WHEREAS, Coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) is a contagious, and at times fatal, respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary declared a public health emergency of the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of the State of New Jersey declared a Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency in the State of New Jersey via Executive Order No. 103; and
WHEREAS, the Executive Order No. 103 of the Governor directs the activation of County and Municipal emergency operation plans, in order to fully and adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the State of New Jersey from any actual or potential threat or danger that may exist from the possible exposure to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, as of March 12, 2020 there were 29 presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey and 5 cases in Monmouth County, and the spread of COVID-19 will be exponential without effective containment; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the powers vested in me by Chapter 251 of the laws of 1942, as amended and supplemented, N.J.S.A. App. A:9-30 et seq.; N.J.S.A. 40:48-1(6); Section 2-9 of the Borough’s Ordinances, whichever law or laws apply, in consultation with the Borough’s Chief of Police, I DO DECLARE and PROCLAIM that a state of emergency exists within the Borough of Belmar and I hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:
1. All Borough Departments and agencies shall provide all necessary assistance to Federal, State and Local authorities to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of the Borough during this COVID-19 outbreak, and shall prioritize the most vulnerable Borough residents and develop the appropriate contingency plans to avoid any disruption of services and shall take all reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of our vulnerable and at-risk populations.
2. All Borough employees shall follow all local, County, State and Federal health recommendations, in addition to Centers for Disease Control recommendations including but not limited to handwashing, sanitizing, and basic infection control procedures.
3. I have directed all Department and Agency Heads to develop a continuity of government plan in order to ensure that essential government functions remain uninterrupted.
4. I have directed the Office of Emergency Management to request additional supplies and Personal Protective Equipment for emergency responders in order to ensure our essential personnel are protected and can continue to provide these critical public safety services.
5. I have redirected the Police Department to prioritize their response strategy to critical medical emergencies in order to protect members from unnecessary exposure and conserve protective equipment.
6. We will be suspending non-essential Borough sponsored events, assemblies, and meetings throughout the Borough until further notice.
7. All municipal permits for special events are hereby cancelled and invalidated during this state of emergency.
8. To combat COVID-19, the Borough shall be permitted whenever necessary to procure the necessary goods or services, which are not available under contracts currently in existence with the Borough, without complying with the NJ Local Public Contracts Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:11-6 seq) including but not limited to the following:
a. To award emergency contracts, including but not limited to emergency contracts or leases for relocation support of Borough operations for professional services for purchases of commodities, services and technology.
b. To purchase food supplies, services and equipment
c. To procure any supplies or equipment required to ensure adequate sanitization, cleaning or sterilization of any facility or location.
Moving forward, the Borough will be providing timely updates to the public as additional information becomes available via www.belmar.com and social media outlets. All affected municipal functions and closures are currently posted on the website. I also encourage all residents and local business owners to register with our Code Red system for the latest information. These proactive steps serve to protect essential functions of municipal government and reduce both the potential of immediate virus spread as well as the associated inundation on our local healthcare system.
This order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect for thirty (30) days or until such time as the Declaration is rescinded.
Mayor Mark Walsifer