SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Borough Mayor Ed Seely announced several reopenings in his latest letter to Spotswood residents. The changes come on the heels of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's lifting of the stay-at-home order that has been in place since March 21. Seely reopened private clubs in the borough such as the VFW, Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Polish American Club, providing the clubs follow the current guidelines from the governor. Murphy's latest changes allow indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100.
Spotswood will also be reopening its basketball courts. The borough's tennis courts have been open since the end of May. Seely said in the June 10 letter that he is opening the basketball courts with reservations because unlike tennis, basketball is not a social distancing sport. The mayor said playground equipment will not be reopened until the governor addresses the fate of water parks, amusement parks and other high-touch activities. At yesterday's press conference, Murphy stated that water parks, amusement parks, playground equipment and arcades would not be among things being reopened in the state at this time.
Mayor Seely's June 10 letter reads as follows:
Residents of Spotswood,
The flood gates have opened! The Governor announced yesterday that the stay-at-home order has been lifted.
Outside gatherings previously restricted to 25 people will now allow up to 100, and that number will increase to 500
individuals by July 6. Outdoor dining can utilize 25% of the building’s capacity up to a maximum of 50 persons. Pools
can open on June 22. All private clubs, i.e., VFW, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Polish American Club, etc.,
are allowed to reopen following the same guidelines as restaurants.
All of this is great news, to be sure, and a true testament to your perseverance in remaining vigilant in our efforts to
slow the spread. However, let’s not lower our guard just yet; as we’ve seen in news reports, places that were more
relaxed than we have been are starting to see a spike in numbers. Caution is our best friend; go out, have a good
time, and enjoy life, but be smart and be safe. I, myself, will continue to wear a face covering while in stores and
practice social distancing while at gatherings. I strongly suggest you do the same; after all, it’s the beginning of
summer, it’s hot, and our bodies are programed to perspire. (Though perspiration isn’t considered a method of
transmission, surfaces touched by many people could still pose a risk.) So, maintain that distance! It’s your health!
Our tennis courts have been open for a couple of weeks now, and I note that Helmetta is opening both basketball and
tennis courts on June 15. I know this is going to lead to pressure for me to do the same, and I will, but with great
reservations. You see, while tennis is a distance sport, basketball is not. In point of fact, you can easily liken it to
football as far as contact is concerned. There’s no real room in the sport for social distancing. That, combined with the
body fluid risk I mentioned, is the reason for my concern. Please be aware you are not only playing at your own risk,
there is the risk to others. Separately, I know that our residents are anxious for playgrounds to open; however, until
we know how the governor is going to address reopening amusement and water parks, we are unable to remove
those restrictions just yet.
Moving to a different subject: protest marches and/or demonstrations. In my last letter, I compared the numbers
attending protest marches to the amount of people allowed at gatherings due to the COVID-19 restrictions. An
individual somehow got the idea that I have an issue with protests, in and of themselves. Nothing could be further
from the truth; in my younger days I was involved in protests as well as sit-ins. I strongly believe it is every citizen’s
right to assemble in a social protest. My concern was merely health-related, since it has been reiterated by our public
health officials that gathering in mass numbers is dangerous. The email I received provided links on safe practices for
protests and demonstrations, and we will be posting them on the Borough website should you decide to exercise this
Switching gears, again; as I hear it, the Senior Class of 2020 will have their graduation, and the details are currently
being worked out. We are truly happy for them; they certainly deserve it for all the hard work they’ve put forth.
Kudos to the School Officials that are doing what’s necessary to get this accomplished!
Well, I think that will cover it for this week. As always, Stay Smart, Stay Safe, and Stay Healthy!
Mayor Ed Seely
Middlesex County has had 23 new positive cases of the coronavirus reported in the last 24 hours according to the county website. Spotswood's number of positive cases of COVID-19 stands at 96. Three borugh residents have died from the coronavirus since the pandemic hit New Jersey in March.