SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Yesterday afternoon, Springfield Township shared a post detailing the signing of a Proclamation of Local Emergency.

The proclamation was signed into effect by Springfield Mayor Christopher Capodice and Springfield Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Seidel. The proclamation will be. used by the township to enforce a number of measure designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.

While no confirmed cases are in Springfield yet, the measure is proactive and includes a number of steps designed to facilitate an easier path towards fighting the spread of coronavirus.

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The following are some impacts from the declaration:

  • All non-essential retail, recreational, & entertainment businesses after 8:00 p.m., will closed.
  • All gatherings of over 50 individuals are canceled effective 8:00 p.m. yesterday. All bars and restaurants are closed for eat-in services on the same schedule. Establishments may open for takeout and delivery services ONLY, until further notice, including daytime hours.
  • All pre-K through grade 12 schools (public, private, and parochial), all colleges and universities will close until it is deemed by health officials to be safe for in-person classes to resume.
  • Essential businesses which are necessary for the public’s health, safety, and welfare – like supermarkets and grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, and gas stations – may remain open past 8:00 p.m.
  • All other non-essential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses must close after 8:00 p.m. During daytime hours, these businesses may remain open if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 persons and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • All non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is strongly discouraged between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
  • All township parks are closed indefinitely.
  • The jitney service is running on a regular schedule as of now.
  • The Senior weekday bus service schedule will run on a modified schedule

In the open letter, Springfield Mayor Chris Capodice said that the effort to stop the spread of the virus was key, and that the declaration allowed the township to do that more proactively.

"This is not a time to speculate or to spread rumors," the statement from Capodice read. "It is important to take this seriously and take proper precautions and actions. This is not time to panic, but is also not time for business as usual.

"We need to limit our contact. We have experienced challenges before, and again, I am confident that with the proper precautions, we can limit the consequences of this pandemic. I will continue to keep you informed."