HAMILTON, NJ -- Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin announced Wednesday afternoon that the emergency curfew will not be in place again for the evening. The Mayor urged residents, however, to stay at home after dark.
A curfew will remain in place Wednesday night for the City of Trenton, but will also be lifted in Ewing and Lawrence Townships.
In a video message to the community, Martin thanked residents "for your cooperation not only in the last two days but the last three months. It has been a strange and difficult time for all of us – with a global pandemic and this week a regional curfew – but we have united and continue to persevere through it together.
"To our first responders, you have answered each and every call without complaint and led by example. Especially over the last two days, as we faced threats against our town on top of a pandemic, each of you were out in front to protect us. Your courage inspires me and the entire town each and every day. My thanks also goes out to your families, who support you through these stressful times," said Martin.
Martin said that he did not make the decision to institute an emergency curfew on Monday and Tuesday night lightly, but noted that "reduced traffic made it much easier for our officers to identify those who might be out looking to cause harm and for them to safely respond to a situation without placing others at risk.
"The curfew was a success as we did not have any major incidents in town despite threats from some seeking to come into town and cause chaos and harm. It is because of your cooperating and the exemplary work of our police officers that we did not have incidents like other towns have experienced," Martin added.
The Mayor said that he will rely on local, county and state law enforcement guidance "should serious threats again arise" to determine if additional safety measures or curfews need to be put in place.
The Mayor also spoke about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and "positive news to report." He said that last week was the slowest week in terms of new cases since the end of March and continues this week.
Since Sunday, Hamilton has reported 17 new positive cases and two deaths. In mid-April, the Township had an average of 35 new cases per day and has as many as nine deaths daily. In Hamilton, there were a total of 1,457 total positive cases of coronavirus; and 144 deaths, 106 of which are from long term care facilities.
"Again, for perspective, Hamilton alone has more COVID related deaths than 12 states; Mercer County has more than 23 states which has made reopening safely that much more difficult," said Martin. "As we continue to reopen, our township has been working proactively with our businesses, especially our restaurants. Many restaurants will have outdoor seating that did not pre-COVID, as we will assist in providing safe ways for restaurants to expand their business."
Martin commended local business organizations such as The Hamilton Partnership and SHOP Hamilton for conducting virtual meetings and webinars "to best position all of our businesses to open in a safe way for their employees and customers." He also commented the Hamilton Township Health Department and our Community & Economic Development Office that :has been there every step of the way and are drafting local guidance for a safe reopening – it has been a true team effort."
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