Freeholders Adopt Temporary Policy for Essential Morris County Government Operations

Vital Services Continue - Non-essential operations closing


MORRIS COUNTY — In response to the Covid-19 virus, which requires a public health need for social distancing, including limiting public access to government buildings, the Morris County Board of Freeholders has approved a temporary policy to address the operation of county government.

The intent of the Freeholders is to allow government to continue to provide essential services for residents while protecting the health of staff, and also limiting the spread of the virus here in Morris County.

This temporary policy addresses Non-Essential Services and Essential Services. Please visit the county’s coronavirus information page for specific updates by clicking here.

Freeholder Director Deborah Smith

“We recognize the importance of continuing many of our county services, especially public safety and health services, and social services for our most vulnerable residents who are dependent on the support we provide,’’ said Freeholder Director Deborah Smith. “But we must balance those needs with the current public health situation, especially when it comes to our employees and the potential spread of the virus.’’

Under the temporary policy, All Non-Essential County Government Services will temporarily cease operating at the close of business today, Tuesday, March 17.

The Morris County Library and Heritage Commission ceased operations on Monday. The County Planning & Preservation Office, including Farmland Preservation, Flood Mitigation, Historic Preservation, Open Space Preservation, Trails Construction, Cultural Resources, and Long Range Planning will limit operations and be closed to the public.

Most county government buildings are expected to remain at least partially open but with limited staff. All county government events have been cancelled and most meetings that must occur will be done vie remote platforms.

Constitutional Offices and independent agencies will each determine their own policies. That includes the Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Corrections Facility, County Clerk, County Surrogate, Board of Elections, Tax Board, County Superintendent of Schools, and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service. Please visit their respective websites or call their offices for any changes in their normal policies.

The Morris County Park Commission has cancelled all indoor and outdoor programs and has rescinded all park use permits through March 31. It also has closed the Mennen Sports Arena. Parks and trails remain open for passive recreation, and golf courses also remain open. Visit the Park Commission’s website for more specific information.

The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority plans to continue recycling services for the 14 municipalities that employ its services. Please check the MUA website for any updates.

All county government employees working within the Non-Essential Services categories will be compensated during this temporary period. The expectation is that these employees of Non-Essential Services will remain in their homes, helping to limit the spread of the virus, during this period.

Where possible, employees providing Essential Services will be allowed to work remotely, work alternative work hours or in rotating shifts to allow for social distancing.