COVID-19 Updates

To keep the public informed, the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders are providing regular updates in government services and pertinent links regarding COVID-19. The Coronavirus is a serious illness that spreads from person to person. Cape May County official are working closely with the State and Federal Government to provide the latest information to help mitigate the spread of this virus.

Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton and Freeholder Jeffrey L. Pierson, who oversees the Cape May County Department of Health want to assure everyone that the County is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in Cape May County and throughout the region. Their foremost goal is to protect the well-being of our employees and families as well as our residents and visitors and continue to provide essential services to our County.

County government will continue to operate, and all government functions will be offered with some adjustments including limited hours of operation and reduced services. Communications remain open and the public is encouraged to call or email for needed services or information.

We are all working together to keep you informed and safe.

Gerald M. Thornton, Freeholder Director
Jeffrey L. Pierson, Freeholder, liaison, Health and Human Services.



The Board of Chosen Freeholders has passed a resolution regarding COVID-19, click here to view the resolution.



COVID-19 Cases Continue to Increase, Officials Urge Residents to Please Stay Home

3/30/20- Cape May County continues to see a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. New Jersey currently has 16,636 cases, and 198 deaths. Today, a 35-year-old male, 93-year-old female, 68-year-old female, 56-year-old female and a 63-year-old male were reported positive for Covid-19 and 5 individuals have fully recovered in Cape May County. 

MUNICIPALITY

TOTAL CASES

RECOVERED

 

 

 

AVALON

0

1

CAPE MAY CITY

3

 

CAPE MAY POINT

0

 

DENNIS TOWNSHIP

0

 

LOWER TOWNSHIP

4

1

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP

2

1

NORTH WILDWOOD

1

 

OCEAN CITY

0

1

SEA ISLE CITY

1

 

STONE HARBOR

0

 

UPPER TOWNSHIP

0

1

WEST CAPE MAY

0

 

WEST WILDWOOD

0

 

WILDWOOD 

2

 

WILDWOOD CREST

1

 

WOODBINE

0

 

 

 

 

TOTAL ACTIVE

14

 

 

 

 

TOTAL RECOVERED

 

5

 

 

 

TOTAL CASES IN CAPE MAY COUNTY

19

 

*** Cape May County’s cases may not match the NJ State’s list due to non-residency

 “There is no treatment at this time for COVID-19, which makes prevention even more important. The best way to prevent COVID-19 is by avoiding being exposed, which is why we are urging everyone to practice social distancing. We are doing our part in trying to flatten the curve, but we need our residents to take action and do their part as well, this is a team effort,” said Kevin Thomas, Health Officer. 

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to person. COVID-19 can spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possible be inhaled into the lungs. It can spread between people who are in close contact with one another, within about 6 feet. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Since COVID-19 spreads easily from person-to-person it is important to do the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Stay home, unless you need to leave to get essential supplies. 

Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolves. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System hotline at 211 or 1-800-962-1253, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, the World Health Organization at www.who.int, the New Jersey Department of Health at COVID19.nj.gov. For additional information visit Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net, also like us on Facebook.

For Additional Information:

Contact: Natalie Sendler 

Email: natalie.sendler@co.cape-may.nj.us

Phone:609-465-1201


MAYORS OF CAPE MAY COUNTY SPEAK UP TO REDUCE NON-ESSENTIAL VISITATION

3/30/20—The Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders is supporting a unanimous position from the 16 municipalities in Cape May County agreed upon on Monday, March 30th.  The position taken by the mayors is strongly discouraging short-term rentals of properties in the County for the duration of Governor Phil Murphy’s executive orders, and strongly discourages non-essential visitation to their communities by visitors and property owners during the length of the pandemic.  This policy was agreed upon during a conference call involving elected and appointed officials earlier today.

“County leadership applauds our municipal leaders for taking a proactive approach as we all work together to slow the spread of Covid-19”, said Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton.  “We are very supportive of this practical and reasonable approach to coping with pandemic and urge everyone to follow the directives coming from the Office of the Governor and health officials.”

The unanimous position from the 16 County municipalities that includes the two specific requests reads as follows:

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the safety and welfare of citizens of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and Connecticut.  As an effort to protect our citizens, first responders, and others who are working collectively to provide essential services to us, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has issued a series of executive orders that have the force and effect of law.  These orders, in part, identify essential service and place travel restrictions in New Jersey.

As a result of this pandemic and in an abundance of caution and concern for everyone’s safety and well-being, the mayors of the 16 municipalities in Cape May County…from Ocean City to Cape May Point…are unified with two specific requests.  First, we are strongly urging the elimination of all short-term rentals for the duration of the Governor’s executive orders, which continue indefinitely until rescinded.  This appeal is made to all realtors, online rental platforms, and individuals.  Hotels and motels are considered to be essential services and we ask that they rent only to individuals who are performing essential functions per the Governor’s executive orders, not to traditional tourists.

Our second ask is for you to remain at your primary residence and adhere to social distancing practices.  Coastal mayors have been forced to make difficult and unpopular decisions including closing playgrounds and outdoor recreational facilities; some towns have been forced to close beaches and boardwalks, and others may follow suit, simply because social distancing guidance has been ignored.  We recognize that individuals love to visit the coastal region, and want to visit their second homes for a change of scenery.  That travel is contrary to the executive orders enacted by the Governor, and contrary to the guidance from health officials to stay at home as much as possible.  Elected officials from every community may be forced to enact further restrictions if this appeal is not followed.

We understand these are unconventional requests by elected officials who every day appreciate the visitation and investment in our communities.  However, we stand together in support of this position to protect you and your families so we can all enjoy good health when this crisis has passed.

Thank you from the mayors and elected officials from Cape May, Cape May Point, West Cape May, Lower Township, Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, North Wildwood, West Wildwood, Middle Township, Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City, Dennis Township, Woodbine, Upper Township, and Ocean City.



Cape May County Bridge Commission Implements Cashless Tolling

The Cape May County Bridge Commission announced today they will implement cashless tolling at all Ocean Drive Bridges as of 6:00 a.m., Thursday, March 26, 2020.  This will remain in effect until further notice, as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. 

 The Ocean Drive Bridges include the  Middle Thorofare, between Cape May and Wildwood Crest; Grassy Sound  Bridge, between North Wildwood and Stone Harbor; Townsend’s Inlet Bridget, between Avalon and Sea Isle City; Corson’s Inlet Bridge, between Strathmere and Ocean City; and, Ocean City - Longport Bridge, between the northern end of Ocean City and Longport. 

Vehicles with E-ZPass will continue to be charged and the process will not change. The equipment in the lane will read your E-ZPass tag, and the cost of the toll will be deducted from the balance in your account, as usual.

Vehicles without E-ZPass can drive through the toll plaza and equipment installed in the lane will capture a photograph of the license plate and an invoice for the cost of the toll will be mailed to the registered owner.  The rate billed will be the regular cash toll rate; no additional administrative fees will be charged if invoice is paid within 30 days.

Motorists are reminded to continue through the lane without stopping while obeying the 5 m.p.h. posted speed limit.

Cash customers who do not want to be billed can open an E-ZPass account by calling the New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 888-AUTO-TOLL (888-288-6865) or by visiting www.ezpassnj.com

  


CAPE MAY COUNTY GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES MORE CLOSINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE PUBLIC

The Cape May County Freeholder Board had a Special Meeting on Sunday to discuss what to do within the County regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some new changes include the Cape May County Park and Zoo and all the Cape May County Libraries Branches are closed to the public beginning on March 17. Also, Fare Free Transportation will only provide medical trips for dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and infusion therapy (life-saving treatments). They will also provide in-county shopping. The only out of county trips will be for Northfield Dialysis. All non-essential trips have been cancelled i.e. hair appointments, library, visitation, etc. This service reduction will go into effect Tuesday March 17 and remain until further notice. The Cape May County Freeholder Board also supports the decision by Governor Phil Murphy to restrict bars and restaurants to take out and delivery services only during daytime hours.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders along with Cape May County Health Officer, Kevin Thomas highly recommend that all businesses limit employee and public interaction by restricting the number of customers to no more than 10 at a time. Social distancing measures will help minimize the potential spread of Covid-19 in our community.

Cape May County Government business will also be doing its part to limit social interaction by continuing to restrict travel for County employees, limiting interaction with the public for employees when it’s possible by pushing for teleconferences or online communications.

“All of the decisions made by the Freeholder Board are made with the ultimate safety of our residents at heart,” said Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson, liaison to Health and Human Services. “The County wants to take the lead role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and to protect those who are most vulnerable in our County.”

The Governor has recommended a curfew statewide from 8 P.M. to 5 A.M. All County employees are considered essential personnel and should be allowed to travel during those times if it is for work purposes.

The Freeholder Board also recommends Centers for Disease Control Guidelines for cleaning at businesses that remain open. It is recommended and requested that all businesses implement and strictly adhere to the CDC Guidelines for stringent workplace sanitizing and disinfecting, “social distancing” and, to every extent possible, limit public interactions within confined spaces.

“Cape May County has a significant elderly population and those individuals are at high risk,” said Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton. “We have to do everything possible to limit the spread of the virus to ensure their safety. We are also taking these actions to protect our employees and the public through this event.”

List of cancellations and interruption of government services:

  • Crest Haven Nursing home has restricted all visitors from entering their facility.
  • A travel ban for employees going outside of the county has been enacted, effective 3/10.
  • All public events scheduled in which the public would be attending are suspended, effective March 16.
  • County employees are restricted from attending meetings with the public.
  • The Cape May County Parks & Zoo is closed until further notice.
  • All Cape May County Senior Centers are closed until further notice, effective March 16.
  • All Election Board Polling Classes have been canceled until further notice.
  • Cape May County Heath Care Resource Day scheduled on April 4 has been canceled.
  • The Cape May County Library branches are closed, and all events are canceled until further notice.
  • Reporting requirements have been suspended for all participants in the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP) through March 31, 2020.
  • All US Coast Guard recruits confined to base and no graduation ceremony
  • The Surrogates Office will be closed to the public. It will remain open and fully staffed with completion of necessary services over the telephone, Internet, and regular mail.



The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread


  1. Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
  1. If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
  1. If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
  1. If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
  1. If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
  1. If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
  1. Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus:
    1. Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
    2. If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
    3. Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
    4. Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
    5. Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
    6. Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  1. Practice good hygiene:
    1. Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
    2. Avoid touching your face.
    3. Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
    4. Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.


* School operations can accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. Governors of states with evidence of community transmission should close schools in affected and surrounding areas. Governors should close schools in communities that are near areas of community transmission, even if those areas are in neighboring states. In addition, state and local officials should close schools where coronavirus has been identified in the population associated with the school. States and localities that close schools need to address childcare needs of critical responders, as well as the nutritional needs of children.

** Older people are particularly at risk from the coronavirus. All states should follow Federal guidance and halt social visits to nursing homes and retirement and long-term care facilities.

*** In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.


The Cape May County Department of Health’s COVID-19 Informational Brochure can be viewed here.


For general questions about COVID-19, call the NJ COVID-19 & Poison Center Public Hotline at 1-800-962-1253 or 1-800-222-1222.

This page was updated on 3/25/20.