Essex County Announces COVID-19 Initiatives; Allows All Non-Essential Employees To Work From Home

Essex County, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said conditions surrounding the virus are changing rapidly and will continue to be monitored. Essex is relying on the guidance of the Essex County Health Officer, the New Jersey State Department of Health, the CDC, WHO, and other public health authorities. County policies will evolve as public health experts understand more about the virus. DiVincenzo announced following initiatives today to reduce spread of COVID-19:

Essex County is allowing non-essential employees to work from home.

All parks, playgrounds, dog parks, senior buildings and community center, and athletic fields are closed.

The WAVE, Night Owl and Job Access Reverse Community transportation programs are being suspended.

The Special Transportation System is giving priority rides to take residents to medical appointments, such as chemotherapy, radiation and dialysis.

The Division of Family Assistance and Benefits is requesting that clients submit their applications on-line at Follow up interviews are being done by phone call. (To schedule a phone interview, call 973-395-8000.) Work First New Jersey cash assistance clients whose cases are scheduled to be reviewed in March or April will receive a 60-day extension.

Visitation at the Juvenile Detention Center has been suspended.

The Essex County Clerk’s Office has suspended all non-essential services, including the issuance of passports, IDs, notary publics and walk in services in its vaults.

The Essex County Surrogate’s Office is suspending all of its outreach programs. In addition, access to the vault and micro-room is closed to the public and limited only to searchers. The public will have access to record search services by mail only. Finally, walk-in hours are being limited to 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All probate issues after 1 p.m. are by appointment only.

The Essex County Superintendent of Election/Commissioner of Registration will fulfill requests for voter histories electronically. Voter registration forms are available at; completed forms with an original signature must be mailed.

The Essex County Register’s Office is suspending any non-essential walk-in and counter service. The public who want documents recorded are required to mail them. As a reminder, deeds and mortgages dating from May 2001 are available online. In addition, vault hours for title searches are reduced to 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Board of Freeholders are reducing office hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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  1. Simply closing the parks is consistent with the county’s low regard for healthy, outdoor activities. Contrast Essex’s approach with Morris County next door, which closed all facilities and gatherings, but left open the fields and trails for people to stay healthy. In doing so they say on their website: “We know that you rely on your county parks which will ever more become important places for you and your families to reduce the stresses of today’s environment.” Indeed!

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