Mask Mandate and Proof of Vaccination Requirement in Maplewood

Mask Mandate and Proof of Vaccination Requirement

Please be advised that last night the Maplewood Township Committee unanimously approved a mandate requiring the use of a mask in all indoor public settings, except when eating. This mandate applies to both businesses and public settings, and is to be enforced for all people over the age of two. Those who are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition will also be exempt from the mandate.

Further, effective immediately any person attending an indoor Township-sponsored event or private event that is open to the public will be required to show either proof of COVID-19 vaccination (for all eligible individuals age 5 and over) OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the past 72 hours.


Email from Director of Community Services (Maplewood):

Good Afternoon All:

A message from Mayor McGehee from our township website:

Maplewood and South Orange leadership met yesterday morning to ensure blanket coverage for our community. Last night the Maplewood Township Committee unanimously approved moving forward with a mandate requiring the use of a mask in all indoor public settings, businesses and public buildings effective immediately, with the exception of:

  • when eating/drinking
  • people under the age of two
  • those who are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition.

Effective immediately any person attending an indoor Township sponsored event or private events that are open to the public will also be required to:

  • Show proof of COVID vaccination among eligible individuals, 5 years and older (two weeks after 2nd dose of Moderna, 2nd dose of Pfizer or 1 dose of Johnson and Johnson) with a vaccination card, using the DOCKET App or a picture of the vaccination card; OR
  • Show proof of a negative COVID test (can be an in-home test as long as there are no symptoms, otherwise a rapid antigen or PCR) 72 hours from event.

These decisions were made in collaboration with our local health departments, the Special Improvement District Managers, and key stakeholders. As we continue to be thoughtful regarding this pandemic, especially taking into account the spread of the Omicron variant, our main goal continues to be the same: keeping the community healthy and safe.

https://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/sites/g/files/vyhlif3396/f/uploads/maplewood_township_indoor_events_policy_12222021.docx.pdf

PLEASE NOTE:

All Maplewood Community Services Programs fall under this policy, and to participate effective immediately, you must arrive with your vaccination card and identification, or a negative test with a result dated within 72 hours.

This includes all events and programs in our buildings, including of course senior fitness, art programming and special events.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Of course, if you are feeling sick or symptomatic no matter what your vaccination status, please stay home.

Kindest Regards,

Melissa


South Orange passed the same.. common sense mandate for both towns. 


Redfruit said:

South Orange passed the same.. 

overstates what is posted at https://www.southorange.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2163


Effective immediately any person attending an indoor Township sponsored event or private events that are open to the public will also be required to:

  • Show proof of COVID vaccination among eligible individuals, 5 years and older (two weeks after 2nd dose of Moderna, 2nd dose of Pfizer or 1 dose of Johnson and Johnson) with a vaccination card, using the DOCKET App or a picture of the vaccination card; OR
  • Show proof of a negative COVID test (can be an in-home test as long as there are no symptoms, otherwise a rapid antigen or PCR) 72 hours from event.

Are religious services covered under the phrasing, "private events that are open to the public" in this mandate? Does that mean all Christmas services in both towns will need to vet everyone attending for vaccination proof or negative Covid tests?  Not being snarky - serious question. 


dickf3 said:

Redfruit said:

South Orange passed the same.. 

overstates what is posted at https://www.southorange.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2163

What overstates what?


Redfruit said:

What overstates what?

According to the above link,  SO now has indoor mask mandate.  There is no mention of their having a vaccination/testing mandate.  Someone from SO may be able to point to a separate link announcing a vaccine/testing mandate there. I haven't seen one.  There is a vaccine mandate in place for a series of senior events/ classes being held at SOPAC but that is because these activities are being held at a private venue where proof of vaccination is required for entrance.


finnegan said:

Are religious services covered under the phrasing, "private events that are open to the public" in this mandate? Does that mean all Christmas services in both towns will need to vet everyone attending for vaccination proof or negative Covid tests?  Not being snarky - serious question. 

 If the Christmas services are being held in-person in Maplewood, and if the Christmas services are truly open to the public, then it might apply, assuming the township committee has jurisdiction over Church policy.  This is a question for the township attorney.  The issue may be moot since some faith based organizations have already initiated their own vaccine mandate and others are moving their Christmas services online due to concern over Omicron.


Morrow Memorial Church is reiterating the indoor mask requirement and has blocked off pews to maintain distance between churchgoers. A recent email from the pastor requested that non-vaccinated people stay home and watch services online.

I haven't received anything new in light of this new information. 


joan_crystal said:

Redfruit said:

What overstates what?

According to the above link,  SO now has indoor mask mandate.  There is no mention of their having a vaccination/testing mandate.  Someone from SO may be able to point to a separate link announcing a vaccine/testing mandate there. I haven't seen one.  There is a vaccine mandate in place for a series of senior events/ classes being held at SOPAC but that is because these activities are being held at a private venue where proof of vaccination is required for entrance.

So basically both towns now have mask mandates but Maplewood also has proof of vaccination mandates for all events sponsored or hosted by the township. Correct?


Redfruit said:

So basically both towns now have mask mandates but Maplewood also has proof of vaccination mandates for all events sponsored or hosted by the township. Correct?

In addition to what you have written, 

Maplewood's vaccine/testing mandate applies to "private events open to the public."  Thus the above question regarding possible application to Christmas services held in-person in Maplewood that are open to the public.  

Maplewood's policy provides for non-vaccinated attendees to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test that was administered within 72 hours prior to the event.


finnegan said:

Effective immediately any person attending an indoor Township sponsored event or private events that are open to the public will also be required to:

  • Show proof of COVID vaccination among eligible individuals, 5 years and older (two weeks after 2nd dose of Moderna, 2nd dose of Pfizer or 1 dose of Johnson and Johnson) with a vaccination card, using the DOCKET App or a picture of the vaccination card; OR
  • Show proof of a negative COVID test (can be an in-home test as long as there are no symptoms, otherwise a rapid antigen or PCR) 72 hours from event.

Are religious services covered under the phrasing, "private events that are open to the public" in this mandate? Does that mean all Christmas services in both towns will need to vet everyone attending for vaccination proof or negative Covid tests?  Not being snarky - serious question. 

I read the notice as only applying to events in these Township-owned facilities, if they are open to the public and not private events:

Vaccination or testing proof will be checked at the door for all attendees to Township sponsored social
events/ entertainment venues that are open to the public and held indoors at the following venues:
• The Woodland
• Burgdorff Theatre
• DeHart Community Center
• The Maplewood Senior Center
• 1978 Gallery

So they don't apply to any house of worship.


Isn’t it just better to stay away from places where there are lots of people, even if you’re vaccinated? I never stopped wearing my mask. At one point just recently, I could count the people on one hand who were wearing masks in Home Depot, or at the supermarkets. 
Seeing that there’s so many ‘breakthroughs’ why go mask less? Even a mild event with omicron is enough for me to not want it. 


Jaytee said:

Isn’t it just better to stay away from places where there are lots of people, even if you’re vaccinated? I never stopped wearing my mask. At one point just recently, I could count the people on one hand who were wearing masks in Home Depot, or at the supermarkets. 
Seeing that there’s so many ‘breakthroughs’ why go mask less? Even a mild event with omicron is enough for me to not want it. 

sometimes you need rules in place. Like those signs that say no shoes, no shirt, no service. Some people would think nothing to walk into a restaurant with no shirt on, others would think nothing to walk into a restaurant with no mask on.  You’re assuming human behavior mimics yours


Redfruit said:

sometimes you need rules in place. Like those signs that say no shoes, no shirt, no service. Some people would think nothing to walk into a restaurant with no shirt on, others would think nothing to walk into a restaurant with no mask on.  You’re assuming human behavior mimics yours

the funny thing is there’s still signs up at the supermarkets that masks are needed inside, but I think they are just tired of enforcing it. People have become complacent and that’s why it’s spreading like wildfire again. 


Jaytee said:

Redfruit said:

sometimes you need rules in place. Like those signs that say no shoes, no shirt, no service. Some people would think nothing to walk into a restaurant with no shirt on, others would think nothing to walk into a restaurant with no mask on.  You’re assuming human behavior mimics yours

the funny thing is there’s still signs up at the supermarkets that masks are needed inside, but I think they are just tired of enforcing it. People have become complacent and that’s why it’s spreading like wildfire again. 

it’s hard to ask people to Police other people. It’s easier and likely safer to look the other way. 


One reason for the mask requirement by the town (or any government entity) is it lets business owners blame a higher authority. It takes a little heat off them if they can say "It's not our rule, it's the town."


Our church is spacing every other row, requiring masks,  and sadly no live singing.   Choir music is prerecorded via the internet and shown on large screens.  Music is only piano, organ, and stringed instruments.   Fist and elbow bumps have become the norm of greeting.   You can also watch church online.  Casual talking with your friends is almost always done outdoors.   All committee meetings are held via google meets.   My answer to some friends who do not want to get vaccinated is along the lines of, "Jesus healed people..so what do you think is going on now with the vaccines?"   My hope is that omicron will signal the end of the most dangerous part of the pandemic, but we do not yet know for sure if this is true and people who have jumped to this conclusion may be very wrong.  So we need to keep up precautions.   


nohero said:

So they don't apply to any house of worship.

I received responses to the email I sent earlier today asking for clarification on this point.

The Deputy Town Administrator agrees with you. 

"I believe the vaccination/testing mandate is only applicable to Township buildings, though the mask mandate would apply to outside buildings including houses of worship."

The Mayor elect agrees that the mask mandate applies to houses of worship in Maplewood (and South Orange).

"Indeed, the indoor masking mandate would apply to indoor worship at houses of worship in SoMA/MAPSO (since SO has the same mandate)."


Thank you for following up and providing the clarification, Joan. 


Morrow Church announced that they are closing their building for two weeks. 


The closures of libraries and houses of worship, along with school buildings, seem to be accelerating. And here we go again…


Soul_29 said:

Morrow Church announced that they are closing their building for two weeks. 

TSTI imposed a vaccine mandate weeks ago.  Services are once again virtual only.


TSTI? I'l bite.   downer 

Why make me guess?


mrmaplewood said:

TSTI? I'l bite.    

Why make me guess?

https://tsti.org/ Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel


The mask mandate is a bit of a joke.  

I have observed unmasked people in many businesses since the local mandate was announced.


Here too, and our mandate predates yours. Sigh.

yahooyahoo said:

The mask mandate is a bit of a joke.  

I have observed unmasked people in many businesses since the local mandate was announced.


Part of my work time is spent in a local retail establishment that never took down its “masks required” sign. I can tell you that having to be the mask police is exhausting. Last week we watched as a maskless man probably in his 70s threw what I can only describe as a terrible twos temper tantrum upon being pointed to a box of masks (that my employer provides as her expense). He turned on his heel and left, muttering expletives and calling us names. (Multiply that by thousands of local businesses and tens of thousands of non-maskers. It’s bad.) Usually people who don’t want to wear one tell us they don’t need to, because they’re vaccinated. We tell them that we are all vaccinated, too. They are mystified as to why we still want them to mask up.


Heynj said:

Part of my work time is spent in a local retail establishment that never took down its “masks required” sign. I can tell you that having to be the mask police is exhausting. Last week we watched as a maskless man probably in his 70s threw what I can only describe as a terrible twos temper tantrum upon being pointed to a box of masks (that my employer provides as her expense). He turned on his heel and left, muttering expletives and calling us names. (Multiply that by thousands of local businesses and tens of thousands of non-maskers. It’s bad.) Usually people who don’t want to wear one tell us they don’t need to, because they’re vaccinated. We tell them that we are all vaccinated, too. They are mystified as to why we still want them to mask up.

The mask mandate recently passed by the town may help.  You can now truly tell the mask-less that wearing a mask indoors in a place in Maplewood open to the public is now required by the town.


Doesn’t mean they’re going to be any more pleasant about it, though! To me, it’s such a silly thing to work up so much anger at. I wish it hadn’t become so political. 



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