New Jersey COVID-19 Childcare Guidelines Released; Guideline Grants Offered

New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) released specific COVID-19 operating guidance for child daycare centers on May 30.

The steps come a day after New Jersey Human Services announced the availability of up to $20 million in grants to assist child care centers and youth camps in meeting health and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19.

“This is an important step forward in New Jersey’s reopening strategy, ensuring a safe, stable and seamless childcare infrastructure for New Jersey’s returning workforce, not just those designated as essential,” said NJ DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer in a press release. “But in order to be able to take this step safely, we have to move forward in a planful and methodical way to support centers and camps in reducing the likelihood of spreading the virus.”

Screenings, Cohorting

The childcare safety guidelines will be communicated to all licensed childcare centers in the state. Among the safe guidelines childcare centers just abide by as a condition of reopening include:

  • Centers will be required to screen children and staff each day, prior to entry into the center. Anyone exhibiting symptoms or with a fever over 100.4 will be prohibited from entering the center;
  • Class and group sizes will be limited, and groups must be spaced out throughout the center. Staff members will not be able to move between groups;
  • Staff will be required to wear cloth masks, and children over the age of 2 will be encouraged, whenever feasible, to wear masks. Masks will not be required when they would inhibit an individual’s health; and 
  • Childcare centers will be required to engage in enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices.

Prior to reopening, licensed childcare centers will be required to file an attestation form with the DCF’s Office of Licensing, indicating they will follow the prescribed safety guidelines.

Office of Licensing inspectors will begin to visit licensed childcare centers beginning June 15 in order to support centers in implementing safety guidance.

Grants Offered

In an effort to help childcare centers meet these new guidelines, centers can receive grants of up to $5,000, while youth camps can receive up to $2,000. 

The money can be used to purchase additional cleaning products, personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and thermometers, and other products and services to assist centers in complying with appropriate guidelines.

“The health and safety of the children served in child care settings and the dedicated staff who nurture and support them is paramount,” said New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. 

Daily Data

As of May 31, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 160,445 with 868 new cases and 66 new deaths, bringing that total to 11,698. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,664, followed by Bergen with 1,579, Hudson at 1,183, Passaic at 928, Morris at 615, Sussex at 149 and Warren with 131. 

State Testing 

Officials reported 2,469 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus while 237 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,238 patients hospitalized, the central 676 and the south 500.

Of those hospitalized, 522 are in intensive care units and 378 on ventilators. There are currently 21 patients in field hospitals, with 469 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,419 followed by Bergen at 18,272, Essex at 17,629, Passaic at 16,170, Middlesex at 15,921, Union at 15,821, Ocean at 8,748, Monmouth at 8,219, Mercer at 6,933, Camden at 6,510, Morris at 6,463, Burlington at 4,627, Somerset at 4,583, Cumberland at 2,298, Gloucester at 2,234, Atlantic at 2,214, Warren at 1,160, Sussex at 1,110, Hunterdon at 993, Salem at 634 and Cape May at 617.

Another 84 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 544 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 32,869 of the cases, broken down between 22,211 residents and 10,658 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, which was 4,935 on May 31. The facilities are reporting to the state of 5,892 residents deaths and 106 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3123 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1553 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 907  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities*
  • 10  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities*

Essex County 

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2028 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 953 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 553  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County 

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1356 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 632 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 456  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County 

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1149 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 669 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 352  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 13  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 959 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 480 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 210  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 7  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 401 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 121 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 109  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County 

  • 6  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 248 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 120 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 106  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

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