OCHD can assist businesses and groups with the appropriate protocols
Summer camps, hair salons, pools, child-care centers and youth sports are just a few of the businesses and organizations that will start to re-open in the coming days and weeks as New Jersey begins phase two of Governor Murphy’s re-start and recovery plan. Each business has their own unique outdoor operation challenges but all must follow appropriate mitigation requirements and guidelines.
“The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) is getting plenty of calls from business owners and managers seeking guidance in regards to specific requirements mandated for their business or group,” said Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. “Everyone wants to comply but it may be a little overwhelming at first because it’s all so new and some are a combination of scenarios.”
Ocean County Freeholder and liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, Gerry P. Little, is pleased that many businesses will be reopening with outdoor amenities and expects everyone to adhere to the appropriate mitigation requirements to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. “The Ocean County Health Department can offer any business owner, manager or group leader with how to find the guidelines they’ll need to reopen and assist with any issues or concerns they may have getting up and started. We’re here to help; whether it’s assistance for long term care facilities during phase one to businesses in phase two and all the way until we find a vaccine and beyond.”
So where can owners and managers go for guidance? The Ocean County Health Department has a variety of resources that can help people find the information they need. The OCHD website at www.ochd.org has links to New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 Business Information Hub. It’s a comprehensive site that covers guidance documents, reopening timelines, checklists, and information on specific social distancing measures for different activities and operations. The OCHD website also offers links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for risk assessments, guiding principles, reducing spread and maintaining healthy environments. If you can’t find what you need there, try emailing us at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org and the OCHD staff will do their best to get the information requested.
“Remember these protocols are in place for the safety and protection of everyone – not just employees and customers – but also the people they eventually will come in contact with,” Regenye added. “If everyone follows these guidelines we hope that we’ll continue to see a decrease in cases and limit any new spike down the road.”
Residents are also encouraged to access this information so they can educate themselves when visiting these establishments or what to expect if their children are enrolled in camps, youth leagues and day care centers or other summer outdoor activities.
Regenye went on to explain that with all these moving parts there will be some bumps along the way. “Once again, the public health community is still writing the so-called “handbook” for COVID-19 and as we learn more we’ll offer more appropriate guidance as we move into the different phases of the epidemic. But right now we just want people to continue to do the right thing and establish and maintain the protocols put in place to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We still encourage people to call the OCHD COVID-19 Information Hotline if they have questions or need guidance. We’ve fielded close to 6,000 calls since March 9 and will continue the service as we progress forward.”
For more information regarding COVID-19 phase two guidelines please visit the OCHD website at www.ochd.org. The NJDOH guidance information page for reopening protocols can be found at https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/reopen.
The OCHD COVID-19 Information Call Hot Line for residents and clinicians with general questions is 732-341-9700 ext. 7411. The NJDOH (NJPIES) hotline is also available for questions around the clock at 1-800-222-1222 or by dialing 2-1-1. Other related sources; for medical COVID-19 questions call 1-800-962-1253 (24/7) or Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts.
Additional information can be found at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at