New Jersey Omicron Updates: Hoboken Implements Mask Mandate as COVID Cases Rise Across the Country

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) – On Wednesday, Hoboken implemented a face mask requirement at all indoor facilities in public accommodation due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city and across the state.

New Jersey reported another daily record on Wednesday with 20,483 new cases along with 50 additional deaths to bring the total statewide up to 26,118.

There are 3,273 admissions in the state, approaching 3,765 patients as of this date last year, but still about half the total number on top of the pandemic.

ALSO READ | Mayors of New Jersey’s 2 largest cities test positive for COVID

In Hoboken, all residents and visitors over the age of 2 are now required to wear a mask or face mask while inside any public building or commercial establishment, except when actively eating or drinking.

“Today we are taking further steps to help curb the spread of the Omicron variant in Hoboken,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “With cases at a record high, we need to return to one of the tools we know works – a face mask. This new measure will create a safer environment for our most vulnerable residents and ensure that our businesses can remain open and remain adequately staffed during the winter months. Thanks to the many Hoboken companies that have already implemented this requirement. “

During the recent omicron rise, various Hoboken restaurants, bars and other establishments have been closed by business owners due to staff outbursts.

The executive order applies to all areas of indoor public accommodation, including but not limited to restaurants, bars, gyms, dance studios, recreational facilities, retail stores, cafes, supermarkets, worship services, commercial establishments, salons, barbershops, banks, health care facilities and hotels.

Residents, visitors and patrons of the above public facilities must wear a face mask at all times, except when actively eating or drinking, or when socially at a distance of at least six feet from everyone else for an extended period of time, such as in an office setting, when one sits at desks.

“Given the recent rise in omicron, we are taking further effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID and have our staff masked for the safety of all,” said Anthony Pino, owner of Bin 14 and Anthony David’s. “We hope the severity of omicron will be short-lived and our society can resume to some normalcy.”

The order, enforced by the Office of Emergency Management, will be lifted when the positivity rate for the state reaches 5% for a one-week average, or when the daily positive cases in Hoboken fall below the weekly average compared to the first week of November 2021 before the increase in the omicron variant, whichever comes first.

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The Hoboken Health Department reported record-breaking positive COVID-19 cases as over 611 residents tested positive within the last seven days. Eight people are admitted to Hoboken University Medical Center with COVID-19.

The city has had a total of 7,322 positive COVID-19 cases since the onset of the pandemic.

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