ATLANTIC CITY — Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the closure of the city’s nine casinos, effective Monday night, as New Jersey continues to grapple with how best to minimize the spread of the new coronavirus.
Murphy said Atlantic City’s casinos will stay closed “until such time as it is deemed safe for their reopening,” but online gaming will continue to operate.
“It is no longer time for business as usual,” Murphy said Monday afternoon. “This is real. Stop believing folks who say this isn’t real.”
As of Monday, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Atlantic or Cape May counties, according to state officials. There are now 178 total confirmed cases, including three deaths, in New Jersey.
Source: State of New Jersey Department of Health
“The closure of our properties is a prudent decision to ensure the safety of our employees, guests and broader communities,” said Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and senior vice president of Eastern Regional Operations for Tropicana Atlantic City’s parent company Eldorado Resorts. “During this challenging time, we must all take the necessary measures to help prevent the spread of this virus. We look forward to reopening all of our casino resorts and welcoming back guests and employees as soon as it is considered safe.”
Mayor Marty Small Sr. said the entire city understands the potential impact the closure of the casinos could have on the community and greater Atlantic City region. The casinos have reported 21 consecutive months of total gaming revenue increases, dating to June 2018. Last month, revenue from table games and slot machines from the nine casinos was $218.3 million. Online gaming added nearly $52 million in revenue in February.
“We understand that the casinos are the economic engine, have always been,” he said Monday. “However, no one is exempt. This is a national pandemic. ... I think Atlantic City residents’ and visitors’ safety is paramount.”
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City announced plans to offer financial compensation and health benefit extensions during the indefinite closure.
As of March 1, there are 26,450 Atlantic City casino employees, according to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“The reality is that for front-line, hourly workers in the hospitality industry this situation threatens not only their health, but their livelihood as well,” said Bob McDevitt, president of UNITE HERE Local 54, the labor union that represents more than 10,000 workers in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. “We call on both the casino/hospitality employers and New Jersey state officials to do everything in their power to ensure that a short-term health crisis does not lead to a longer-term economic crisis for working people.”
The state Legislature is working on passing a package of bills designed to protect workers who will be affected by mandatory closures of businesses throughout New Jersey.
Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, both D-Atlantic, issued a joint statement Monday after Murphy’s announcement.
“We know it is in the best of interest of public health to exercise an abundance of caution during this pandemic,” the statement read. “The health and safety of casino workers and patrons are our utmost priority. Today, the Assembly will pass strong legislation intended to support families, workers and the business community during these challenging times. We will continue to work to find comprehensive solutions to help our state get through this crisis and emerge stronger.”
The well-being of employees affected by the statewide closure has bipartisan support.
“As someone who fought hard to keep our casinos open, I know nearly 30,000 employees rely on their casino job to support their families and save for their retirement, which they can only do if they and our visitors remain healthy and safe,” said state Sen. Chris Brown, R-Atlantic. “I will continue working with Gov. Murphy, my legislative colleagues, the casino industry and the casino employees to ensure our working families stay well and can make ends meet until the casinos and other businesses reopen.”
The news of Murphy’s forced closure caught some casino workers and patrons off guard Monday, while others had been expecting the announcement.
Paul Robbins, 40, of Atlantic City, works as a shipping receiver at Hard Rock and said the closure would be tough financially, particularly since there is no timetable for a reopening. Between paying for child support and classes at Atlantic Cape Community College, he said, the loss of income will be difficult.
“It’s gonna be hard, real hard,” he said. “This coronavirus is going to have a huge effect on everybody, financially, socially.”
Ebony Mosley, 27, of Newark, was walking out of the Tropicana on Monday after celebrating her birthday there when she found out about the casino’s impending closure.
She didn’t feel rushed to get out of the city, she said.
“I don’t think the panic should be as much as it is,” she said. “But fear is really big.”
A group of four friends was leaving Caesars to head onto the Boardwalk and said that staff hadn’t told them about the shutdown.
“I guess we’re going home tonight,” said Pam Thoman, 32, of Bronx, New York, after mentioning the group would have to change their dinner reservations. “We’ve been monitoring everything back home, but we had no idea they closed anything with the casinos.”
The group was supposed to be staying at the casino until Tuesday to celebrate a birthday with friends.
Since casino gaming was first made available in 1978, Atlantic City’s gambling parlors have been forced to close five times, including Monday. Three times were for hurricanes (Gloria in 1985, Irene in 2011, Sandy in 2012) and once because of a state government shutdown in 2006.
On Sunday, Borgata sent out an internal memo informing employees that three table game dealers had displayed symptoms associated with COVID-19, but had not yet tested positive for the disease.
“This is an unprecedented public health crisis and we must all do our part for the public good and for the good of our employees and communities,” said Bill Hornbuckle, chief operating officer and president of Borgata’s parent company, MGM Resorts. “We will work hard to mitigate the impacts and will reopen as soon as it is appropriate and safe to do so.”
Staff writer Molly Bilinski contributed to this report.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated with the correct total of number of Atlantic City casino employees, as of March 1, 2020.
Atlantic City Boardwalk Committee meetings canceled
All meetings of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Committee are canceled until further notice due to the pandemic, organizers said Friday.
26th Annual Women's Forum canceled
The forum has been canceled. The next one will be held June 10, 2021, featuring speaker Carla Hall.
Rock 'N' Roll AC Half Marathon cancelled
The 2020 Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon set to take place on May 15-16 has been cancelled due to a Mandate from the Ventnor Office of Emergency Management.
All participants will receive an email in the coming days with more details.
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County Office
Rutgers Cooperative Extension & the County of Cape May remain open, however, The RCE of Cape May County Office, located at 355 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House, New Jersey is CLOSED to the public.
At this time, all Rutgers Cooperative Extension classes & activities are postponed through May 31st. This information may change and will be updated as additional information is available.
Bourre, 201 S. New York Ave., Atlantic City, is closed.
Steve & Cookie's By the Bay
Steve & Cookie's By the Bay, 9700 Amherst Ave., Margate, is closed.
Vagabond, is closed at its two locations
- 627 N Trenton, Atlantic City, is open for takeout beginning Thursday, March 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Delivery is available to Absecon Island. Orders should be called in in advance. Package goods available on site with proper ID.
- 3016 Ocean Heights Ave., EHT, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Orders should be called in in advance.
AARP Chapter 710 cancelled
Sea Isle City's AARP Chapter 710 has officially cancelled all meeting and gatherings until further notice.
"Once we are past the problems surrounding this pandemic, we will schedule future events and resume all of our usual activities," Chapter President Tom Ownings said. "For now, we must all do the right thing so we can enjoy happier days in the future."
Boxing Hall of Fame Induction
The fourth annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame induction, set to originally take place the weekend of June 26-28, has been postponed until the fall. The 2020 inductees will include Roy Jones and Riddick Bowe among others.
Atlantic County Sheriff postpones evictions, Sheriff Sales
Sheriff Eric Scheffler has announced that all Sheriff Sales and evictions are postponed until further notice. When sales resume, proper legal notice will be provided. Please contact his office at 909-7200 should have questions.
Elegance Dry Cleaners in EHT is closed
Elegance Dry Cleaners, 6825 Tilton Road, Egg Harbor Township, is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Greater Atlantic City Chamber Business Excellence Awards postponed
The Greater Atlantic City Chamber Business Excellence Awards, scheduled for April 29, has been postponed. No new date has been set.
East Coast Gaming Congress & NexGen Gaming Forum postponed
The 24th East Coast Gaming Congress & NexGen Gaming Forum has been postponed to October 26-27 and will be held at Harrah’s Casino Resort in Atlantic City
West Cape May municipal meetings canceled
The following meetings for the Borough of West Cape May have been cancelled:
- Environmental Commission Meeting April 1
- Planning/Zoning Board Meetings April 7 and April 21
- Shade Tree Commission Meeting April 7
- Historic Preservation Commission Meeting April 16
Brigantine offices closed
The city of Brigantine announced that its offices have been closed as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition warming shelters are closed
The Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition has decided to close their warming shelters early for the season, which typically runs through April, according to Rob Weinstein and Denise Arrigo of the M25 Initiative.
NJAC ends spring season
The New Jersey Athletic Conference canceled all conference and non-conference contests and league championships for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year on Wednesday, ending Stockton University's spring sports season.
Egg Harbor Township Municipal Building
Effective March 19, 2020, the Township of Egg Harbor Emergency Management Coordinator has declared a State of Local Disaster Emergency within the Township due to the rapidly evolving outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in order to protect the health and safety of our community. Effective immediately, Township buildings will be closed to the public.
The Township encourages businesses to be proactive and follow the guidelines of the CDC, which include social distancing, Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 104, and continual cleaning and sanitation of facilities.
To minimize exposure for employees and to ensure continuity of municipal services, all Township facilities will be closed to the public, effective immediately, including Town Hall, the Municipal Court, the Community Center and the Department of Public Works administrative offices.
Mayor Hodson stated “These actions are necessary to protect the public health and safety of our residents and employees. The Township is following the directives of the Center for Disease Controls and State of New Jersey in these matters”
Town Hall will continue to operate and be responsive to resident needs through phone and online communications. All essential services will continue to operate. Update, information and advisories on how our community is being affected will continue to be provided as they become available and posted to the Township’s website www.ehtgov.org.
One-Stop Career Center offices close statewide
All state One-Stop Career Center offices are closed. Workforce Development customers should visit nj.gov/labor. Customers needing to file for unemployment insurance or other benefits are urged to apply online at MyUnemployment.nj.gov, or MyLeaveBenefits.nj.gov. Operations are expected to reopen March 30, 2020.
Brigantine City Hall, public playgrounds, recreational fields closed
All Brigantine public playgrounds, recreational fields — football, baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis, etc. — are closed for the foreseeable future.
Brigantine City Hall is also closed to the public.
Flyers Skate Zone is closed
The Flyers Skate Zone has postponed all of their lessons, hockey and rink activities until March 31.
Somers Point Bayfest has been canceled
Somers Point Bayfest 2020 has been canceled based on federal and state recommendations.
Bayfest for next year has already been scheduled for April 24, 2021.
Wildwood Fishing & Boating Expo canceled
The Fishing & Boating Expo at the Wildwood Convention Center has been cancelled, according to event promoter Gerry Vessels.
South Jersey Gas closes customer service centers
South Jersey Gas temporarily closed its customer service centers in Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Glassboro, Millville and North Swainton. The centers will remain closed indefinitely.
Customers who pay their bills in-person at the centers are encouraged to pay online at Southjerseygas.com, call 1-888-766-9900 or mail a check or money order to South Jersey Gas PO Box 6091 Bellmawr, NJ 08099-6091.
Customers can also drop off payments, with a clearly noted account number, at three drop boxes in South Jersey. The drop boxes are located at:
-142 S. Main Street Glassboro, NJ 08028
-1211 N. 2nd Street Millville, NJ 08332
-1708 Rt. 9 North Swainton, NJ 08210
Cumberland Players cancel 'Harvey' production
The Cumberland Players has canceled it's production of "Harvey," originally scheduled for May 1 to 9.
As soon as the CDC's recommendation that no events larger than 50 people is removed, new dates will be posted on all the group's social media outlets, website and emailed to patrons. A representative will reach out to those who have purchased tickets in advance so that tickets can be moved to the new dates.
For any questions regarding these changes, email email@example.com.
Atlantic Cape establishes Covid-19 task force
Atlantic Cape Community College has established a coronavirus task force and moved classes online to better ensure the health and safety of the college community.
Faculty members are also being trained to use Blackboard, an online instruction forum, to deliver instruction remotely.
The community college is currently closed for spring break. Additional classes will be canceled from March 23 through March 29 to allow faculty time to transfer in-person classes to an online format.
Beginning March 30, all course instruction will be delivered remotely via Blackboard. At that time, students who want to utilize the computer lab and other support services such as advising or tutoring in the libraries at all three campuses can do so, according to Erin Mercer, social media and public relations manager of the college.
For additional precaution, college officials have reviewed its emergency operations plans and hired additional part-time housekeeping staff for cleaning and sanitation purposes.
Hamilton Township parks and playgrounds close
All Hamilton Township parks and playgrounds are closed until further notice.
Cumberland County Library closes
The Cumberland County Library closed Tuesday.
County-wide cancelations, closings in Cape May
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.
Escape at the Shore closes until further notice
Escape At The Shore in Northfield announced Monday that they are closing their doors with no reopening date.
Charlie's Bar in Somers Point closes its doors
Charlie's Bar in Somers Point closed its doors Tuesday for dine-in and take-out, according to a post on their Facebook page.
Lower Township municipal buildings close
Lower Township is open for business, but closed to the public, according to a news release from the township. Town hall has a drop box for any communications residents want to drop off, but the doors will be locked. Lower Township Municipal Court is closed. All group activities and programs at both the Recreation Center and Millman Center are also canceled until further notice. All outdoor recreation facilities will remain open for public use until further notice. The Public Works Department will continue normal operations.
Ocean City Tabernacle postpones events
The following events scheduled at the Ocean City Tabernacle have been postponed:
- The FCA Coaches’ Breakfast scheduled for Saturday, March 21
- The OC Women of Faith Conference scheduled for Saturday, March 21
- The OCYC Open Gym Night scheduled for Saturday, March 21
- The Living Last Supper scheduled for Friday & Saturday, April 9 & 10
- The Word of Life Reverb event scheduled for Friday, April 17
- The Sidewalk Prophets Concert scheduled for Tuesday, April 28
- The Atlantic Christian School Legacy Gala scheduled for Friday, May 1
Wildwood Crest to close all municipal buildings to public Wednesday
Wildwood Crest officials have ordered the closure of all municipal buildings to the public starting Wednesday, including borough hall, the Crest Pier Recreation Center, the Joseph Von Savage Memorial Pool, the Wildwood Crest Ambulance Corps building and Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Company No. 1.
Borough staff will be available via telephone and email during normal business hours.
The Wildwood Crest Mayor’s Wellness Walk and Wildwood Crest Beach Sweep, each scheduled for Saturday, April 25, and the Wildwood Crest Borough-Wide Yard Sale, scheduled for Saturday, May 2, have each been canceled until further notice.
Wildwood Crest will host another beach sweep event on Saturday, Oct 24.
For more information, contact Wildwood Crest Borough Hall at 609-522-5176.
Cumberland County Surrogate ceases in-person meetings
The Cumberland County Surrogate Court is ceasing all in-person meetings with the public until further notice, deferring to telephone, fax, mail and email communications.
Mail: 60 West Broad Street, Suite A-111, Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Sea Isle City municipal closings
The Sea Isle City Welcome Center, all Public Works Buildings, the Trash and Recycling Depot and all Public Bathrooms are closed to the public until further notice. The lobby of City Hall will remain open to the public.
- Sea Isle City’s free Rabies Clinic for Cats and Dogs on March 21 is cancelled.
- Sea Isle City’s 2020 Easter Program & Egg Hunt on April 1 is cancelled.
- The start date for the sale of Municipal Parking Permits is changed from April 1 to May 1. Parking permits will NOT be available prior to May 1.
- All civic meetings and recreation programs that normally take place at City facilities are postponed until further notice (with the exception of City Council meetings, which will follow their regular schedule).
- All municipal bills, fees and fines are still in effect. The public is encouraged to pay bills online or by mail whenever possible.
- All Cape May County Library branches (including the Sea Isle City branch) will be closed from March 17 through at least March 31.
Coronavirus keeps Eagle Theatre from producing next show
The Eagle Theatre in Hammonton will not be staging its next production, "Back to the Warning Track," when it was originally scheduled, which was April 24 to May 17.
The Centers for Disease Control's recommendation that no events larger than 50 people be held for the next two months would eliminate a large portion of the scheduled run of "Back to the Warning Track," which led to the theatre deciding not to produce the show ar this time.
The Eagle Theatre will be contacting ticketholders at a later date when it has a better understanding of what the future will look like, to let the public know what it plans to do about re-scheduling or producing "Back to the Warning Track."
Like its fellow performing arts organizations, the Eagle Theatre will be affected by lost ticket sales.
Even in the best of times, ticket sales cover about half of the Eagle Theatre's operating budget. The theatre depends on donations for the rest of the funds to operate the theatre.
The Eagle Theatre invites the public to consider a special contribution to help it mitigate the adverse impact on the theater family by supporting Eagle Theatre at this time.
Pleasantville municipal buildings closed to the public
Due to the current situation regarding regarding COVID-19, all municipal buildings will be closed to the public until further notice.
Employees are expected to report as scheduled to their work areas. Any employee unable to work due to personal issues stemming for the COVID-19 outbreak is urged to report same to their supervisor for accommodations.
Signs will be posted instructing the public in need of assistance to call 609-484-3600 to be directed to be specific department they need.
Some municipal buildings close in Cape May County
The municipal buildings of West Wildwood and Wildwood Crest will be closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Borough business may be conducted online, over the phone and through the mail, West Wildwood officials said.
Sewer and tax bills may be paid online at www.westwildwood.org and through a drop-box outside Borough Hall on Neptune Avenue.
In Wildwood Crest, all municipal buildings will be closed to the public effective Wednesday, March 18, and until further notice in response to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
This includes borough hall, the Crest Pier Recreation Center, the Joseph Von Savage Memorial Pool, the Wildwood Crest Ambulance Corps building and Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, officials said.
Borough staff will be available via telephone and email during normal business hours.
Most borough meetings scheduled from March 18 through the end of the month (subject to change) have been canceled. This includes the Tourism Development Commission and Recreation Commission meetings on March 18 and the Green Team meeting on March 24.
The Wildwood Crest Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, at 5:30 p.m. at Wildwood Crest Borough Hall, will be held as planned. Individuals from the public may attend the meeting at their own discretion. The borough plans to provide a live video stream of the meeting on its official Facebook page.
The Recycling Center at the Wildwood Crest Department of Public Works will remain open to the public for the drop-off of trash and recyclables during the center’s normal winter hours (7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday; 3-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).
Those needing to make tax and/or sewer payments should do so online through the wildwoodcrest.org website or by using the drop box outside of borough hall.
Those interested in picking up permits or wishing to drop off applications should call or email the specific department that handles such issues or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those with business with the municipal court should call 609-729-3818 for updated information. Parking tickets can be paid online at njmcdirect.com.
Open registration for beach storage box rentals will be held as scheduled beginning Monday, March 23, at 9 a.m. All registration will be taken online through the borough website at wildwoodcrest.org.
For further information, contact Wildwood Crest Borough Hall at (609) 522-5176.
Cape May County Park and Zoo closes, other county services affected
Cape May County Park and Zoo, Cape May County Library branches and all senior centers are closed to the public as of March 17.
The Cape May County Surrogates Office and County Clerk's Office will be closed to the public but remain open and fully staffed to complete necessary services over the telephone, and through Internet and regular mail.
Passport applicants, notaries public and couples requesting marriage ceremonies are asked to call for a future appointment.
Primary Election candidates for county offices are requested to call ahead for Primary Election petition filing. Primary election petitions are due on or before Monday, March 30 by 4:00 p.m.
The Clerk hopes to reopen to the public March 31.
Fare Free Transportation in Cape May County will only provide medical trips for dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and infusion therapy (life-saving treatments) and in-county shopping trips, also starting March 17 and until further notice.
Katz JCC to close for at least two weeks
The Katz JCC will be closing effective tonight Monday, March 16 at 8 p.m. for a two week period or until further notice. This closure includes the Fitness & Aquatics Center, all programs and services including the Early Childhood Education Program and all fitness wing services.
Ocean City Jazz Collective performances postponed
Performances of the Ocean City Jazz Collective Series scheduled for March 30 and April 13 have been postponed due to the increase concern about the new coronavirus and the possibility of COVID-19 contagion.
Plans are to reschedule these dates at a later time.
MAC cancels or postpones all public programming
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities is either canceling or postponing all its sponsored programming including several tours.
Tours of the the Physick House Museum, the Cape May Lighthouse, the World War II lookout tower and all trolley tours are canceled through April 2. All regularly scheduled tours, events and activities that conclude before 8 p.m. will resume on April 3, at least until further notice.
The Negro League Baseball Weekend, a cooperative event with local nonprofit and business partners, originally scheduled for April 3 to 5 has been canceled.
For virtual tours of historic sites and facilities and updates regarding the MAC's programming schedule, visit capemaymac.org.
Margate library closes until further notice
Margate City Public Library and the Margate Historical Society will be closed until further notice as of 4 p.m. Monday. All programs and operations at the library and historical society are suspended. No fines will be charged.
Longport cancels workshop meeting
Longport Board of Commissioners canceled its workshop session for Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Borough Hall. Instead, the regular Commissioners meeting will begin at 4 p.m on Wednesday. Residents will be able to participate in the public portions of the meeting via telephone by calling (425) 436-6368 and using the access code 779021.
Residents planning to attend the public meeting session are urged to follow CDC guidelines.
Those with compromised immune systems or other chronic medical conditions are urged to listen to the proceedings remotely.
New Jersey Motorsports Park closed until further notice
New Jersey Motorsports Park announced it will close to the public until further notice.
This closure will include the entire NJMP facility and will affect all daily track rentals and events, all Tempest Karting operations and events, Finish Line Pub operations and events, and all catering activities and events. The management staff will continue to report to work and will be available to answer calls and concerns during this time.
The decision to reschedule major events will be made at a future time and will be in accordance with any recommendations from the CDC and State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
“The health of our customers and employees is our major priority at this time. New Jersey Motorsports Park will take whatever actions are necessary to ensure that we are following the protocol set forth by the Center for Disease Control,” said NJMP President Brad Scott in a statement.
Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival
The Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival will be postponed until August, event officials said Monday afternoon.
“During this time of world-wide uncertainty, we must do our part to help combat the spread of this virus, which unfortunately, means the rescheduling of our beloved event,” according to a news release from Good Time Tricycle Productions, the company that puts on the event.
All tickets purchased for the April dates will be honored for the rescheduled August dates, which are Aug. 7 and Aug. 8.
Vineland ‘Mix, Mingle & Meet’ event is canceled
Vineland’s “Mix, Mingle & Meet” event, scheduled for Wednesday at Vegans Are Us has been canceled.
For more information on this and all Main Street Vineland events, call the Main Street Vineland office at 856-794-8653, visit the organization’s website at www.TheAve.biz, or visit the organization’s Facebook page.
Ocean County keeps parks open, closes visitor and nature centers
Ocean County Parks and Recreation will be keeping its 27 parks and two golf courses open to the public, but closing the visitor and nature centers until further notice.
Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office to suspend certain services
Sheriff Sales, public fingerprinting and the taking of public DNA samples will not take place until April 16, according to a news release.
Vineland meetings canceled
Please be advised the meetings of the following boards have been cancelled for the month of March 2020:
- Vineland Industrial Commission
- Vineland Development Corporation
- Vineland Revolving Loan Fund, LLC
Wildwood Crest postpones a meeting for downtown redevelopment until May
WILDWOOD CREST — A meeting to discuss future plans for redevelopment of the downtown business district on New Jersey Avenue, scheduled for March 28, has been postponed until May 16, at 10 a.m., according to a release from the borough.
The move is due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, according to the release.
The meeting will be held at Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 at Rambler Road and Pacific Avenue. Tentative designs plans will be available for viewing and a public question-and-answer session will be held.
Vineland municipal courts postpone hearings
All Vineland municipal court sessions between March 16 and March 27 have been postponed, a city spokesperson said.
New court dates will be assigned in the coming days and notices will be sent out. Residents are also urged to not visit the court house unless absolutely necessary.
Phone lines will remain in operation. Payments can be made via mail or where eligible on-line at njmcdirect.com.
North Wildwood closes city buildings
All city buildings in the City of North Wildwood are closed to the general public until further notice. Recreation programs are also canceled.
“It is important now that we do our best to protect our most vulnerable, at risk, and through the closing of our public buildings to the general public, we are doing just that,” said Mayor Patrick Rosenello. “We ask our residents and property-owners to please be patient during this difficult time, and we will keep the public updated of any new policies and procedures in the coming days and weeks as they become available.”
Middle Township municipal closings
The Devico Senior Center is closed, with programs canceled until further notice, as well as the township recreation buildings. Municipal court is canceled for the nest two weeks.
Town Hall, as well as the Construction, Zoning and Public Works will be closed to the public but fully staffed.
Visit middletownship.com for a directory of phone numbers and emails for each department or call Administration at 609-465-8732.
The Township Committee meeting 6 p.m. on March 16 will be held as planned, but the 4 p.m. work session is canceled.
“While this meeting is open to the public by law, we would encourage folks to review the agenda and send any comments or questions electronically,” according to a news release. “We will try to post the minutes of the meeting to our website as promptly as possible.”
Hamilton Regional Municipal Court closes
The Hamilton Township Municipal building including the court office will remain open during normal business hours. Residents may access the court office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to pay a ticket, make a payment on an installment plan, pay a Public Defender fee, apply for the Fresh Start program, make a records request or to conduct any other business with the course.
New court notices will be sent out with a date and time for your appearance. If your address has changed, please notify the court immediately.
You may reach the court office between the hours stated above at 609-625-6621.
Avalon closing borough buildings, cancelling meetings
Avalon is closing borough buildings and cancelling meetings in response to the spread of COVID-19, Public Information Officer Scott Wahl said in a release.
Avalon Community Hall and the Avalon Senior Center are closed through April 10, Wahl said Monday. Outdoor facilities, like playgrounds and basketball courts, will remain open.
Avalon Borough Hall remains open, but the borough urges residents who need a question answered call the office instead of visit in person. Surfaces in the building will be sanitized on a daily basis. Restrooms at Surfside Park on 30th Street will remain open.
The Avalon Environmental Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, is cancelled. The Avalon Garden Club's Appreciation Breakfast scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, is cancelled. All scheduled events at the Community Hall, library and senior center are cancelled through April 10. Avalon Home and Land Owners Association's Community Connections event on Saturday, April 11, is cancelled and won't be rescheduled.
“This is the time to listen to the experts and take the necessary steps to make sure our community is as reasonably protected as possible from coronavirus”, Mayor Marty Pagliughi said. “We continue to receive new information and guidance and our Borough policies will be dictated by this information and adjusted accordingly.”
Chick-fil-A to close dining rooms to limit person-to-person contact
Chick-fil-A will be suspending service in its restaurants' dining rooms to limit person-to-person contact while COVID-19 spreads, the chain said Sunday in a release.
Some restaurants will offer drive-thru service only, while others will continue to offer takeout, delivery and mobile orders.
Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May counties cancels annual cocktail party
Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May counties has cancelled its 13th Annual JFS Cocktail Party, scheduled to take place on March 28 at the Gold Nugget in Atlantic City.
Morey's Piers and Resorts postpones opening
Morey's Piers and Resorts is postponing it’s opening day until Mother’s Day weekend, May 9-10, according to a news release from the company.
New Jersey courts postpone in-person proceedings
In-person Superior Court proceedings scheduled for Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 will be postponed, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced Sunday night. During that time, the Judiciary will prepare to shift to virtual participation for attorneys, litigants and all court users, with extremely limited exceptions.
“On a typical court day, hundreds if not thousands of attorneys, litigants, and inmates appear in courts throughout the state. We are limiting physical interactions in our courts and shifting to video and phone conferencing options for attorneys, litigants and the public,” Chief Justice Rabner said.
Attorneys and litigants scheduled to appear for in-person matters at the trial level of the Superior Court and Tax Court on Monday and Tuesday should await notice of a new hearing date. Ongoing jury trials will continue as announced.
Critical court operations necessary to public safety or the administration of justice will continue. Emergent applications, as well as Extreme Risk Protective Orders and domestic violence temporary restraining orders submitted through local police departments, will continue to be accepted. The court also will continue to hold first appearance hearings and pretrial detention hearings.
Questions about individual cases should be directed to the relevant court offices. Updated information regarding court operations will continue to be made available at njcourts.gov.
New Jersey DMV offices closed for two weeks
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton has announced that all New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agency and road testing facilities will be closed effective immediately as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We anticipate re-opening in two weeks, on Monday, March 30, 2020.
All driver licenses, non-driver IDs, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers expiring before May 31 have been extended by two months.
Most renewals, replacements, changes of address, and other transactions can be processed online at NJMVC.gov
Sea Isle City's Community Lodge and Recreation Building closed
SEA ISLE CITY — The Community Lodge and the Recreation Center are both closed until further notice, according to a release from the city. All events scheduled for both facilities are cancelled until further notice.
Ocean City closing all recreation facilities, cancelling all public events through end of April
OCEAN CITY — All recreational facilities will be closed and all planned public events through the end of April will be cancelled as the city monitors the spread of the new coronavirus, said Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen.
The Ocean City Community Center, which includes the Ocean City Free Public Library, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Arts Center, Historical Museum and Senior Center, plus the Ocean City Sports and Civic Center and other city facilities also will be closed. All Recreation Department programs are suspended until further notice, Bergen said in a release Sunday.
Upcoming scheduled events through the end of April are canceled, including the OC Con Comic and Memorabilia Show, Girls Weekend, the Great Egg Hunts on the beach, Easter Sunrise Service, the Doo Dah Parade and Mr. Mature beauty pageant.
All public meetings of boards and commissions, except for City Council, are postponed until further notice, Bergen said.
City Hall and the Knight Building will stay open. Access to the public, however, will be limited, Bergen said.
“As I mentioned in my update on Friday, there is no need to panic,” Mayor Jay Gillian said. “If we all work together to follow these guidelines, we can help protect the community from the worst of this virus.”
AtlantiCare to drastically limit visitors in response to spread of COVID-19
AtlantiCare will ban nearly all visitors to its hospitals in accordance with New Jersey Hospital Association’s voluntary guidelines, according to a post on the medical facility's Twitter page Sunday afternoon.
There are limited exceptions. Visitors for patients in hospice or end-of-life care will be chosen on a case-by-case basis. Maternity, pediatric and emergency patients can have one visitor or support person. Patients having same-day, outpatient surgeries can have one visitor.
Visitors and support persons will be screened for symptoms of flu, coronavirus and other illness.
Atlantic City Boys & Girls Club to remain open Monday, March 16
The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City will remain open on Monday, March 16, according to COO Torrie Garvin.
Daily updates will be available on the chapter's Facebook and Instagram pages, Garvin said.
Police in Lower Twp. and Middle Twp. will take non-emergency reports over phone
The Middle Township Police Department and the Lower Township Police Department Saturday evening said they would be looking to take any reports from residents that are non-emergencies and do not require the collection of evidence over the phone.
The change is to cut down on unnecessary interactions that could spread the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the two departments said in separate news releases.
Dispatchers will take callers' information and an officer will reach out in a "timely manner," Lower Township Police said.
The two departments stressed that the change was only for minor reports and was to protect the vulnerable populations in the community who could be easily infected with careless interactions.
"We feel that because our officers interact with many people throughout the day, having them unnecessarily interact with residents, many of which are considered ‘vulnerable’, is a prudent and judicious approach to limiting a possible exposure," Middle Township said in the release.
Katz Jewish Community Center in Margate
Katz Jewish Community Center in Margate will remain open during normal business hours for the time being. Various programs will be rescheduled, and the following will be cancelled beginning March 15:
- Group Fitness Classes
- Aquatics Classes
- Swim Lessons
- Swim Team
The Upcoming Events section of Katz's website will provide specific updates.
Barnegat Town Hall closed
The Township of Barnegat announced the following Saturday:
- Starting Monday, March 16, the town hall, recreation/community center and township owned buildings will be closed to the general public (excepting the police department vestibule). The public will only be allowed to enter with an appointment if they've answered no to the these screeing questions. Are you having flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath? In the last 14 days have you traveled to a high-risk area for transmission of COVID-19 (mostly Europe or China)? Have you been in close contact with someone who is confirmed or is being evaluated for COVID-19?
- Township offices will be fully staffed. Citizens will be required to phone, email or postal mail their business. Where available, payments will be taken over the phone or can be left in the drop box in front of Town Hall. Online services and forms can be found on the township's website.
- No changes will be made to trash or recycling pick-ups.
Municipal Directory: 609-698-0080
Public Works: Trash/Recycling: 120
Tax/Water Collector: 140, 142, 143
Tax Assessor: 147
Building Permits: 114, 150, 153
Planning/Zoning Board: 155
Code Enforcement: 159
Recreation: 130, 132, 122
Municipal Clerk: 174, 190
Registrar Vital Statistics: 176
W/S Utility Maintenance: 609-698-6185
Middle Township announcements
Middle Township Mayor Tim Donohue announced Saturday afternoon, the following measures:
- All programs at the Devico Senior Center are cancelled until further notice.
- All indoor programs and activities at recreation centers are cancelled.
- Spring sports scrimmages and games are postponed.
- The Homework Club at the MLK Center will continue while schools are open.
- Outdoor facilities will remain open to the public.
- As ordered by the state, Middle Township Municipal Court dates are cancelled through the end of March.
- Town Hall will remain open. All those in need of municipal services are encouraged to communicate by email or phone when possible.
- The police department will be releasing new protocols related to officers response to minor, not emergency, calls for service.
Ocean City PTA's A Night in Monte Carlo
Given the recent recommendations of the Cape May County Health Department, a decision has been made to postpone the Night in Monte Carlo casino event scheduled for March 21 at the Sea Isle City Yacht Club. A new date will be set.
Absecon Little League
The Absecon Athletic & Social Club and Absecon Little League have suspended all practices and games effective immediately, the city says.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore
The board of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore in Galloway Township decided Thursday to suspend all activities at its UU Center for four weeks, and longer if warranted. Worship will still happen online, as will twice weekly pastoral chat sessions which will be broadcast on ZOOM.
Cape May MAC cancels two programs
In an abundance of caution for our attendees, The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) announces cancellation of two public programs:
Wednesday, March 18 at noon
Lunch & Learn: Wonderful Women of World War II, with Rich Chiemingo
Heroes overseas and on the home front, the women of World War II: who they were, what they accomplished and why they should be remembered. Cape May United Methodist Church, 635 Washington St., Cape May.
Wednesday, March 25 at noon
Lunch & Learn: Fabulous First Ladies (Part II), with Mary Stewart
The second half of MAC’s popular Fabulous First Ladies series. Cape May United Methodist Church, 635 Washington St., Cape May.
Project Prom at Kensington Furniture in Northfield
An annual drive to give away 2,000 prom dresses to local girls has been postponed to mid-April due to COVID-19 fears, organizer Rene Kane wrote in an email Friday.
A message to Kane from Kensington said the store wanted to minimize the number of people inside it at a given time.
"Today, 40 girls left with dresses and huge smiles on their faces. We shed a few happy tears, which made us all feel that the work involved to put this together was worth it," Kane wrote in an email. "We left all the racks as if we will be back."
Project Prom originally was scheduled to run Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
South Jersey Jazz Society cancels performances
The South Jersey Jazz Society announced Friday that it was suspending all performances until mid-April.
Mission Point Church
Mission Point Church in Somers Point sent an email to parishioners Friday evening saying Sunday services on March 15 and March 22 have been canceled. The church also will not hold its junior and senior high youth group meetings on March 15 and 19. Also, its Mothers of Preschoolers ministry will not meet on March 17. For more information, go to the church's website at mymissionpoint.com.
Avalon Library and History Center cancel programming
The Avalon Free Public Library and History Center has canceled all programming through April 10, according to a news release from the library. However, the library will remain open from patrons with normal hours of operation.
For updates, visit avalonfreelibrary.org.
Atlantic City Boardwalk Committee Meeting canceled
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Committee Meeting, scheduled for March 18, has been canceled. The next meeting is scheduled for April 8.
Wildwoods Spring Bridal Expo has been postponed
The Wildwoods Convention Center and the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce has postponed The Wildwoods Spring Bridal Expo scheduled for this Sunday, March 15, to a date TBD.
98 Degrees show in Atlantic City postponed
The 98 Degrees show scheduled for April 18 at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino has been postponed to July 11.
Cape May police cancel comedy night
The Cape May Police Department have canceled comedy night.
Cape May Point Planning Board meeting postponed
The Cape May Point Planning Board meeting scheduled for March 18 has been postponed, according to a news release from the board. The next regularly scheduled meeting is April 15.
Atlantic City Free Public Library to close
The Atlantic City Free Public Library will temporarily close its two locations, effective Monday at 1 p.m. The Main Library and Richmond Branch Library will remain closed until April 20.
Fresh Start Church moves gathering from in-person to online
Fresh Start Church has moved all face-to-face gatherings online over concerns for the spread of COVID-19. Volunteer teams will not be meeting. Instead, they encouraged those who would attend to watch one of the four online gatherings they have planned for Sunday at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
St. Patrick's Day Parade canceled in North Wildwood
NORTH WILDWOOD - The St. Patrick's Day celebration and parade, which was supposed to start at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at City Hall, has been canceled. Participants were to include VFW Color Guard, Vietnam Veterans of America, Irish Pipe Brigade, Emerald Society and Miss North Wildwood.
Sea Isle City's St. Patrick's Day Parade is postponed
SEA ISLE CITY - The Shriner's Hospital benefit that was scheduled to take place on Friday at KIX-McNutley's on 63 Street has been postponed until April 17.
Sea Isle City's 2020 Saint Patrick's Day Parade, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed until April 18.
Additional information about events taking place in Sea Isle City has been placed at visitsicnj.com
Cage Fury Fighting Championships at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Gov. Murphy recommends canceling all events of 250 or more people
Governor Phil Murphy Thursday recommended that all events of 250 or more people in New Jersey — including concerts, parades and sporting events — be cancelled to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19 cases.
For all events still being held, Murphy said, state officials encourage attendees to practice common sense hygiene, like washing hands routinely. They also suggest that people who do not feel well stay home, and that everyone try to maintain a six-foot distance from others.
“Our frontline efforts right now must be to aggressively mitigate the potential for exposure and further spread. We are taking this step because social distancing works," Murphy said in the statement. "It is our best chance to ‘flatten the curve’ and mitigate the chance of rapid spread, so we can respond to this public health emergency in an even more focused manner.”
'Guys and Dolls' at Holy Spirit High School
Due to rising concerns around COVID-19, Holy Spirit has decided to cancel/postpone a dress rehearsal scheduled for Sunday.
The school will update if it reschedules the event.
Somers Point non-school-related activities
Somers Point School District is limiting after-hours usage to school-sponsored activities only until further notice, effective immediately. This includes Coach Woody’s Saturday Basketball Camp.
Atlantic City St. Patrick's Day Parade
Mayor Marty Small Sr. announced this afternoon that the Parade, scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m., has been cancelled.
Margaret Mace School afterschool activities
Margaret Mace School in North Wildwood has postponed sporting events and large afterschool events until further notice. This includes Thursday's volleyball game against St. Mary's of Vineland.
Stockton University events
The following previously announced public events at Stockton University have been canceled:
• March 14: Pinelands Short Course at Galloway campus
• March 14: Aunt Mary Pat at Dante Hall in Atlantic City
• March 15: Lines on the Pines at the Galloway campus
• March 22: Bay Atlantic Symphony at the Performing Arts Center
• March 24: Cape Atlantic Regional College Fair
• March 27: The Byrne Brothers at the Performing Arts Center
• March 28: Pirates of Penzance at the Performing Arts Center
• April 2: Stockton Chamber Players at the Performing Arts Center
• April 3: Think Pink Floyd at the Performing Arts Center
• All Spring Break athletic field trips
New Jersey Special Olympics basketball championships
The New Jersey Special Olympics basketball championships scheduled to be played in the Wildwoods March 28-29 has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns
United States Air Force Heritage Brass Concert postponed
The free concert of the United States Air Force Heritage Brass of the USAF Heritage of American Band, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at the Landis Theater in Vineland, has been postponed. They will reschedule all of the band's New Jersey concert dates, and further information will be forthcoming when that happens.
Reception for HERstory exhibit at Noyes Arts Garage
The reception for the African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ exhibit, entitled Talking About HERstory, which focuses on dozens of African American South Jersey women, has been postponed from Friday to 1 to 2 p.m. April 11 in the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City.
Lines on the Pines
The event was scheduled for Sunday at Stockton University.
Air Force Band Concert in Ocean City
The current tour of the brass ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, including a free show that had been scheduled for March 15 at the Ocean City Music Pier, has been canceled. The city hopes to reschedule the performance at a later date.
Adam Sandler at Hard Rock
Hey you guys. We've been looking forward to this upcoming tour for a long time but after a lot of thought we have decided to postpone the March dates. Health officials say that large gatherings should be avoided to help stop or prevent the spread of the coronavirus, so we will—— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) March 11, 2020
Adam Sandler's March 14 show at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City has been postponed. No new date is listed on the venue's website.
Avalon’s Shop-A-Holics event
Originally scheduled for March 12-14 at The Princeton and The Whitebrier in Avalon, the “Avalon Shop-A-Holics Weekend” has been canceled due to the spread of COVID-19. It will not be rescheduled.
DDanzis@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressDanzis
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