RANDOLPH, NJ- The number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in Randolph has slowed considerably. In April we were reporting 50 to 60 new cases per week, and we are now reporting only 3 or 4 new cases weekly. Since the first case of COVID-19 infection in Randolph was confirmed in March, 290 residents have tested positive for the virus. Of these, 21 individuals have passed away and 244 have recovered and had symptoms resolve. It’s been an incredible and unprecedented time for our nation and our community.
Our social distancing efforts appear to have been very effective in slowing the spread of the virus. However, these efforts are not over. As New Jersey proceeds with plans to re-open, we must continue to practice social distancing in order to maintain the needed level of safety. We now have supplies of face masks in our homes and cars; we’ve gotten better at estimating a distance of 6 feet in order to stay spaced from others and we are doing a much more thorough job of cleaning and disinfecting. As we know, the virus is not gone; we have simply done a good job of controlling its spread. So let’s remain vigilant as businesses and activities re-open.
As of today, outdoor dining is once again permitted in New Jersey, and Randolph restaurants are thrilled to welcome patrons back. To assist these business owners, the Randolph Township Council recently approved a resolution allowing officials to immediately issue permits to restaurants that want to expand their outdoor dining areas or create new ones. The temporary permits are good through October.
In addition, many local houses of worship re-opened this past weekend. The Randolph Library can now offer curbside services; daycare centers are open and non-essential businesses can re-open at 50% capacity. There are definite signs that we are getting back to “normal”.
Beginning Monday, June 22, personal care service facilities will be back in business, including the much-awaited re-opening of barber shops, beauty salons and nail salons.
While the Randolph Trails remained open throughout the past months, many other features of our parks are now re-opening including the pavilions and gazebos, athletic fields, restrooms, tennis and volleyball courts; however, playgrounds, basketball courts and the skate park remain closed. The community garden is also open. Further guidance on the allowance of organized non-contact sports activities is expected this week, while organized contact sports activities are still prohibited.
Randolph Lake will reopen for the summer season on Monday, June 22. The lake will be open daily until Sunday, August 30th from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. weather permitting. The re-opening plan was crafted with input from many, including guidance from the Governor’s office and recommendations from the CDC. There will be a maximum capacity limit on the number of people who will be admitted daily. On July 6, the township's day camps will open on a limited basis. For more information about the Randolph Lake and camps, please consult the township website.
Outdoor gatherings can now include up to 100 people with social distancing precautions in place. In anticipation of that limit being raised to 500 in July, Randolph High School has scheduled an in-person graduation for senior students on July 8. No guests will be permitted, but this approach was favored by the students and their parents to allow the entire class to be together to celebrate. This graduating class has missed many special events in the last few months, so it’s great that they can hold the in-person graduation.