New Jersey officials have implemented a statewide curfew in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents are being instructed to avoid non-essential travel during the hours of 8pm and 5am in attempt to control the spread of the virus, Governor Phil Murphy announced today.
The Garden State has more than 9 million residents and has documented 98 positive cases of COVID-19 and 2 associated deaths as of Sunday, March 15th. Bergen County appears to be the epidenter of the NJ coronavirus outbreak, with 29 positive cases.
“Everyone needs to stay in and be safe,” Murphy said in a phone call with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont to announce the new restrictions. “And we can’t say this enough, that everyone needs to stay in and be safe and just because you don’t feel sick, and this is a particular shout-out to our young people, it doesn’t mean you aren’t carrying the virus. And the last thing that anyone should be thinking about is going out and spreading the disease.”
All casinos, restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gyms must shut down at 8 p.m. Monday and will remain closed until further notice in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the three governors announced Monday. These businesses should not reopen until the state governments say so.
The first coronavirus death in New Jersey was confirmed on March 10th. The New Jersey Department of Health announced that the man was 69 years old and had underlying medical conditions. The total number of cases confirmed by officials also rose to 15, with 31 persons under investigation.
This curfew is not expected to affect truckers hauling goods on the State’s highways, although drivers are describing issues nationwide finding roadside amenities as truck stops are reportedly closing bathrooms and restaurants in a response to the outbreak
In other news Governors in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Connecticut have also ordered the closures of all restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters.