April 17, 2020, East Orange, NJ: Mayor Ted R. Green today announced a new citywide “Saturday & Sunday Shutdown” Initiative to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in East Orange.
Beginning this Saturday, April 18 for a 48-hour period, Mayor Green said he is taking a “tough love” approach and aggressively enforcing the state mandates already put in place.
Mayor Green emphasized that the weekend shutdown does not include new restrictions, but rather ramped-up efforts by the East Orange Police Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Code Enforcement to ensure that residents and businesses are complying with Governor Phil Murphy’s issued Executive Order No. 107 to stay at home, practice social distancing, frequently sanitize and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in public spaces.
“Shutdown means that if you are blatantly disregarding the measures put in place to protect the health and safety of the people in our community, then we are shutting you down,” said Mayor Green. “While the majority of residents in our community have been compliant, there are still many who are not taking this pandemic seriously. Those are the ones I am talking to. It’s called tough love."
All essential stores will remain open and residents may patronize them when necessary, however, any store that violates Executive Order No. 107 will be shut down.
To date, the City of East Orange now has 900 reported positive cases and 59 deaths related to the coronavirus.
“We went from one positive case to 900 in less than one month. This is not a hoax or conspiracy, these are facts. And we haven’t hit our apex yet. We are fighting an enemy we can’t see and our only hope at beating this deadly virus is to slow it down,” Mayor Green added.
The Mayor said he is enlisting the help of residents to be an extra set of eyes and ears on the street this weekend.
“If you see something, say something,” said Mayor Green. “If you see people gathered in a group with no apparent essential purpose, call the police. If you go into an establishment and workers are not wearing masks or gloves, call the police. If a store is not enforcing social distancing guidelines, call the police.”
To report violations, call the East Orange Police Hotline at 973.266.5041. Offenders who violate the executive order could face a summons and fine of $250 or more.
“We’ve been giving warnings for the past month. This is your last one,” said Mayor Green.
Police also will be educating the public on wearing face covers to protect both themselves and others around them. On April 3rd, the Center for Disease Control added an additional precautionary measure and advised the use of simple cloth face coverings to help flatten the curve of the virus. According to the CDC, the use of a face cover will help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
“We can flatten the curve, but we’ve got to be smart, we’ve got to be vigilant and we’ve got to do together,” said Mayor Green.
For more information on Executive Order No. 107 and other COVID-19 resources, please visit covid19.nj.gov.