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Restrictions and closings are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Cape May County.

The Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders has closed county buildings to the public but will continue to provide essential government services to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.

Public access to county government buildings has been restricted in most circumstances until further notice. The County Administration Building, the Clerk’s Office, Election Board, Tax Board, Library, and Animal Shelter buildings are closed. The Cape May County Parks and Zoo are closed until further notice.

Meetings, events and non-essential services are canceled until further notice. Government business will be conducted during regular hours via telephone, fax, and email. Most of the county employees are working from home, so please allow time for a response.

The Social Services Building in Rio Grande is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but closed from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for lunch due to reduced staffing levels. Extended hours have stopped until further notice.

Social distancing guidelines are being strictly adhered to. Consumers are being instructed to complete an online or paper application at home and return it via mail or placed in the drop box for anyone who is not homeless. The Home Delivered Meals program is fully operational and Adult Protective Calls are being addressed.

Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton, Freeholder Jeffrey L. Pierson, County Health Coordination Kevin Thomas, OEM Director Martin Pagliughi, and County Administrator Elizabeth Bozzelli have been in daily contact with the state and federal government and are closely monitoring the coronavirus and applying prescribed guidelines to limit the spread of this virus.

“This is an international medical crisis; we are seeing an increase in cases in New Jersey and surrounding states reported daily,” Thornton said in a statement. “It is incumbent on all of us to follow the precautions outlined by the CDC. We have an especially vulnerable population in Cape May County, with nearly 25 percent of our residents age 65 and over. We are making decisions for the safety of all our residents and ask for the public’s support and understanding.”

Thornton, speaking on behalf of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, warned the public that all citizens must be vigilant in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“The Board and our Administrative team have been working extended hours, seven days a week for the past three weeks to stay ahead of this issue and ensure the county is prepared and protected as best they can, considering the circumstances,” he said.

Pierson, the freeholder liaison for Health and Human Services, is working closely with the Cape May County Health Department and Health Coordinator Kevin Thomas to keep the public informed and updated as new health information is distributed to help stem the spread of the virus and protect the residents. The Health Department’s director, nurses and support staff are available to respond to calls and inquiries.

“It is paramount that we work together and strictly follow the guidelines to ensure the public’s safety. We must flatten the curve and protect everyone from contact with those who are carrying the virus. This is one of the most difficult jobs we have faced, and we need everyone’s full cooperation” Pierson said.

Residents are urged to regularly visit the county website at www.capemaycountynj.gov for updated information on the mitigation of COVID-19. The link can be found on the first page of the county site.

“I am pleased about the cooperation we are getting from all levels of government. We will get past this and our lives will return to normal when this crisis passes,” Pierson said.

The updated listing of County government hours of operation follows:

Cape May County Government Departments and Hours of Operations:

County business will continue to be conducted and essential government services will be provided by our staff as we comply with mandates set forth to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Board of Chosen Freeholders has requested all Cape May County government offices restrict public access for the protection of employees and the public. Therefore, all Cape May County government buildings are closed to the public with the exception of Social Services, OEM, Sheriff, and Corrections Center.

The Cape May County Library:
The main library and all branches are closed until further notice. Online access is encouraged.
At this time:
* Please ignore automated notices about due dates.
* All late fees will be waived and library card renewals will be extended.
* We ask that you do not put items on hold as we will not be able to fulfill any holds at this time.
* All programs and services, including bookmobile and home-bound deliveries, will continue to be on hold until we re-open.
* Please continue to enjoy your items; we ask that you do not return materials until we have reopened.
The library’s digital resources will continue to be available through our website. Patrons can check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines, music, and more. These resources are available through the library’s website at
www.cmclibrary.org.

Cape May County Department of Tourism, Public Information, Culture and Heritage:
Hours of Operation: Closed
Contact Information: Phone: 609-463-6415
Email: diane.wieland@co.cape-may.nj.us
Website:
https://capemaycountynj.gov/

The Cape May County Park & Zoo:
Hours of Operation: Closed
Contact Information: Phone: 609-465-5271
Email: info@cmczoo.com
Website: cmczoo.com
All scheduled events and programs are canceled until further notice. If you or your organization have an education program scheduled or a reservation in the park, staff will be contacting you. Our top priority is the health and safety of our staff, guests, volunteers, program participants and the animals in our care.

New effective March 18 is ZOO SCHOOL. Each day at 11:30 am, there will be episodes highlighting some of the animals in the zoo, told by their keepers. Children will learn about the animals and will be able to ask questions, https://www.capemaycountynj.gov/1400/Virtual-Zoo-School and live on FACEBOOK. #cmczooschool

The Cape May County Clerk’s Office:
Hours of Operation: Closed
Contact Information: Phone: 609-465-1010 Fax: 609 465-8625
Email: rita.fulginiti@co.cape-may.nj.usmczoo.com
Website:
www.capemaycountyclerk.com

Services will be completed via telephone, internet, and regular mail.

Deliveries of documents by courier or in person are directed to our 7 North Main Street, Cape May Court House front entrance. Call the office to schedule delivery.

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 p.m.

Emergency situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Cape May County Department of Human Services:
The Cape May County Division of Aging and Disability Services
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (closed 12:30-1:30 p.m.)
Contact Information: Phone: 609-886-2784
Email: donna.groome@co.cape-may.nj.us
Website: https://capemaycountynj.gov/

SNAP recipients who are due for recertifications in March and April will not lose their benefits if they have not completed their recertification process.  

Cape May County Division of Veterans’ Services:
Hours of Operation: Office Closed, call for Cemetery
Contact Information: Phone: 609-886-2762
Email: David.Louderback@CO.CAPE-MAY.NJ.US
Website:
https://capemaycountynj.gov/

Staff will be available to answer questions, concerns, and complete applications for services over the phone.

The Cape May County Tax Board:
Hours of Operation: Closed
Contact Information: Phone: 609-465-1030
Email: LoriRosell@capemaytax.com
Website:
https://capemaycountynj.gov/

The Cape May County Tax Board has limited be staff to conduct normal business operations. Necessary services may be completed via telephone 609-465-1030, internet and regular mail.

Deliveries of documents by courier or in person are directed to our 7 North Main Street, Cape May Court House front entrance. Please call to make the necessary arrangements. Emergency situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Cape May County Department of Fare Free Transportation:
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Contact Information: Phone: 609-889-7516
Email: Daniel.Mulraney@CO.CAPE-MAY.NJ.US
Website:
https://capemaycountynj.gov/

Fare Free Transportation will be running on a limited schedule until further notice. They will provide life-saving medical trips (dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, infusion therapy) and life-sustaining grocery shopping trips only. They will also continue to provide service to all Meals on Wheels clients in conjunction with Aging and Disability Services.

Surrogate’s Office:
Hours of Operation: Closed
Phone: Office: (609) 463-6669 Fax: (609) 463-6454
Email: Dean.Marcolongo@co.cape-may.nj.us

The Surrogate’s Office will be closed to the public until further notice. The department will continue full operation and request those who need assistance to call, mail or email the office. This could slow down response but be assured your needs will be met. The staff will arrange to go to the front door to pick-up papers if an emergency does arise. All payments can be done by check or credit card.

Cape May County Election Board:

Hours of Operation: Closed

Phone: 609 465-1051. Email: mkennedy@co.cape-may.nj.us

All poll worker training has been canceled until further notice. Letters will be sent to poll workers with the rescheduled dates.

Please mail all correspondence to the Election Board via US Postal Service. Call or email and questions regarding elections.