Message from the Mayor, June 5, 2020

As Township trends improve,
outdoor dining to start June 15

Chatham Township this week reported just six new cases and no deaths due to the coronavirus, as Health Officer Michael Fitzpatrick said trends locally and across the state continue to head in the right direction.

But the good news locally came against a more somber backdrop nationally and internationally, as the number of deaths due to Covid-19 in the U.S. passed 100,000 and the number of new infections globally climbed at the fastest pace ever.

The latest numbers bring the Township's tally to 143 positive test results, while the number of deaths remains at 30, which is unchanged for ten days since May 26. The message continues to be that common sense measures like wearing masks and maintaining safe social distance are effective and must be maintained.

New Jersey is attempting to find a cautious balance in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Phil Murphy on Thursday night extended the state of emergency by another 30 days after announcing earlier in the week that Stage 2 of the state's multi-phase re-opening plan will commence on June 15.

Stage 2 will begin by allowing outdoor dining effective June 15, and our Township Committee is working with management at Hickory Square and The Chatham Mall to make adequate outdoor space available for our local food establishments.

Stage 2 also will allow nonessential retail stores to welcome customers inside at reduced capacities . Hair salons and barber shops are expected to follow on June 22. Libraries and gyms are also listed to reopen during this stage, although no dates have been announced.

The Governor reportedly said he hopes to allow larger indoor gatherings, including religious services, by the weekend of June 12. However no details have been announced.

We are still advised to wash hands frequently, cover our coughs and avoid unnecessary trips. The numbers here in Chatham Township show we are doing our part to control the spread of Covid-19. Don't let down our guard.

Be careful, use good judgment and stay safe.

Michael Kelly
Mayor, Chatham Township