2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

COVID-19 (“coronavirus disease 2019”) is the disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in humans in China. Morris County is taking action to curb the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 Testing Center

Starting Monday, March 30: The County of Morris, in partnership with Atlantic Health, is offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the County College of Morris, Dover Chester Road, Randolph, NJ 07869, in parking lot 1.

In order to be tested, you MUST

  • have a COVID-19 test prescription from your healthcare provider
  • read and accept the consent form
  • have an appointment

You will be able to sign up for an appointment beginning Sunday, March 29 at 10AM. A link will be made available then. Visit the COVID-19 testing page for details.


Updates from Morris County

Announcements

Cancellations and Service Updates

Courts & Legal

  • For information about the court system, visit https://njcourts.gov/.
  • The Morris County Surrogate’s Office has suspended in-person applications until further notice. Our office will continue to provide service via phone (973-285-6500), fax (973-829-8599), email ([email protected]), and regular mail (Morris County Surrogate Court, P.O. Box 900, Morristown, NJ 07963-0900).

Library

  • The Morris County Library is closed for an indefinite period. All programs and usage of conference and public meetings rooms are canceled for the month of April. For updates, visit the library website.

Human Services

  • The Office of Temporary Assistance encourages residents to apply online or by phone for enrollment to our programs. Please note, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the increase in applications, you may experience longer wait times in our response. Read more at the OTA website.
    • Extended Hours service at the Office of Temporary Assistance are temporarily suspended.
    • OTA Dover office is closed.
    • OTA main office on West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township is open but public access is limited. Staff members will be stationed at the front door to answer any questions.
    • All applications will be taken by phone, mail or online. A drop box will be placed at the OTA main building for completed applications and mail.
    • Information regarding applications, recertification and more can be found at https://hs.morriscountynj.gov/ota/
    • Main Office Phone: 973-326-7800
    • Dover Office Phone: 973-682-4990
  • Senior Home Delivered Meals are still in operation. The Congregate Meals have been converted to home delivery or takeout.
  • Morris Area Paratransit System: MAPS continues to operate by providing rides to persons with ongoing life-sustaining needs, medical appointments, and employment. We encourage persons with active symptoms of coughing, fever, or shortness of breath not to utilize these vehicles, as we want to continue to provide support to those with ongoing needs.
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Clinic: The Morris View location is closed. The VA is conducting video-to-home and telephone visits.
  • One Stop Employment Centers:  Both the One-Stop Center at 1 Medical Drive in Parsippany and the One-Stop Center in Randolph, at 13 Emery Avenue, are closed to visitors.
  • SNAP recipients:  If your case is due to be recertified in March or April and you were unable to get your paperwork in or complete your interview, your case will not be closed. You will receive your benefits on the usual day. Your case will be recertified at some point in the future, once this public health crisis has settled. In the meantime, you will continue to receive SNAP benefits. Visit the State of NJ site for more details.

Law & Public Safety

  • The Morris County Sheriff’s Office will be placing a hold on all Sheriff’s Sales until at least May 7, 2020. Please continue to check the Sheriff’s website for any updates.
  • Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, changes have been made to visits to the Morris County Correctional Facility:
    • Inmate visits with family have temporarily been suspended for the next two weeks and will be re-evaluated on March 30, 2020.
    • Non-contact visits between attorneys and inmates can occur through glass partitions only.
    • Professional visits to inmates are being restricted and must be approved by a Facility Security Captain.
  • The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office “Introduction to Sami’s Law” program on March 18 has been canceled. The office is suspending all reception desk services and in-person contact as a precautionary measure to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. This closure will remain in effect until further notice. If you have questions, contact the call center at 973-285-6200 or email [email protected].
  • All classes at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy are suspended until further notice. For updates, visit the Academy website.

Elections

  • The Morris County Board of Elections is closed. All voter registration applications and/or change of party affiliation forms should be mailed to the Board of Elections. Any questions can be emailed to [email protected]. There are no changes to the June primary election at this time. Visit the State of New Jersey’s candidate petitions page for information on where to email or mail in petitions.
  • The Morris County Clerk urges residents to vote by mail, fill out notary applications online, and forward all documents to be filed by mail or using e-filing. Weddings are suspended until further notice. Read more updates from the Clerk.

Schools

  • The Morris County School of Technology is closed. Governor Murphy has ordered all New Jersey public and private schools to remain closed until further notice and health officials determine it is safe for classes to resume. As a result of this announcement, the school will update the distance learning plan by the end of the week.  View their COVID-19 page for more information.
  • Morris County Chamber of Commerce leadership and the Board of Directors postponed all in-person meetings until April 30 as a precautionary measure. The Chamber’s offices are closed. As a result, we will not be able to issue Certificates of Origin. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Visit the Chamber’s online calendar for information about upcoming events.
  • The County College of Morris campus is closed. CCM classes are all moving online and the college is working remotely while the campus remains closed. Please check back on a regular basis and visit www.ccm.edu/covid-19-information-center for up-to-date information and resources.

Parks & Culture

Other County Services

  • The Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting will be held via conference call on March 25.
  • Many board and commission meetings are canceled or being done remotely. Please check the county calendar for updates.
  • Historic Preservation Trust Fund applications are now due April 24, 2020. There are changes to how applications should be submitted; please see the Historic Preservation application page.
  • The Morris County Soil Conservation District is closed until further notice.
  • All Planning & Preservation staff have been sent home indefinitely. Public access to the office is restricted. The Land Development Review Section will continue to process applications and issue reports within the 30-day statutory period and may request an additional 30-day extension if necessary.
  • Open Public Records Requests may be delayed. On March 20, 2020, Governor Murphy took action modifying the deadline by which public agency is required to respond to request for government records during periods of emergency. Go to our OPRA page for more information.
  • The Housing Authority continues to operate but is currently closed to the public.  Anyone wishing to apply for public housing can do so on their website. All current public housing tenants, Section 8 participants and/or landlords, should email the assigned caseworker directly. If they are unsure, they can call the office at (973) 540-0389 or email [email protected].
  • If you wish to place a public bid on county contracts, you are encouraged to not attend bid openings in person – use the mail or a dropbox at the Administration Building. Read more.

Executive Order No. 107

According to Executive Order No. 107, as of March 21, 2020, all NJ residents shall remain home unless they are:

  • Obtaining goods or services from essential businesses
  • Obtaining takeout
  • Seeking medical attention
  • Visiting family members as a caretaker or romantic partner
  • Reporting to or performing their job
  • Engaging in outdoor activities (social distance permitting)
  • Leaving home for an educational, religious, or political reason
  • For safety
  • At the direction of law enforcement or a government agency

Emergency Declaration

On March 19, 2020, Morris County issued an Emergency Declaration:

Per the emergency declaration, the following types of businesses are ordered closed, within the geographic borders of Morris County, effective 8 p.m. today, March 19:

  • Any Indoor Public or Private Recreational Bathing Facilities regulated by local health departments;
  • Indoor Recreational Facilities, including but not limited to those providing amusement activities, trampoline parks, miniature golf, batting cages, racquetball/tennis centers, and ice rinks;

The following restrictions also go into effect immediately:

  • All playgrounds and all playing fields within Morris County shall be closed immediately;
  • Parks may remain open for only passive recreation, with the following restrictions to be enforced;
    • no organized or directed activities are allowed;
    • all park activities that bring together groups of more than four individuals (other than family members) are prohibited, including playgrounds, dog runs, amusement rides, and stables (except for the care of horses at stables).

FAQ

Can I wear gloves instead of handwashing?

Gloves are NOT a substitute for proper handwashing and sanitation. While gloves can be a preventative measure, you can still touch your face wearing gloves, and if you don’t take them off properly you can spread the virus. For more information on hand hygiene, visit https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/.

How many cases are there in Morris County?

Due to how cases are reported, from medical practitioners to local health departments, then to the state, we do not have a fully accurate count of the number of cases. The New Jersey Department of Health has an interactive dashboard that gives a rough estimate of the number.

I’m having trouble coping, what can I do?

This is an unprecedented time, and taking care of our mental health is important. You can call the NJ Mental Health Cares hotline at 866-202-HELP (4357) for immediate support, and follow our list of ways to cope for suggestions: keeping a schedule, limiting news consumption, connecting with family and friends online, and more.

Where should I go for information about coronavirus?

Visit the CDC or New Jersey Department of Health websites for the most accurate, up-to-date information. For more local information, contact your health department.


What You Can Do

Steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent coronavirus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing

Currently there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.

Morris County residents should contact their local health departments with their questions and concerns.

For more information, visit the following:

Get Employment Help

Did you lose your job or have your hours reduced as a result of COVID-19? Businesses across New Jersey need thousands of workers for immediate hire. Learn more about who is hiring in your community: visit the State of NJ COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal.

Find a Service Provider

Read the 2020 Morris County Resource List for information about services providers in Morris County, including childcare, healthcare, transportation and more. Service may be halted by individual providers due to COVID-19, so call to confirm what services are available.


Information for Businesses

For information regarding financial assistance, please visit the State of New Jersey’s website for businesses and COVID-19 or call 1-800-JERSEY-7. To apply directly to the Small Business Administration for a loan, visit the SBA online loan application.

Note for restaurants: From the governor’s office – We can confirm that places can continue their delivery/take-out services beyond 8 PM; whatever their normal business hours are. Get more information about business operations.

Printouts

Business owners are encouraged to print and hang these flyers for the safety of their staff and the public:

Chamber of Commerce Webinars

Starting March 23, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce will present a series of virtual seminars with topics that are relevant to the new reality of life with the coronavirus. Learn more about these free webinars and sign up today!

Chamber of Commerce Facebook Groups

Join these Facebook groups to share resources and hear directly from the Chamber of Commerce:


Our Volunteers

We want to thank all of the volunteers who have been crucial in our COVID-19 efforts:

  • The Morris County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), whose members have been helping with our call center
  • The following people and organizations, who have donated supplies and materials:
    • Kris and Jennifer Holstein
    • Kim Tkacs
    • Aimee Puluso and the Montville Health Department
    • Kevin and Lisa Gorman

Information from the CDC