Glen Ridge and rest of state begin to reopen

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Nearly three months into the lockdown that closed nonessential businesses and prompted stay-at-home orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey towns are looking toward the future and slowly reopening the economy. As of May 31, Glen Ridge has 36 confirmed cases and eight deaths, according to the borough’s Facebook page.

Glen Ridge also shared information about Essex County’s virus testing, which is being expanded to include both residents showing symptoms and those who are not. Residents who are aged 13 or older can be tested, as can residents who were tested more than 14 days ago or who previously received negative test results.

The main testing site is located in Newark at Weequahic Park, but satellite sites are opening as well. There will be testing on June 4 at the Maplewood Community Pool, and on June 9 at the Nutley Recreation building. To make an appointment, go to www.essexcovid.org or call 973-324-9950.

The state restart and recovery plan will enter Stage Two on June 15, according to an announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy on June 1.

“As we move through Stage One of our strategic restart and recovery process, public health data continues to demonstrate our collective success in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” Murphy said. “It is with these favorable metrics, coupled with expanded testing capacity and contact tracing, that we can responsibly enter Stage Two of our multistage approach to recovery. Our economic restart must instill confidence among our residents and visitors that their safety, and that of their families, is our No. 1 priority. I encourage all New Jerseyans to continue their vigilance in keeping themselves and their communities safe by social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently and limiting gatherings.”

Included in Stage Two is outdoor dining, limited in-person retail, limited fitness and gyms, museums and libraries, and limited in-person government service, such as the Motor Vehicle Commission. Hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to open on June 22, and on July 6 youth summer programs will be permitted to begin.

A June 1 press release from the state stated that all workers who can work from home should continue to do so.

“New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care and ventilator use; substantial increase in testing and contact-tracing capacity; sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment and workforce; widespread safeguarding of workplaces; widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools and mass transit; and continued public compliance,” the statement read.

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