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COVID-19 Update In
The City of Clifton

By on May 19, 2020

CLIFTON, NJ (May 13, 2020) – The Clifton Health Department, in consultation with the City Manager, Mayor and Council, understands that residents are concerned about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of 5/13/2020, the City of Clifton has reached a total of 2,389 cases, and a total of 113 deaths. Of these deaths, 32 have involved residents at the Daughters of Miriam Nursing Home. Please be advised that these numbers are reflective of cases and deaths identified in the Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System.


Please know that this information changes every day; for the latest numbers and information, please check out this link: https://www.cliftonnj.org/342/Coronavirus-2019-COVID-19

We would like to take a moment to remind the community that all residents, regardless of age, need to take the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and must practice the precautions mentioned below. To help stop the spread, everyone must do their part. Please stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave your home. 

To reduce your risk of coming into contact with COVID-19, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please be sure that you:

  • Practice handwashing regularly for at least 20 seconds 
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home, especially when you are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick

 

In  addition, be sure to practice the following social distancing measure

  • Keep a distance of at least 6 feet with other people
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact, such as handshaking
  • Avoid attending crowded events and social gatherings. Consider replacing in-person gatherings with video chatting, voice messaging and phone calls

As of 4/3/2020, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). The CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings should: fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. For more information on cloth face masks, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/DIY-cloth-face-covering-instructions.pdf.

The Health Department does not have the capacity to distribute masks, sanitizers, and other supplies to the public.

The CDC has recently expanded its list of COVID-19 symptoms to include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Some people who are exposed may show mild symptoms, while others may show severe illness. Remember that symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after an exposure.

Please note that the Health Department does not test for COVID-19. Testing can be done through medical providers; contact your healthcare provider to see if you are eligible for testing. Drive-through testing sites are also available.

Please note that, until further notice, the Bergen Community College (BCC) Testing Site will be open Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Each day the site is open, staff will be able to test 500 people starting at 8:00am. Effective Sunday, May 3, 2020, exhibiting symptoms is no longer a requirement for testing at BCC. However, the highest priority for testing will be given to health care workers and workers in congregate living settings, and symptomatic first responders, as well as to asymptomatic NJ residents who have been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive.

The PNC Bank Arts Center site will open at 8:00am on Mondays and Wednesdays for the general public and on Saturdays for health care workers and first responders only. Effective Monday, May 4, 2020, exhibiting symptoms is no longer a requirement for testing. However, the highest priority for testing will be given to health care workers and workers in congregate living settings, and symptomatic first responders, as well as to asymptomatic NJ residents who have been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive.

William Paterson University will be open for COVID-19 testing at 9:00am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Effective 5/11/2020, prescriptions will no longer be required at this site. Exhibiting symptoms is also no longer a requirement. Residents under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Effective 5/11/2020, Rite Aid locations, including the Clifton Rite Aid (1366 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013), will be offering COVID-19 testing free of charge, 7 days a week, between 9am-5pm. Appointments are required. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please visit https://www.riteaid.com/pharmacy/services/covid-19-testing.


The updated testing schedule can be found at this link: http://covid19.nj.gov/testing.

Out of an abundance of caution, the following locations in the City of Clifton will remain closed to the public until further notice:

  • Clifton City Hall
  • Clifton Municipal Court (sessions have been suspended until further notice)
  • Clifton Public Schools
  • Fire Headquarters
  • Clifton DPW Garage
  • Clifton Senior Center (Seniors who are in need of a meal should call Margaret Nysk at 973-470-2249)
  • Clifton Arts Center
  • Boys and Girls Club of Clifton
  • Clifton Recreation Center
  • City Parks and Playgrounds
  • Clifton Public Libraries
  • Clifton Hamilton House Museum
  • City Well
  • Clifton Animal Shelter (appointments are available to come in. Please visit www.cliftonanimalshelter.com for more information or call 973-470-5936 with any questions)

In addition, for clarification, Clifton parks may only be utilized for walking, running or bicycling. If you plan on attending a park, you must have a mask on (that covers your nose and mouth) at all times.  There is to be no congregating or stopping at any time.

Residents are still able to continue to conduct business with the City during the closure through use of the City’s website. In addition, staff in each department are available during regular business hours by telephone to assist residents and answer questions.

The following executive orders signed by Governor Murphy remain in effect:

Executive Orders 107 and 108, signed on 3/21/2020, that include the following directives:

  • Nearly ALL New Jersey residents are directed to stay home.
  • ALL gatherings are cancelled.
  • ALL non-essential retail businesses must indefinitely close their physical stores to the public effective 9:00pm on 3/21/2020.

ONLY essential businesses may remain, which includes:

  • Grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Food banks
  • Pharmacies
  • Medical supply stores
  • Gas stations
  • Banks
  • Pet supply stores
  • Restaurants and bars providing take-out and delivery only
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
  • Hardware and home improvement stores
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years
  • 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
  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops (added 3/24/2020)
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair (added 3/24/2020)
  • Livestock feed stores (added 3/24/2020)
  • Nurseries and garden centers (added 3/24/2020)
  • Farming equipment stores (added 3/24/2020)
  • Pet groomers, pet daycares, and pet boarders

Hospitals and health care facilities will remain open. Essential public health, safety, and social services will remain accessible.

Additionally, the order mandates that all businesses or non-profits, wherever practical, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements. To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.

The Order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, requirements that all restaurants operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education cease in-person instruction.

Executive order 109, signed on 3/23/2020, mandating the following: all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults that are scheduled to take place after 5:00pm on Friday, March 27, 2020 are to be suspended. In addition, all medical and dental operations that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s physician or dentist, will be suspended.

Executive order 110, enacted on 3/25/2020, requiring all childcare centers who are not solely serving children of essential workers, to close by April 1st

Executive Order 107 amendments, signed on 3/30/2020, which include the following:

  • Auto dealerships will be permitted to conduct online or remote sales. Dealers will be authorized to deliver vehicles directly to their customers, or to arrange for curbside or service lane pickup at a dealership.
  • Realtors can operate and show houses to prospective buyers on a one-on-one basis or to immediate families. There is still a prohibition on open houses.

Executive Order 122, signed on 4/8/2020, stating the following:

  • All essential retail establishments must indefinitely limit the number of customers allowed in their stores to NO MORE than 50% of their approved capacity

Additionally, customers & employees must wear face coverings. Stores must also provide special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, erect physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers where practicable, regularly sanitize areas used by their employees, & more

  • All non-essential construction across New Jersey will CEASE, indefinitely, effective 8:00 PM Friday.

Exceptions include projects at hospitals and schools, projects in the transportation and public utility sector, the building of affordable housing, other individual housing sites that can adhere to strict limits on the number of workers on-site, and other limited instances.

Executive Order 125, signed on 4/11/2020, directing New Jersey Transit and all private carriers to cut the capacity on all trains, buses, light rail vehicles, and paratransit vehicles to 50% of their maximum. NJ Transit and all private carriers will be required to provide their employees with gloves and face coverings. All riders will also be required to wear a face covering when traveling through NJ Transit or with a private carrier, unless they absolutely cannot for medical reasons.

Additionally, Governor Murphy has expanded the requirement to wear a face covering to ALL customers heading into any one of the restaurants and bars that remain in operation as they get their takeout orders. Restaurants and bars must now give face coverings and gloves to all their food-service personnel. A face covering does not mean a medical-grade mask. There are any number of ways you can cover your mouth and nose with a bandana or a homemade fabric covering.

Executive Order 133, signed on 4/29/2020, re-opening state/county parks and golf courses. Here is what you need to know:

  • Playgrounds, visitor centers, pavilions and restrooms will remain closed
  • Parking will be capped at 50%
  • Social distancing will be mandated
  • No picnics, organized activities, or team sports will be permitted

As per Governor Murphy’s announcement on 5/4/2020, all schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year in order to protect the health of students, educators, and their families.

On 5/6/2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 138, extending the State’s public health emergency for an additional 30 days.

For more information pertaining to Governor Murphy’s executive orders, please refer to this link: https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/approved/eo_archive.html

For general questions pertaining to COVID-19, please call the New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 211 or text NJCOVID to 898-211. Please also feel free to visit https://covid19.nj.gov/ for more information. For mental health-related concerns during COVID-19, call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “talk with us” at 66746. If you wish to get in touch with the Clifton Health Department for general COVID-19 questions, please email Health Educator Layal Helwani at Lhelwani@cliftonnj.org.

The Clifton Health Department is a contractual health agency serving the Township of Little Falls.