UNION COUNTY, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders advises residents that essential County services will continue to operate during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, and that certain social services will be expanded or modified to provide assistance to those in need. In support of statewide efforts to slow the spread of the virus, certain non-essential activities and programs have been suspended.

“In response to the outbreak, Union County has implemented a comprehensive plan to continue providing essential services, including social services and public safety services, while also taking preventive measures in accordance with the recommendations of public health experts,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “By working together, we can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community.”

Public health professionals have determined that COVID-19 is a serious public health concern that requires swift, decisive action in order to prevent it from spreading. Most persons with COVID-19 do not experience extreme symptoms, but persons who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions are at risk for severe illness or death.

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Persons with non-essential business are encouraged to contact Union County offices by phone or online when possible. While all other essential social services will continue to operate, the following services are impacted:

Department of Parks and Recreation

  • All permits for County athletic fields are revoked.
  • Warinanco Sports Center is closed to the public.
  • All events at Masker’s Barn are cancelled.
  • Effective Sunday, March 15, the Trailside Nature and Science Center is closed, including open visiting hours and all scheduled activities.
  • Watchung Stable is closed to the general public (boarders only are allowed on premises for horse care).
  • Golf is currently available at Ash Brook and Galloping Hill for online registration only, in order to limit use of indoor facilities. Intervals between tee times have been extended and golf carts will be sanitized.
  • Hours at the Learning Center at Galloping Hill have been curtailed to 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and users will be limited to small and medium sized buckets. Credit and debit cards only will be accepted; no cash transactions.
  • The Red Knot restaurant at Galloping Hill will close for a la carte service effective Saturday March 14, until further notice. The Tavern at Ash Brook will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Credit and debit cards only will be accepted; no cash transactions.

Department of Human Services

  • The Route 22 Shuttle is suspended.
  • Effective Monday March 16th, the Paratransit System be available only for necessary medical trips.
  • The Meals on Wheels program will close all congregate meal sites by March 18th or earlier. Home delivered meals will continue on an expanded basis, including meal delivery on request for seniors who no longer have access to a local congregate meal site (please call Meals on Wheels at 908-486-5100 for assistance). 
  • The Pediatric Immunization Clinic at 40 Parker Road in Elizabeth will remain open until further notice.
  • All activities and programs organized through the Office for People with Disabilities and Special Needs are cancelled.
  • Emergency shelter will continue to be available to homeless persons (persons requesting assistance can call the Union County Division of Social Services at 908-965-2700 during regular business hours, or call the Statewide Homeless Hotline after hours at 211 or 877-652-1148.
  • Persons receiving or in need of SNAP food assistance may call Social Services at 908-965-2700 for assistance by phone.
  • 24-Hour Emergency Psychiatric Services will be available by phone through the Union County Mobile Community Outreach (Adults) at 908-994-7131 and through the Union County Mobile Response & Stabilization (Children) at 877-652-7624.
  • In addition, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital may be contacted at 732-381-4200, and Overlook Hospital may be contacted at 908-522-2000.
  • Information about other mental health and addiction services in Union County is available during business hours by calling 908-527-4846 or 908-527-4844.
  • The Union County Rape Crisis Hotline will continue to take calls from persons in need of assistance due to sexual assault through the 24 hour hotline: 908-233-RAPE
  • For assistance with youth in crisis or who are unable to remain in their homes, call 908-514-2313. 

County Clerk

  • Passport services will be available by appointment beginning on Saturday, March 14, in Westfield. Please call 908-654-9575. The Elizabeth location will operate as normal.
  • Frequent land records submitters, such as law firms and banks, are encouraged to use an e-filing service (the vendors used by the County Clerk are Corporation Service Company and SimpliFile.

County Sheriff

  • Sheriff’s Sales are suspended for remainder of March.

Supreme Court of Union County

  • Petit Jury selection is suspended (active trials are continuing).

Members of the public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following widely accepted guidelines for good respiratory hygiene:

Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home if you are sick, and avoid sick people.
  • Health professionals also advise members of the public to maintain a safe “social distance” of approximately 3 feet from other people. This may mean avoiding events, activities and spaces where social distancing is impractical.

Additional guidance and links to more resources are available from the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml.

Members of the public with questions about COVID-19 can call the New Jersey Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 1-800-222-1222. The call center is open 24/7 and offers guidance in several languages. Please note that this number is for the general public only. Clinicians should call their local health department for guidance.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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