TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — As the threat of coronavirus grows in New Jersey, local communities such as those in Bergen County hit hard by the pandemic are stepping up public controls to limit exposure to COVID-19.
Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday that New Jersey saw 31 new coronavirus positive test results, bringing the statewide total to 98.
In addition, the state Motor Vehicle Commission announced Sunday night it will close for two weeks, adding all driver’s licenses, non-driver IDs, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers expiring before May 31 have been extended by two months.
#COVID19 UPDATES: We’ve received 31 new positive test results since yesterday, bringing our statewide total to 98.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 15, 2020
Newark University Hospital said Sunday a healthcare worker has tested positive for COVID-19, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
The worker lives in Bergen County. It is believed the infection was the result of community spread picked up outside the hospital. That person’s coworkers are in quarantine and patients are being contacted.
#BREAKING Newark University hospital says a healthcare worker tested positive. Worker lives in Bergen Co, believes it was result of community spread/picked up outside hospital. That person’s coworkers in quarantine and patients being contacted @CBSNewYork
— Lisa Rozner (@LisaRoznerTV) March 15, 2020
The news follows the announcement Newark public schools and the central office will remain closed through March 30, and municipal court sessions throughout New Jersey will be suspended for two weeks.
In Teaneck, officials announced an executive order under emergency measures on Sunday limiting the number of people inside various grocery stores and shutting down a number of businesses that involve greater physical contact such as daycare centers, hair and nail salons, barbers, health clubs, martial arts studios, private sports clubs, and more.
Public parks, recreation centers and the Teaneck Sportsplex in Votee Park have also been ordered closed.
As for food store chains, the executive order limits one member of each family entering the following stores at one time, with limits as to how many people may enter each location:
- Teaneck Stop & Shop (limit of 50 customers)
- Teaneck Glatt Express (limit of 25 customers)
- Teaneck Cedar Market (limit of 25 customers)
Should these new measures not prove effective, “There’s nothing off the table,” said Bergen County Executive James Tedesco.
The order comes a day after Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin urged all 40,000 residents to “self-quarantine” and only leave their homes for food and medicine. That restriction is not in place, but officials continued to recommend avoiding gathering and working from home.
In Hoboken, Mayor Rav Bhalla issued new rules Saturday night, including a curfew each night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Monday and lasting until further notice.
Bhalla also announcing that bars and restaurants are no longer allowed to serve food on the premises, though customers can get delivery or takeout — a measure Teaneck put in place on Sunday.
CORONAVIRUS: CDC Latest | NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text 692692 | Westchester Testing Call 1(888)-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Case Tracker | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211
The roughly 300 Hoboken establishments were already down 30-50% this week, and are now weighing layoffs and scrambling to ramp up delivery offerings.
“We’re going to come up with a menu that’s going to be a small menu. You know, six, seven items,” Juan Mendoza, owner of Amanda’s restaurant, told Rozner.
“We’re going to use the staff that we have to do the deliveries,” added Travis Young, owner of Elysian Cafe. “If we have the business, they can work.”
“Other restauranteurs that are here want the community to know we are going to be open for business,” added Eugene Flinn, president of the Hoboken Business Alliance.
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Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante and Bhalla said the move is necessary after police responded to more than 100 calls in a six-hour period o Saturday night, mostly at bars. He said one ambulance took 30 minutes.
“People came to city yesterday and the night before almost like were on an oasis and that the pandemic isn’t touching here,” Ferrante said.
“There’s a segment of the population that doesn’t understand. Even though they might be very immune to the virus they have the ability to carry that virus to their parents,” Bhalla said.
This all comes as four Hoboken residents, including a woman in her 40s, have tested positive for coronavirus. A man in his 40s and a man in his 30s are in self isolation at home and expected to recover, officials said.
In Newark, a resident in his 50s has tested positive and is in self-quarantine at home as he’s asymptomatic.
Mayor Ras Baraka signed an executive order putting a moratorium on rent evictions and extended tax deadlines by 60 days. Even though schools are closed, he’s keeping libraries and recreation centers open, and contemplating a curfew for businesses.
“Obviously, if we say close at 10 that doesn’t mean they can’t contract at 7 or 8 or 9,” Baraka said. “If you see it’s a crowded bar go to another bar. As a matter of fact, cook at home.”