MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Mayor Frank McGehee's latest coronavirus update included the news of another resident succumbing to COVID-19. 

"It saddens me to share that our community has lost another member," McGehee wrote. "She was 59. Please keep the family and the 23 other families who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in your prayers."

The Maplewood Public Health Division numbers for the period of May 16 through 21 he shared stand at:

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Total Cases: 279 (+6)

Probable Cases: 4 (+2)

Total Deaths: 24 (+1) 

Total recovered cases: 181 (+11)

NJ Statewide confirmed cases: 151,472 

Essex County confirmed cases: 16,906 (3rd highest county in NJ)

Essex County confirmed deaths: 1,576 (+66) (the highest county in NJ)

McGehee reminded the community that the Maplewood COVID-19 website is https://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/covid19 and for COVID-19 questions, call 2-1-1 or the Public Health Division at (973) 762-8120. "We are healthier together by staying apart," he said. 

He announced that Township Committee decided there will be no Fourth of July gatherings or fireworks, to avoid people crowding outdoors. “Because public safety is our number one priority, we are canceling this year’s Fourth of July celebration," he said.

However, for the summer, "We are working to have a truncated pool season starting in early July but our summer swim team and diving team will be canceled," McGehee said. "If we are allowed to open, all pools will be accessible, and we will leverage a phased capacity approach coupled with a daily time slot program. Sign ups will occur primarily online with an offline component available if needed. We are monitoring the Governor's office and will follow his directive."

For Kids Camp, he said, "We will have a limited season and smaller version (a maximum of 50 children per week) of Kids camp, art camp and tennis camp with a lot of outside activities. Campers will be broken into small groups of 10, no field trips and no pool time. We have created a robust communication program for parents/guardian and a lot of training for our staff."

To support local businesses, the Township passed 15 resolutions during the meeting, including:

  • Expanded Outdoor Dining (outdoor cafe) for food establishments
  • Sidewalk sales and services for retail establishments 
  • Establishment of 15-minute curbside parking zones 
  • Signage to indicate that a business is open
  • Street Closures to accommodate more pedestrian space for dining and retail
  • Parklets - taking parking spaces immediately in front of retail establishments for dining
  • ABC (Alcohol) rules related to BYOB and patio dining

The Maplewood Library is also looking forward to welcoming back the public. It is "exploring a phased approach to reopen our facilities and reintroduce the public to our physical spaces, materials, and building-bound services with new health and safety protocols in place. Each phase includes proposed timelines; restrictions and extensions on services, hours, and places," he said, promising more information as it becomes available.

For residents utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), participants "will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online starting next week on May 28th.  Online shopping will be available through Amazon and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers. Visit njhelps.org to learn more and apply for food assistance and other benefits," he noted.

McGehee also noted the South Mountain YMCA’s Annual Duck Race "is going virtual this Monday at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day via South Mountain Y Facebook,Metro You TubeorSouth Mountain’s Instagram to cheer, waddle at home, and celebrate this race."

This year 25 percent of duck proceeds will go toward supporting local businesses in Maplewood and South Orange that have supported the Duck Race with sponsorships and race prizes for over 20 years, he noted. To purchase ducks go to:https://www.metroymcas.org/south-mountain-ymca/duck-race/

 

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