CRANFORD - Beginning Monday at 5 p.m., all “non-essential businesses” in Cranford must close to foot traffic in an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Mayor Patrick Giblin announced Sunday night.

Giblin's announcement on Facebook read:

"As of March 15th, New Jersey has announced 100 confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and, so far, 2 deaths. With confirmed cases in Garwood, Westfield, Berkeley Heights, and Linden, it is only a matter of time before Cranford’s first confirmed case.

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This is an unprecedented situation that has already disrupted daily life. After much discussion the Township Committee, with the Downtown Management Corporation (DMC), is taking major proactive steps to protect the health of the general public, business owners, their employees, and patrons. It is our collective responsibility to take action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in Cranford.

Effective Monday, March 16 at 5:00 pm, all non-essential businesses in Cranford Township must eliminate public access in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our community. Within the Township of Cranford, this applies to retail businesses, restaurants, bars, personal services businesses (salons, barbers, nail salons, etc.), gyms, spas, and cafes. These steps are being taken to protect both our residents as well as employees of our local businesses. We are urging both businesses and residents to comply with these restrictions for the benefit of our community.

These restrictions will remain in place for at least two weeks. During that time, we will continue monitoring this rapidly evolving situation closely and keep business owners and the public apprised of changes. Further restrictions may very well be required going forward.

Businesses of all types are permitted to provide curbside pickup. The DMC will work closely with business owners to promote those services, as well as online initiatives that support the business community.

Exceptions to these restrictions are pharmacies, health care providers, grocery/food stores, banks and professional offices; these businesses will remain open. Health care providers (doctors, dentists, and counseling services) are, however, urged to limit patients to emergency services. In the meantime, we strongly encourage our residents to continue supporting local businesses by ordering food for curbside pickup or delivery, visiting business websites for online purchasing and buying gift certificates for future use.

We all recognize this is difficult for our businesses, but these actions are meant to protect owners as well as the public. We remain committed to supporting our business community now and long after this emergency is resolved.

It is important to keep up to date with accurate information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website at www.cdc.gov Here are some every day preventative measures you can follow (as instructed by the CDC):
 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. (doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, telephones, copy machines)"

Cranford businesses had already begun taking their own safety precautions. The Cranford Movie Theater closed until further notice, and restaurants such as Kilkenny House and the Cranford Hotel started offering curb-side pickup. As of Monday, Track Five will be going cashless to prevent the spread of germs on bills.