Sunday evening, I participated in a conference call with the Governor’s office and mayors from Cape May, Atlantic, and Ocean Counties to review the latest executive orders from the Governor.
The Governor’s executive orders require New Jersey residents to remain at home other than for essential activities, such as grocery shopping, picking up takeout food, trips to the pharmacy or for medical attention, travel to work, or to engage in outdoor activities, as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to (6 feet of separation between persons).
The list of businesses currently permitted to operate, and which may be accessed by the public, is listed below:
— Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and other food stores;
— Medical supply stores;
— Gas stations;
— Convenience stores;
— Stores within healthcare facilities;
— Hardware and home improvement stores;
— Banks and other financial institutions;
— Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
— Stores that sell supplies for children under five years old;
— Pet stores;
— Liquor stores;
— Car dealerships, but only to provide auto maintenance and repair services, and auto mechanics;
— Retail functions of printing and office supply shops; and
— Retail functions of mail and delivery stores.
Restaurants are permitted to operate for takeout and delivery service only.
Under the current executive order, construction is permitted to continue.
City government remains in operation. Police and public safety operations, public works and utility operations, and support services for these functions, are continuing to operate.
City buildings and facilities are closed to the public, but staff is available to respond to phone calls and handle incoming deliveries and mail to City Hall.
Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are canceled per this executive order.
We all need to understand that the executive orders from the Governor cannot be altered by any county or municipality. It is clear from the executive orders that the issuance of mandates and restrictions by municipalities and counties at variance with the Governor’s orders can create confusion and disrupt the balance between the actions necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the other needs of the people as determined by the Governor.
The best thing each of us can do is take personal responsibility for following the stay-at-home orders, along with the guidelines for good hygiene and social distancing.
This is as serious as it gets, but we will get through it.
Mayor Leonard Desiderio