The Ocean County Board of Commissioners this week rescinded its policy that had required face masks and social distancing in its buildings since last year.
Effective May 28, county offices do not require masking or social distancing, according to the commissioners’ resolution passed at its June 2 meeting.
The original policy was in place since August 2020, in accordance with a Gov. Phil Murphy Executive Order. This week, county commissioners formally rescinded it.
Employees and visitors to county facilities, offices or buildings are not required to wear masks or social distance any longer.
The task of temperature-taking was also relaxed: “be it further resolved that, to the extent permitted by law, any temperature taking equipment may be removed from entrances to County buildings, offices and facilities,” states the resolution.
Many county offices have been off-limits to visitors during portions of the pandemic, as many services were offered remotely or had temporarily closed. Once they began reopening to visitors, buildings had to monitor capacity, take temperatures or waivers, and require masks and social distancing. The June 2 resolution changes that mask-wearing requirement entirely, saying masks are no longer required.
The resolution also changes some access points that have been closed. For example, the side doors of the Ocean County Administration Building will now be open for access to the building.
The rescinded policy is similar to Gov. Murphy’s action around that same time: On Friday May 28, the state mandate of wearing a mask to enter restaurants, stores and other indoor spaces ended, as did 6-foot social distancing requirement in all indoor and outdoor settings. Exceptions still include schools, shelters, and public transportation.
Additionally, the county will once again offer Saturday hours at the County Clerk’s Office – Board of Election, in anticipation of demand ahead of the Tuesday June 8 primary election.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 5, staff from the County Clerk’s Office and the Board of Elections will assist primary election voters. Consumers can apply for a Vote by Mail ballot, vote and return it to the Board of Election staff that day. These services are offered in person at the Board of Elections Office located in the basement of 129 Hooper Ave., Toms River.
The county commissioners issued a press release to publicize the county clerk and election board activities ahead of the primary: