Northern New Jersey municipalities took steps to stem the outbreak of coronavirus cases Saturday night, as Hoboken decided to close its bars and Teaneck residents were ordered to self-quarantine.
Hoboken, a Hudson County city on the Hudson River, announced in a tweet that bars are effectively closed for the foreseeable future as of 11am Sunday. Meanwhile, the residents of the Bergen County township of Teaneck have been ordered into a self-quarantine by its mayor after it became ‘ground zero’ for the coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey.
Hoboken, which serves as a late-night hot spot for revelers throughout the region, also announced that bars will no longer be able to serve food within the establishments. Any bar or restaurant that currently offers food will only be allowed to fill takeout orders past Sunday afternoon.
‘These are extremely challenging times, and we are seeing a substantial uptick of positive COVID-19 cases,’ Mayor Ravinder Bhalla said in a statement. ‘The time is now to to enact proactive policies that will help save lives in the long run.’
Hoboken also is implementing a citywide curfew from 10 p.m. through 5 a.m., effective Monday. All residents will be restricted to their homes, except for emergencies and if they’re required to work.
An empty main street in Teaneck on Saturday as residents self-quarantine
Parking lots remained empty as the 40,000 residents were told to stay at home
The main street was empty on Saturday as the town’s cases grew to 18
Located just across the Hudson River, six miles from New York City, Teaneck had identified 18 cases of the coronavirus by Saturday night as the number in Bergen County jumped to 31.
The order to self-quarantine came from Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin, who issued a stark warning to the township’s 40,000 residents that they were not to visit each other, even other family members.
They were told only to leave their homes for food and medicine as he revealed that officials do not have enough test kits for the rapidly growing number of sick people.
Twenty-five percent of New Jersey’s overall cases are centered in Teaneck. Several residents have already been taken to Holy Name Hospital in the township.
‘There are people that don’t understand that this is something we haven’t seen since World War II,’ Hameeduddin told NorthJersey.com.
‘We don’t have enough test kits, every day more and more people will be getting sick.’
The number of virus infections now accounts for 60 percent of the cases in Bergen County as Hameeduddin branded Teaneck ‘ground zero’.
‘We need everyone to understand that they can infect someone or someone can infect you,’ he added, stating that residents should only go outside if they ‘absolutely need to’.
‘They should stay home,’ Hameeduddin said.
‘When I say stay home that doesn’t mean go out to lunch with your friends across the street. That means no play dates, that means your nuclear family stays with your nuclear family.
‘I’m not visiting my sister, I’m not visiting my parents. That is the best way to stop the spread of this.’
Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin advised residents to self-quarantine
Local government buildings had also closed down in Teaneck on Saturday
Teaneck is now a coronavirus cluster as 18 cases have been confirmed
The library was among the many buildings and service to close in Teaneck
By Saturday evening, the streets of Teaneck were deserted as the town self-isolated with the hope of defeating the coronavirus cluster that has emerged.
Video emerged of the main street in Teaneck close to 6pm Saturday with few people visible and the road empty of cars.
‘Teaneck is a ghost town. This is Cedar Lane, Teaneck’s busiest street filled with stores, restaurants and a movie theater,’ wrote Twitter user Cristian Inga.
According to NBC reporter Brian Thompson, the town’s business district was already significantly quieter on Saturday afternoon, the sabbath day for its largely Orthodox population, but thevirus has cut across the different populations of the town.
Local government has also shut down.
Teaneck’s action comes just days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a ‘containment area’ in the city of New Rochelle, where a cluster of cases was traced to a synagogue.
Places where large groups of people would gather were shut down, and residents were asked to self-quarantine. However, healthy residents would still be allowed to come and go, while the National Guard helps delivers meals for those in isolatoin.
The number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey is now at 69 after 19 new patients were confirmed since Friday. In one day in Bergen County, the number had also jumped from 25 to 31, the majority of which were in Teaneck. The county has also suffered one fatality.
All 75 school districts closed in Bergen County on Friday for a minimum of two weeks but for those children who rely on free or reduced price meals from the districts.
Officials are also attempting to establish a mobile testing center on the grounds of the Bergen County Community College campus.
A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey last Monday when there were just 11 cases.
The second death in the state was confirmed on Saturday night, a woman in her 50s in Monmouth County.
‘The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,’ said Governor Phil Murphy.
‘My administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19.’
A press conference is scheduled to be held in Teaneck on Sunday morning to update on the cluster.