Timeline of New Jersey Government Actions:
Commercial Pools Can Open on June 22nd. The NJ Department of Health has issued COVID-19 Guidelines for the operation of outdoor public pools. Outdoor public pool facilities, except aquatic recreation facilities, are permitted to open to the public on or after Monday, June 22nd.
NJ COVID-19 Outdoor Pool Standards (6.9.20)
Facilities must receive approval to operate from the local health authority prior to opening. In addition to completing and submitting the Pre-operational Checklist to the local health department, facilities must incorporate into their Aquatic Facilities Plan a COVID-19 Pool Operation Prevention Plan (CPOPP) outlining how the facility will follow state guidelines.
In additional to existing sanitation and safety requirements, as part of the CPOPP facilities will need to
implement new training procedures for staff and assign staff to handle specific responsibilities around COVID-19 procedures
reduce capacity to 50% of the maximum capacity for the facility grounds and reduce bather loads based on pool size
implement enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures that follow CDC guidelines
display new signage indicating new safety requirements.
view the complete guidelines here
Today, it was announced that municipal and private-club swimming pools can REOPEN on Monday, June 22nd. The New Jersey Department of Health will release full guidance tomorrow (June 9th) relating to the procedures and protocols that each facility will need to follow. We will share the guidance as soon as it is available.
Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey will enter Stage 2 of its reopening on Monday, June 15. In Stage 2, non-essential retail will be able to offer in-store shopping as long as safety guidelines are followed and the store is kept at a reduced capacity.
NJ Safety Guidelines
Governor Murphy announced that the state is currently in Stage 1 of reopening which means that construction is open and non-essential retail can offer curbside pickup and delivery. Service and maintenance continues to be able to operate.
Governor Murphy announced that effective Monday, May 18th at 6:00 am
- Non-essential construction can restart
- Non-essential retail stores can reopen for curbside pickup only
There are specific safety guidelines that each type of business must follow in order to be able to operate at this time. Those details can be read in full in the Executive Order and we have created a safety guideline overview that can be viewed here.
Businesses that do not follow the required safety guidelines put themselves at risk of being having work stopped or their store closed by local authorities. Please review these requirements carefully and put a plan in place to implement these.
Pool Retail Update
Around our region, State and local enforcement officials have taken different approaches to retail operations for the pool and spa industry. NESPA has reviewed guidance from each of our States and it is our position that pool retail stores are essential businesses.
Our goal is to provide you with the information and tools you need to make the best individual decisions for your company. Please review the information below as you consider how your retail business should operate.
Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 122 on April 8 which ordered all “non-essential” construction to cease by Friday, April 10 at 8 pm.
Under the order and the guidance provided, essential construction includes:
- Projects already underway at a single-family home with a construction crew of 5 or fewer;
- Any work to secure and protect a non-essential construction project for its suspension;
- Any emergency repairs necessary for the health and safety of residents.
On first reading, it appears that pool construction projects already underway, provided they meet criteria above on crew size and follow the revised workplace guidance, may continue.
This Executive Order does not impact the industry's ability to provide pool and spa maintenance as long as the revised workplace guidance is followed.
It has come to our attention that some local offices are considering projects which have had permits approved prior April 10th as "projects already underway". According to some conversations NESPA has had with code officials, this is not official guidance from Governors office, but a valid interpretation under the UCC.
If you have a project with an active permit issued on or before April 10th, and you want to begin work on it, you should contact the local code officials in that town to see if they are operating under the same understanding and if work can begin.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will launch the application for its Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 9:00 am. This article has all the details, a copy of the application you can review and an "eligibility wizard" to determine if you qualify for the program.
In a recent communication to one of our partner organizations, the New Jersey landscape contractors association, representative from the governor's economic growth team gave the following guidance:
“Any questions regarding essential businesses will be collected on the cv.business.nj.gov website. landscapers and outdoor work (like construction) are allowed to continue operating. They should limit any and all office personnel.”
Pool service and construction work appears to meet that criteria. Additionally, here are some key parts of the guidance documents from the state that may apply to your business operations. View the full memo from NESPA for companies working or located in New Jersey.
NJ announces further restrictions
Governor Murphy of New Jersey announced statewide stay at home order, closure of all non-essential businesses. we are reviewing this new order but it appears to provide provision for pool & spa service companies as well as builders to continue to work in the state. View details here. Click here for the full executive order.
The Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced efforts to increase social distancing requirements effective at 8 p.m. on March 16, 2020. these requirements pertain to certain businesses (restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and casinos) and social gatherings. on Saturday, March 14th, the governor of Pennsylvania announced similar restrictions in bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties.
Other businesses, including pool and spa companies, can operate from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm each day but must adhere to the following
- offices, meetings and gatherings can have no more than 50 people. retail operations should keep store occupancy under 50 people as well.
- employees should follow social distancing guidelines
We recommend that our members with larger staff sizes review staffing plans to ensure any gathering is under 50 people. Options include using staggered schedules, virtual meetings or teleconferences with staff when necessary. It is also important for companies of all sizes to make sure all employees are aware of social distancing guidelines and how to effectively use them when with coworkers and customers. View additional resources from the CDC here.