate important information to residents whenever possible. For the most up to date information, residents should visit bergenfield.com.
Borough of Bergenfield Declares State of Emergency in Response to Coronavirus
BERGENFIELD, NJ -- The Borough of Bergenfield’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), upon the recommendation of Mayor Arvin Amatorio and the Council, has officially declared a State of Emergency in order to ensure that the borough has the necessary policies in place to respond to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. The declaration will allow borough government to bypass purchasing regulations if necessary, and will also direct all borough departments to create infectious disease control plans, as well as implementing several new policies listed below.
“While our community has thus far seen fewer positive test results than some of our neighboring towns, we are taking this proactive step to ensure that we are ready to respond to an increase in cases among our residents,” said Mayor Amatorio. “Declaring a State of Emergency will remove regulatory barriers, and I am hopeful that this decisive action will send a signal to all residents to take this crisis seriously and practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus.”
The State of Emergency declaration mandates the following policy changes:
- Borough of Bergenfield and Borough offices will be closed to the public (with staff working) effective beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice, other than by appointment. All citizens are encouraged to contact Borough offices by e-mail or telephone if they have any questions.
- All public and Board of Education recreational fields, all school grounds, basketball courts, and playgrounds within the Borough of Bergenfield are closed, as well as nursery schools and day care centers, and all organized sports activities within all municipal and Board of Education parks/fields, and recreational activities run by the Borough of Bergenfield or Board of Education are hereby postponed until further notice.
- All public meetings of non-essential municipal boards and committees are suspended. The Borough Mayor and Council will continue to meet but will discourage in-person attendance by members of the public, while making available means of remote, telephone and computer access by the public for public comment.
- All places of gathering shall limit attendance at any event or gathering to 100 or fewer persons, in order to comply with CDC guidelines for "social distancing.”
- All residents are encouraged to stay within their own properties, avoid large groups and maintain "social distancing" in accordance with CDC guidance.
- All workplaces within the Borough are strongly encouraged to implement and observe CDC workplace social distancing measures, such as replacing in-person meetings with teleworking, modifying, postponing or canceling mass gatherings.
- All places of gathering hosting 25 or more persons are strongly urged to use their best efforts to record the name, address, phone or other appropriate contact information of all employees, patrons, visitors, vendors or any other persons within their facilities in order to aid health officials in the event contact tracing activities should become necessary in connection with their operations.
- All restaurants and bars are urged to encourage take-out and curbside delivery in lieu of in-restaurant dining, and to reduce seating capacity to increase space between groups of patrons to assist in "social distancing" in accordance with CDC guidelines, by maintaining a distance of 6 feet between groups of diners and patrons.
BOROUGH OF BERGENFIELD
OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
TO ALL RESIDENTS AND PERSONS WITHIN THE BOROUGH OF BERGENFIELD, NEW JERSEY, AND TO ALL DEPARTMENTS OF THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE BOROUGH OF BERGENFIELD:
WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization designated the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern; and
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Health and Human Services Secretary declared a public health emergency for the entire United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19); and
WHEREAS, the spread of COVID-19 within New Jersey constitutes an imminent public health hazard that threatens and presently endangers the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of one or more municipalities or counties of the State; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of the State of New Jersey declared the concurrent invocation of both a State of Emergency pursuant to N.J.S.A. App.A.:9-33 et seq. and a Public Health Emergency as contemplated by N.J.S.A. 26:13-1 et seq., which invoked the authority and powers contemplated by N.J.S.A. 26:13-3, the Emergency Health Powers Act, and remains in effect; and
WHEREAS, on March 10, 2020, in response to the health emergency posed by COVID-19, the Bergen County Executive issued Executive Order No. 2020-01, which declared a State of Emergency in Bergen County and established mandates to combat COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the Bergen County Executive issued Supplemental Executive Order No. 2020-01A, which directed further action to be taken to combat COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States, by the authority of sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) and consistent with section 1135 of the Social Security Act (SSA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 1320b-5), declared and proclaimed that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency; and
WHEREAS, the Borough is working with federal, state, and local officials and authorities on a daily basis on prevention and mitigation activities that include providing critical information to the public about COVID-19 to provide facts and avoid unnecessary fear, training emergency responders and health professionals about the disease and investigating suspected, presumptive and confirmed cases; and
WHEREAS, the Borough has created a Task Force to make recommendations to combat the virus, and;
WHEREAS, pursuant to the powers vested in me by chapter 251 of the Laws of 1942, as amended and supplemented, N.J.S.A. App. A:9-30 et. seq.; N.J.S.A. 40:48-1(6); N.J.S.A. 2C:33-1 et. seq., whichever law or laws apply, a local emergency disaster is declared to exist within the boundaries of the Borough of Bergenfield; and
WHEREAS, the aforesaid laws authorize the promulgation of such orders, rules and regulations, as are necessary to meet the various problems which have or may be presented by such an emergency; and
WHEREAS, by reason of the conditions which presently exist in all areas of the Borough of Bergenfield which may affect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and persons within the Borough of Bergenfield; and
WHEREAS, it has been determined that these areas of the Borough of Bergenfield should then be declared disaster areas and further that certain measures must be taken in order to insure that the authorities will be unhampered in their efforts to maintain law and order as well as an orderly flow of traffic and further to protect the persons and property of the residents affected by the conditions; and
WHEREAS, the following areas are designated disaster areas:
The entire Borough of Bergenfield
NOW, THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AFORESAID LAWS, effective immediately, and until further notice, I do hereby promulgate and declare a State of Emergency within the Borough of Bergenfield, County of Bergen, and State of New Jersey, and do hereby order and direct that:
1. Borough of Bergenfield and Borough offices will be closed to the public (with staff working) effective beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice, other than by appointment. All citizens are encouraged to contact Borough offices by e-mail or telephone if they have any questions.
2. All public and Board of Education recreational fields, all school grounds, basketball courts, and playgrounds within the Borough of Bergenfield are closed, as well as nursery schools and day care centers, and all organized sports activities within all municipal and Board of Education parks/fields, and recreational activities run by the Borough of Bergenfield or Board of Education are hereby postponed until further notice.
3. All public meetings of non-essential municipal boards and committees are suspended. The Borough Mayor and Council will continue to meet but will discourage in-person attendance by members of the public, while making available means of remote, telephone and computer access by the public for public comment.
4. All places of gathering shall limit attendance at any event or gathering to 100 or fewer persons, in order to comply with CDC guidelines for “social distancing.”
5. All residents are encouraged to stay within their own properties, avoid large groups and maintain “social distancing” in accordance with CDC guidance.
6. All workplaces within the Borough are strongly encouraged to implement and observe CDC workplace social distancing measures, such as replacing in-person meetings with teleworking, modifying, postponing or canceling mass gatherings.
7. All places of gathering hosting 25 or more persons are strongly urged to use their best efforts to record the name, address, phone or other appropriate contact information of all employees, patrons, visitors, vendors or any other persons within their facilities in order to aid health officials in the event contact tracing activities should become necessary in connection with their operations.
8. All restaurants and bars are urged to encourage take-out and curbside delivery in lieu of in-restaurant dining, and to reduce seating capacity to increase space between groups of patrons to assist in “social distancing” in accordance with CDC guidelines, by maintaining a distance of 6 feet between groups of diners and patrons.
Ryan Shell, Emergency Management Coordinator
Effective Tuesday March 17th , 2020 By Order of the Bergenfield Health Department all Bergenfield Day Cares will be closed until further notice.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Borough Hall is open for business Monday through Friday from 8:30am - 4:30pm, however you must call and schedule and appointment with the Department you wish to do business with.
Police & Police Records: please call 201-387-4000
Borough Hall: please call 201-387-4055 followed by the following extension:
- Administration - Ext. # 6
- Accounts Payable - Ext. # 8
- Borough Clerk - Ext. # 6
- Building Department - Ext. # 4
- Court - Ext. # 2
- Dept. of Public Works - Ext. # 3
- Fire Prevention - Ext. # 4174
- Health Department - Ext. # 5
- Mayor's Office - Ext. # 6
- Recreation - Ext. # 9
- Tax Assessor - Ext. # 7
- Tax Collector - Ext. # 7
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you however we all need to understand the severity of this matter and the importance of doing what we can do to protect both the public and our employees.
Corey Gallo, Borough Administrator
Out of the abundance of caution and to help curtail the possibility of community spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Borough of Bergenfield will be implementing the following procedures effective the Close of Business on Friday, March 13.
MUNICIPAL OFFICES & FACILITIES
Municipal Offices- Physical public access to all municipal offices (including Borough Hall, and the Public Works Office) will be suspended through at least Sunday, March 29.
- The public lobby of the Municipal Building will be open to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for access to the Tax Collector’s drop box. No loitering shall occur in or around this lobby.
- All offices are open and Municipal Staff will be available during this time to answer questions and concerns from the public via telephone and email, however no in-office visitation will be permitted for the duration without a scheduled appointment.
- All residents and property owners are encouraged to utilize our online payment options for taxes.
- The Bergenfield Municipal Court session scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 and Wednesday march 25th have been cancelled and all cases will be rescheduled. For more information, please call (201) 387-4055, ext. 2.
- Emergent matters of the Police Records window (such as alarm permits, dumpster applications and request for discovery) will be handled at the Police Department Dispatch window. Residents are advised to call the Police Record Room (201) 387- 4000 in advance by phone and a mutual schedule time for pick up will be provided to you.
Building Department & Fire Prevention Bureau - Permit application drop off and pick up will be available by appointment only. Please call (201) 387-4055 ext. 4 to arrange an appointment.
- Telephone screening for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to all appointments and inspections will be occurring.
- The Borough will be erring on the side of caution and the inspectors will be using discretion when entering dwellings and interacting with individuals. Only essential contractors, homeowners, or authorized representatives necessary for the completion of any inspection shall be on site during such inspection in an effort to limit unnecessary contact.
- All non-essential inspections by the Building Department and Fire Prevention Bureau are suspended through March 29.
- Residential Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, and Fire Extinguisher inspections for resale and rental of residential dwellings for Closings scheduled on or after April 2 will not be scheduled until April 10th.
- Any Residential Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, and Fire Extinguisher inspections for resale and rental of residential dwellings for Closings scheduled before April 2 will occur, however; only one realtor, homeowner, or authorized representative shall be on site during such inspection in an effort to limit unnecessary contact.
Department of Public Works – Physical public access to the Public Works Office will be suspended through at least Sunday, March 29.
- All offices are open and Municipal Staff will be available during this time to answer questions and concerns from the public via telephone and email, however no in office visitation will be permitted for the duration without a scheduled appointment.
- Permit application drop off and pick up will be available by appointment only. Please call (201) 387-4055 ext. 3 to arrange an appointment.
- The recycling center will hours will remain in effect as scheduled.
- All other DPW operations such as trash and recycling will in remain in effect as well
Recreation – All Recreation facilities are closed until March 29th.
- All organized sanctioned recreation activities such as basketball, baseball, softball, soccer is suspended through March 29.
- For appointments with Recreation, please call Recreation Director Ed Volmer at 201-387-4055 ext. 9
Bergenfield Public Library
- The Bergenfield Public Library will be closed tentatively until Monday, April, 6th.
- You may still return items in our bookdrop located at the Library.
- There will be no fines on Bergenfield items during this time.
Senior Transport & Medical Transport
All routes of the Senior Transport Van are suspended through at least Monday March 30th.
- All Boards (Planning & Zoning) and Committee meetings are cancelled through March 31st.
- The Borough Mayor & Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th, will be held as scheduled.
- Due to the spread of the Coronavirus and to protect our residents and employees, the Borough is requesting that attendance at the meeting be limited to those with an urgent need to attend. Accordingly, no large presentations or proclamations will be given until this situation is further clarified.
- Overnight Parking will be suspended through March 30th . Please comply with all other parking statutes and ordinances, as they will remain in effect and will be strictly enforced. Any parking-related questions can be directed to the Bergenfield Police Department at (201) 387-4000.
All information provided is subject to change as this pandemic evolves. Residents are advised to monitor the Borough’s website and online social media for updates. While we realize that changing normal routines, cancelling events and not seeing friends can be disruptive and upsetting, we are taking CDC recommendations very seriously and urge you to do the same.
The Borough understands the public’s concerns about COVID-19 and the Health Department is working closely with the NJDOH and the CDC to monitor and respond to the situation.
The Health Department reminds the public to practice proper hygiene:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and remember to throw the tissue into the trash
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Stay home if you are sick
The CDC has identified older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. According to the CDC, early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.
That is why the CDC recommends that people at higher risk follow the measures cited below:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Stock up on supplies, food, and prescriptions.
- Take advantage of the many delivery options in our community.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact, and wash your hands often.
Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- We are committed to staying connected to our older residents during this health emergency and have taken the steps to make regular calls to our most vulnerable seniors at home. We will also stay in contact with regular updates via phone or email.
Symptoms to monitor include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you experience any symptoms, please contact your medical care provider.
We strongly urge all residents to take all necessary precautions to prevent the community spread of COVID-19. We cannot over emphasize the importance of limiting social contact while the Borough and the School District restrictions are in place. Taking the necessary precautions and remaining mindful of restricting person-to-person contact should be foremost in our day-to-day lives for the time being.
The Bergenfield Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has activated the Bergenfield Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the Borough’s monitoring and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bergenfield OEM is working 24/7 with the Mayor & Council, the Borough Administrator, Bergenfield Dept. of Health, Bergenfield Vol. Ambulance Corps, Bergenfield Police Dept., Bergenfield Fire Dept., and the Bergenfield Board of Education to keep our residents healthy.
The best way to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 is by social distancing and good hygiene including frequent hand washing. If you feel sick and need medical attention and are not experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call your doctor or the State of NJ COVID19 hotline (800-222-1222) for guidance before calling 911. Unnecessarily going to the emergency room or doctor’s office will increase your exposure risk and potentially overwhelm the hospitals.
From the CDC: If you are an older adult or have a severe chronic medical condition, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to reduce your risk of being exposed:
• Stay home as much as possible
• Have enough household items and groceries on hand if you need to stay home
• Monitor your health and keep in touch with your doctor
Learn how to be prepared if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community: http://bit.ly/2TDQVQm