The County of Cape May’s continuing efforts to pursue a safe opening of the County consistent with the Governor’s directives and advice from health care professionals is in a very active phase.
The Cape May County-Wide Recovery Initiative is very pleased with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s prompt response to the recently submitted Proposal for the Safe, Smart and Progressive Reopening of Cape May County.
The Recovery Initiative, led by Cape May County Freeholder Vice-Director Len Desiderio and Freeholder Will Morey, with the support of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the active engagement of the Mayors of all sixteen Cape May County Municipalities as well as volunteers from the business community and health care sector, submitted the proposal to the Governor through his Chief of Staff on the morning of May 5, 2020. The Governor’s Office responded almost immediately, and a conference call was conducted that same evening with the Governor’s Chief of Staff, his administrative team, and the Freeholder Board. A follow-up conference call is scheduled for this Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
“We are very appreciative of the Governor’s immediate response. The spirit of the call was collaborative in nature and there was a clear indication that a common goal was shared between the State and the County”, said Freeholder Will Morey. “The Governor’s staff is looking closely at our proposal and the dates suggested. We are pursuing a plan including dates that are mutually agreeable for the continuation of safe openings in stages that provide our local governments and businesses time to adequately prepare.”
The proposal submitted to the Governor recommends opening beaches, boardwalks and other public facilities for active recreation now with a gradual progression to fuller use with mitigation protocols on June 1, 2020. Similarly, rentals shorter than thirty days are to commence in most municipalities on June 1st date. The proposal also recommends that outdoor dining and bar service be allowed to begin on May 26, 2020, along with curb-side pick-up retail sales on May 11. Indoor dining and retail would be open with social distancing and other protocols on June 1, 2020.
Just as nonessential retail and restaurant take-out has been subject to mitigation protocols such as masks and social distancing, every sector of business and government is expected to put in place such protocols before reopening can begin. Business owners and other interested parties are urged to visit https://capemaycountynj.gov/1420/Recovery-Task-Force-FAQs to view the proposal, FAQ’s and, most importantly, sample mitigation protocols for businesses and others to implement.
“We want everyone to understand that our submission is a proposal, not yet the plan,” said Freeholder Vice-Director Len Desiderio. “We all would like to be able to simply handle things the way we always have, but we have to accept that things are going to be different. Every business, church, government building and public and private facility will need to use and follow strict virus mitigation protocols. The Recovery Initiative has done a lot of hard work and sample protocols are available for many sectors. We urge everyone to begin to learn the protocols, educate your staff, secure supplies of masks and other personal protective equipment and be ready to move toward reopening when the Governor enables us to do so.”
“Mitigation protocols will be critically important, not only for the protection of staff and customers, but also for the viability of our businesses,” Freeholder Morey said. “Customers will expect businesses to take responsible measures to ensure their safety and businesses must not let their guard down when it comes to providing a safe environment. We recommend that business get underway in preparing for the implementation of these all-important safety measures and industry specific protocols.”