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Posted on: March 25, 2020

Updates from Mayor Fernandez

Livingston NJ logo, "Update from the Mayor" banner with portrait photo of 2020 Mayor Rudy Fern

April 2, 2020: COVID-19 News and Reminders

As of last night, April 1, 2020, the Livingston Health Department has reported that a total of 116 Livingston residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Most importantly, am saddened to inform you that 6 residents in long-term care facilities in town who tested positive for COVID-19 have passed away, and on behalf of the entire Town Council, I want to offer my sincerest condolences to the families. This illustrates how easy the virus can be transmitted and why adults too must be extra careful, especially when around senior citizens and those with existing health conditions. If it’s absolutely necessary to be around people, you must keep at least 6 feet between you.

For anyone that missed it, the Livingston Police Department has announced that the Township has taken steps to block off parking in the lots around the Oval and Northland Pool. Hopefully this will curb groups from meeting up and hanging out in the lots. Also, a reminder that all school fields, parking lots and property are off limits as well.

In addition to the Township website, livingstonnj.org/COVID-19, Congresswoman Mickie Sherrill has a portion of her website also dedicated to COVID-19 general information and New Jersey resources: https://sherrill.house.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-general-information-and-nj-resources

Finally, I again want to remind everyone that to ensure you receive critical Township Emergency Notifications, please be sure to register with the Swift911 system at www.livingstonnj.org/EmergencyNotifications; follow Livingston Township, NJ on Facebook and on Twitter @Livingston_NJ. Also, download the Township mobile app for on-the-go updates and information.

April 1, 2020: COVID-19 Update, Census Day, and Tax Filing Deadline Extension

Thank you all so much for signing up to participate for the Livingston Community Blood and Platelets Drive at the Livingston Community Center on Friday, April 3, 2020 and on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Because of the overwhelming response, if you were unable to sign up for an appointment we are planning to host another.

As of Tuesday evening, March 31, 2020, the Livingston Health Department has reported that a total of 109 Livingston residents have tested positive for COVID-19. As of Tuesday evening (March 31, 2020) there were 2,179 positive cases in Essex County. If we want to stop the spread of the virus to our family, friends and neighbors, we must  avoid close contact, stay at least 6 feet away from others and don’t let your children travel or hang around together in groups This will be especially important next week during the Livingston school system’s spring break. Groups of kids and young adults hanging out together or having “social distancing parties” will not be tolerated, and there will be increased patrolling by the Livingston Police Department.

As many of you have read, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated almost $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Here is a link to a guide and checklist.

Today, April 1, 2020, is Census Day. You can complete your form online, by phone, or by mail. Visit my2020census.gov to begin. The Livingston response rate is currently at 46.7%, up from 30.1% on March 23!

Finally, we have been notified by the Governor’s office that New Jersey has extended the due date for the filing of New Jersey personal and corporate income tax returns to July 15.

March 30, 2020: COVID-19 Update

Welcome everyone as we start another week, and a personal thank you all the doctors, nurses and health care providers on the front lines.  Also, let’s not forget our Police, Auxiliary Police, Fire Department, First Aid Squad and town employees for everything they are doing to keep us safe and ensuring that all the town’s services continue. Last, and certainly not least, thank you to Superintendent Dr. Matt Block and the Livingston Board of Education for arranging to have protective eyewear/goggles from the Livingston science labs sent over to St. Barnabas Medical Center.

As of Sunday evening March 29, 2020, the Livingston Health Department has reported that a total of 83 Livingston residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, at a local level, we are not receiving data about the total number of tests or the number of negative test results. As of Sunday evening (March 29, 2020) there were 1,293 positive cases in Essex County.

On March 28, 2020, Governor Murphy announced that financial institutions will provide mortgage forbearance and financial protections for New Jerseyans facing economic hardship as a result COVID-19. For more information on COVID-19 related mortgage relief, please go to https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/mortgagerelief.html.

Don’t forget to avoid close contact with each other. By not following this practice, we will be stuck in our homes longer and more of your family, friends and neighbors will get sick. Also, what applies to adults also applies to kids. Don’t let your kids travel or hang around together in groups, no play dates or sleepovers. Please, we can’t stress enough the necessity to follow these simple rules to help keep Livingston healthy.

March 27, 2020: COVID-19 Update

As of March 27, 2020, the Livingston Health Department has reported that a total of 55 Livingston residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The Livingston Health Department is continuing the monitoring process to identify locations and persons with whom the affected individuals had contact. There are currently 789 positive cases in Essex County. In New Jersey, as of March 25, 2020 there were 6,876 positive cases and 13,661 cases with negative test results.  We are also saddened to announce that a 100-year-old resident fell and passed away at St. Barnabas Hospital as a result of those injuries, but subsequently tested positive with COVID-19. Please make sure not to visit with the elderly population, especially if you are feeling ill or symptomatic with flu-like symptoms.

On Friday, April 3, 2020 from 10:30 am - 4:30 pm and on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 from 12:00 noon - 6:00 pm, St. Barnabas Medical Center will be holding a Livingston Community Blood and Platelets Drive at the Livingston Community Center, Lower Level - Main Entrance, 204 Hillside Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039. Medical eligibility questions should be referred to a RWJUH Donor Services staff person at 908-685-2926. Appointments are required and available at rwjuhdonorclub.org or by calling 732-235-8100 ext. 221 or 248. Social distancing and additional disinfecting guidelines are in place at all blood drives, and all donors will be given a $5.00 Starbucks gift card and be entered into a raffle to win a $50.00 Amazon gift card. 

On March 26, 2020, The New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board approved several new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to COVID-19. The new initiatives include:  

  1. Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.
  2. Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program. 
  3. Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund. 
  4. CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program.
  5. NJ Entrepreneur Support Program.
  6. Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program. 
  7. Emergency Technical Assistance Program.

Additional details on the NJEDA’s new programs, including eligibility requirements will be available at cv.business.nj.gov.

March 25, 2020: Census 2020 Reminder

If you’re home thinking about what to do next, how about completing your 2020 Census?

You can complete your form online, by phone, or by mail. Visit my2020census.gov to begin.

The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location. Let’s make sure Livingston gets counted!

So far, the New Jersey response rate is currently at 23%, and Livingston’s response rate is at 30.1%. Let’s all do our part to get to 100%!

More information

March 25, 2020: COVID-19 Numbers, Safety Reminders, and Essex County Testing Facility

As of March 25, 2020, the Livingston Health Department has reported that a total of 36 Livingston residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 437 positive cases in Essex County. The Livingston Health Department is continuing the monitoring process to identify locations and persons with whom the affected individuals had contact.

As the weather gets warmer, more residents will want to go outside and walk and exercise. Please avoiding close contact, stay at least 6 feet away from others, don’t let your children travel or hang around together in groups whether in the streets or at the parks and don’t let them participate in any type of group sports. Again, we can’t stress enough the necessity to follow these very simple rules to help keep Livingston healthy.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Freeholder President Brendan Gill and Vice President Wayne Richardson announced today that Essex County will be opening a drive-through testing site for Essex County residents who are symptomatic of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Essex County Weequahic Park in Newark. The site will open on Thursday, March 26th and Saturday, March 28th when 100 tests per day will be administered; it will then be open next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when 150 tests per day will be administered each day.

The testing site is for Essex County residents; appointments are mandatory. Residents must arrive by car. Residents can visit www.EssexCOVID.org, where they will be required to complete a short online screening process before an appointment is scheduled. Residents will be asked several health-related questions and detail any symptoms they have related to the coronavirus. Upon completion of the survey, they will be informed if they are eligible for the screening. If they are eligible, a confirmation number will be provided; residents must bring the confirmation number with them to their appointment.

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Governor Murphy signed an executive order allowing the following stores to open as essential retail stores:

  1. Mobile phone retail and repair shops.
  2. Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair.
  3. Livestock feed stores.
  4. Nurseries and garden centers.
  5. Farming equipment stores.

Also on March 24, 2020, Governor Murphy announced the launch of a new online portal to connect New Jersey residents with jobs in critical industries responding to COVID-19. The jobs portal is available here: jobs.covid19.nj.gov. Employers in critical industries should submit information about openings with urgent hiring needs related to COVID19 here: jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake.

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