WAYNE, NJ – Following the State’s suit, Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano and Director of the Wayne Office of Emergency Management Detective Captain Dan Daly have signed the paperwork to declare a state of emergency for the Township of Wayne.
“This grants the municipality extra powers to make sure we can handle the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus in Wayne,” said Vergano. “It gives us the power to close businesses and restrict traffic, for example.”
With Governor Murphy’s mandates going in place today, the local Wayne state of emergency has begun with the closing of the Wayne Public Library will be closed as of 9:00pm and the Willowbrook Mall as of 8:00pm tonight.
“The municipal building will remain open for now,” said the Mayor. “We are asking all the people to do all their business with the town online if they can. Use the Town Hall only if you cannot do things online. And, call ahead to make sure we are there to assist you.”
All town meetings have been canceled including the Senior Advisory Board meeting, the Board of Adjustment meeting tonight and the Planning Board meeting next week.
However, the Town Council meetings have not been canceled. This week’s meeting is on Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30pm. “This meeting will be open to the public, but if we hit fifty people or more, we are going to have to somehow deal with that,” said Vergano.
“We waited for the schools to close before we closed the library,” said the Mayor. “Our thought process was that will all the children home doing their distance learning, that we would have more than fifty people at the library. That’s why we decided to close the library.”
That fifty-person rule is being pushed down to ten people according to the CDC, but no matter the number, this ‘no congregating’ rule is why the Willowbrook mall was ordered closed. “Our fear is that with everything closed, people would flock to the mall and violate the fifty person maximum rule. So, we had a conversation with them and let them know that they need to close until further notice.”
As far as Senior activities, the Mayor said: “We are still running the Senior bus because that is used a lot of times for Seniors to get to grocery stores, but all the other Senior activities have stopped.”
The outdoor parks will remain open, although all of Townships' organized sports groups have been canceled. “People are still encouraged to go outside and get some fresh air and exercise as long as people stay six-feet away from each other,” said Vergano.
The Township Administration has been in contact with all the restaurants in town, going over the 8:00 rule and the takeout rule only. The Mayor added: “This will really have a severe impact on some local smaller restaurants dealing with St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, but that is the rule, and everyone will be held accountable.”
“We are trying to be as proactive as possible, and still allow people to live their lives,” he said.
However, with everything closing after 8pm there will be no place for people to go live their lives.