To LEHYC members from Beach Haven Mayor Nancy Davis,
This certainly has been a devastating time for all of us. I am aware members and their families are weathering the COVID-19 storm in their second homes on LBI, and I know lots of you feel safer here, away from the more populated areas.
We welcome you in Beach Haven, and I know you are conscientiously following the quarantine protocol.
When you look at the statistics related to the pandemic, they illustrate that quarantining does work. Presently we have had 32 documented cases of COVID-19 on LBI and 5 in Beach Haven. This is dramatic when you compare it to Lakewood which has 1,263 cases. As of Friday there is a total of 4,432 cases in Ocean County. The cases in the north of Ocean County are escalating at a very rapid rate whereas in Beach Haven, they have remained at five for the last two weeks.
If you decide to live in your homes on the island, I suggest that you quarantine yourselves for 14 days before utilizing the streets, beaches and local stores. We have put a ban on the beaches for non-residents. We are asking the residents to carry their emergency Placards with them on the beach. I also signed a proclamation banning sporting activities on the beach which includes surfing and fishing.
At the moment, we are not enforcing these regulations, but we can enforce them if we think it is necessary. So go fish, but do it in a solitary manner. Try not to bring attention to yourself.
A lot of people have called me regarding the emergency placards. Everybody was sent a placard, which is made to hang on the mirror of your car, in January. Many folks have called me saying that they didn't get theirs or they can't find it. At the moment we cannot issue you a new one. Please do not ask. Our emergency management team is working overtime. Our ordinance states that we will not issue a new placard during an emergency. You do not need a placard to get on the island and nobody is checking the beaches at the moment. If you have an old placard and a tax bill, those items will be honored.
I spent most of today talking to the head of the Southern Ocean County County Chamber of Commerce as well as many restaurant owners. We do not know when restaurants will be open for business other than takeout, but we do know there will be restrictions on the seating capacity etc. New Jersey has the second highest number of coronavirus cases, so I expect we will be one of the last states to allow restaurants to open. The chamber's website is updated every day to let you know what restaurants are offering takeout and what sort of online activities are available. The chamber will have up-to-date information on restaurant openings when they occur. Don't expect things to be the way they were last summer, but hopefully we will have a fun and productive summer.
Feel free to contact me by phone, text or email. I'm open to new ideas, and I have a lot more information that you might be interested in.
I'm trying to start a "Clap across Beach Haven" activity every night at 5 o'clock when the Holy Innocents Church chimes play across town. We need to have more connectedness. Look on the Facebook page called "Visit Beach Haven" for more information. There's a link to that page on the municipal website. Any help with this would be appreciated.
We are all in this together!
Nancy Taggart Davis