Monmouth County Heath Department Newsletter July-August 2020

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

monmouth county health department

July-August 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a Public Health Emergency and Requires a Public Health Response

In cooperation with our public health partners, the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) continues to be at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in Monmouth County. Some of our response activities include:


MCHD is sharing up to date guidance for COVID-19:  Keeping up with this rapidly developing pandemic can be difficult. MCHD is working hard to stay up-to-date with the most current COVID-19 guidelines, and assist the public and our partners by sharing the best information available on our website, our newsletter and in all the materials we distribute.


Re-opening activities: As the state begins to reopen, MCHD employees begin returning to their regular job duties amidst COVID-19. Be on the lookout for our clinics starting up again in the near future. Our Environmental and Consumer Health inspectors are working with Public Recreational Bathing facilities and Youth Camps so they can begin operating safely.  We also continue to conduct our routine inspections for wells, solid waste, air permit, pesticides, and septic system inspections.


Contact Tracing / CommCare: Monmouth County is one of the first counties in New Jersey to utilize CommCare, a new contact tracing system adopted by the New Jersey Department of Health. CommCare will allow health departments to efficiently share vital COVID-19 information with each other. As part of this program, Rutgers University is training a pool of contact tracers to be deployed throughout the state. Additionally, MCHD is training more staff and volunteers to use the system. In the event of increased COVID-19 activity, MCHD will be prepared to respond and do mass contact tracing.


Testing: NJ Dept. of Health maintains an active list of testing centers in New Jersey.

Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program

The beach in the morning with deer on it

The MCHD and the Department of Environmental Protection administers the New Jersey Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program. From mid-May to mid-September, MCHD monitors the 45 recreational bathing beaches for water quality. The Visit web site provides current beach status, water quality sample results, reports of beach advisories and beach closings, information on other events that affect beaches and daily updates from the NJDEP’s coastal surveillance flights.


There are two categories of actions that take place when there is an exceedance of the water quality standard of 104 colonies of Enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample; Advisories and Closings.




Any initial sample that exceeds the water quality standard requires that the local health agency issue a swimming advisory at the bathing beach where the sample was collected. Swimming Advisories warn the public of potentially unhealthy water conditions. Additional sampling is conducted until water quality results are again within the standard. Typically, advisories do not lead to beach closings.


Beach Closings:


Beaches are closed if two consecutive samples collected at a bathing beach exceed the water quality standard. Beach closings remain in effect until subsequent sampling indicates bacteria levels are again below the standard. 

MCHD "Greener Blue" Pumpout Boat (POB)

MCHD Greener Blue Pumpout Boat

New in 2020, “Greener Blue” is owned and maintained by the MCHD and operated by the NY/NJ Baykeeper organization through a cooperative agreement.


The boat is available to all recreational boaters, and is not limited to Monmouth County residents. Pump Out service by the Greener Blue is free of charge and no paperwork is necessary in order to utilize the service.


Contact Information


Boaters can contact the Greener Blue by radio on VHF Channel 9, or by cell at 732-890-6142 on days the boat is operating. Service will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, contact the MCHD main office at 732-431-7456 (press option 3) or visit our Greener Blue website.


Important Notice Regarding Weather Related Schedule Changes:


Please be advised that the days and hours of operation of Greener Blue are subject to change depending on river and weather conditions. The boat is not equipped to operate in rough water or inclement weather conditions. Weather related schedule changes will be made at the sole discretion of the Captain. We will make every attempt to update our Greener Blue website regarding schedule changes or cancellations.


Availability and Fees


The Greener Blue is scheduled to operate on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer until October 17, 2020. The approximate hours of operation are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. including holidays. Service is available in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers. Service is also provided up to the Atlantic Highlands Marina on the Raritan Bay.

Mosquito Control Division Resumes Tick Identification Services

The Monmouth County Mosquito Control Division can once again accept ticks for identification from the public. Residents can now drop-off a specimen in the Tick Drop-Off Box located in the foyer of the Division’s office at 1901 Wayside Road, Tinton Falls. 


Residents are encouraged to complete a tick submission form for each tick prior to coming to the office.  Forms and procedures which have been developed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission to both the public and employees can be found at the Division’s website.


Lone star ticks, blacklegged (aka deer) ticks and American dog ticks are active as both adults and nymphs during the summer and all three can carry one or more tick-borne diseases. You can prevent acquiring a tick- borne disease by following these recommendations:

  • Consider using repellents like DEET on your skin and insecticides like permethrin on your clothing. (apply repellents after suntan lotion)
  • Wear light-colored, long pants tucked into socks when taking a hike in the woods; this makes spotting a tick easier and prevents them from crawling up your pant legs.
  • Stay on clear, wide paths and avoid brush and leaf litter.
  • When you go in from an outdoor activity, remove your clothes and throw them in the dryer for about 30 minutes before you sit on your bed or sofa.
  • Take a hot shower after being outdoors in tick habitat.
  • Do daily tick checks.
  • Apply these recommendations whether you are hiking in the woods or working in your yard.
  • Close to 60% of Monmouth County residents submitting a tick for identification report “home” as the location where the tick was obtained.
  • Keep your lawn very short and spray the perimeter of your yard to kill and ward off ticks.
  • Remove leaf litter to discourage rodents and remove tick habitat.

Mosquito Control Update

Mosquito Control Division employees are back to normal operations incorporating social distancing, face coverings and other to limit COVID-19 exposure. If residents are experiencing a mosquito problem, they may submit a request for a free inspection online or call 732-542-3630. An inspector will come to your property; however, he will not knock at your door due to COVID-19 public health concerns. If there is an obstacle such as a locked gate or dog that would hinder an inspection, please note that when making your request. 


In residential neighborhoods, many mosquito problems originate from containers of any shape or size holding water longer than a few days. Do your part for mosquito control by dumping any containers after it rains.  Drill holes in uncovered garbage cans and recycling bins. Clean and drain gutters.  Mosquito larvae thrive in standing water. Get rid of the standing water before the flying mosquitoes emerge and bother you! For more guidance on mosquitoes around your home, consult our Mosquito Habitat Checklist.


Besides giving itchy bites, mosquitoes can transmit diseases like West Nile virus. Protect your family and yourself by using an EPA-approved repellent, and wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes and long-sleeves and pants when practical. While outdoors during the day, apply repellent after sunscreen.


For more information, go to the Mosquito Control Division’s website.

Board of Health Members

Brian Charnick, Acting President 
Ellynn Kahle
Ross Licitra
Andrew Wardell


Freeholder Deputy Director
Susan M. Kiley, Liaison 

Christopher P. Merkel M.P.H., H.O.

Public Health Coordinator

Board of Health Meetings

Board of Health Meetings have been cancelled until further notice.


Monmouth County Seal 2018