Belleville declares local State of Emergency to close daycares; Clara Maass treating 4 for COVID-19, two of whom are from Belleville

Officials in Belleville have declared a local state of emergency as they continue to take measures to keep residents safe and secure in the wake of coronavirus COVID-19.

As of 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, Emergency Management Coordinator Martin Lutz and Township Manager Anthony Iacono signed the order.

The declaration of emergency allows township officials broader power in the efforts to combat COVID-19.

The move comes as Clara Maass Medical Center continues to treat four positive cases of COVID-19. Two of the cases are Belleville residents.

Two other people are under investigation for COVID-19.

Because of the state of emergency, daycare centers in Belleville will be closed starting Thursday, March 19. Also, Belleville playgrounds and parks will be closed until further notice.

Belleville Mayor Michael Melham

New Information

  • Mayor Michael Melham has held discussions with local supermarkets to try to get special early hours for seniors.
  • Regarding the Library Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, members of the public can participate by emailing their comments to by 5 p.m. on the night of meeting.
  • The Council meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, March 24, will be streamed live on the Township’s Facebook page. The public can participate by emailing comments to the township clerk at, by 5 p.m. the day of the meeting.
  • Essex County is continuing the Meals on Wheels program to serve Belleville seniors.
  • The school district is continuing to distribute meals to students.
  • County officials are working to set up a drive-through testing center. It’s anticipated it will be up and running by early next week.
  • Residents with Coronavirus-related questions may email the township at



  • As of Monday, March 16, public access to Town Hall has been prohibited, unless residents have prior business to complete, or have an appointment. We encourage all residents in need of municipal services to use the municipal website to obtain email and phone numbers for all departments.
  • The Belleville Public Library is closed until further notice.


As additional information becomes available, the township says it will continue to update its website and post new information.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-222-1222
  • Belleville Health Department: 973-450-3389

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.