PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – With New Jersey ordering social distancing for everyone, CBS 2’s Nick Caloway went to see how grocery stores are making sure people don’t get too close.

The “stay at home” order in New Jersey does have exemptions, including for going food shopping, but grocery stores are still expected to implement social distancing practices.

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At Shoprite in Ramsey, the store asks customers to “do your part, stay six feet apart.”

A few minutes down Route 17 at Stew Leonard’s in Paramus, customers are also asked to stay six feet apart.

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“When I am going out, I’m looking around and trying to veer away from people,” said shopper Esther Marks.

Stew Leonard’s is also opening every other cash register to try and separate people at checkout.

Most shoppers Caloway talked to are constantly trying to maintain social distancing when they do have to leave home.

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“I’m here, shopping. I do this. I do this. But again, just pray for the best,” said shopper Michelle Salazar.

On a rainy Monday afternoon, it’s easier to keep people six feet apart than it would be on a busy weekend.

State officials say businesses that are open are responsible for not letting stores get too crowded.

Esther Marks says if a store is too crowded, she won’t go in.


“But I noticed there weren’t many cars. The first thing I did is check to see if there were long lines. If there were lines I was not going to stay,” she said.

At Ramsey Hardware and Paint in downtown Ramsey, customers are not even allowed inside. Orders are placed and paid for over the phone, and items are left outside for customers to pick up.

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says law enforcement could be asked to do spot checks at businesses like grocery stores to make sure social distancing orders are being followed.