SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Borough Mayor Edward Seely signed a proclamation this evening, declaring a state of emergency for Spotswood as of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. According to the New Jersey Department of Health website, 89 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the Garden State by Tuesday evening. There are 22 positive cases in Middlesex County with one confirmed case in Spotswood. Office of Emergency Management Director Jose Rivera received a phone call on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. with the news of a positive diagnosis in the borough. Bergen County continues to be the hot spot for COVID-19 cases followed by Essex County.

The proclamation states that the borough is acting proactively and following the guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that calls for social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a surge on the healthcare system.

The state of emergency closes all banquet halls, barber shops, salons, cosmetology and massage establishments located in the borough until the declaration is lifted. These places of business were deemed to have a heightened risk for potentially spreading the coronavirus.

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Houses of worship are allowed to remain open during the state of emergency, but must follow the guidelines put forth by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and the CDC. Those guidelines include limiting gatherings to 50 people or less and practicing social distancing. Social distancing practices involve changing how people interact with one another in order to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Social distancing techniques include:

  • Avoiding crowded public places
  • Avoiding crowded social gatherings
  • Working from home
  • Holding educational classes online
  • Limiting in-person interactions
  • Keeping at least three to six feet between individuals especially when out and about

Other social distancing suggestions include not shaking hands, hugging or kissing when greeting people.

Today Murphy ordered all malls and amusement parks to close their doors. These closures are in addition to the ones announced on Tuesday that shut all casinos, racetracks, bars, movie theaters, performing arts centers, nightclubs and gyms. Residents are also being asked to observe a voluntary curfew from 8 p.m to 5 a.m.

For a complete copy of Spotswood state of emergency declaration, visit the Spotswood Borough website.