Murphy: Officials considering statewide curfew amid COVID-19 outbreak

Officials are considering a statewide curfew to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday morning.

Hoboken already implemented one — from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. — starting Monday.

FULL COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS

Murphy was asked about curfews and also self-quarantine after Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin called for a citywide self-quarantine for the Bergen County town hit hard by COVID-19.

“We’re not there at a statewide level on either of those steps, but we could be,” Murphy said on WBLS-FM 107.5. “The curfew is probably, of the two, is probably the more immediate one under consideration.”

Murphy on Saturday night announced the second death in the state from coronavirus, a woman in her 50s who was being cared for at CentraState Medical Center in Monmouth County.

Earlier, he had announced 31 new positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 98.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli provide an update on the state's response to the deadly coronavirus. (Edwin J. Torres/Governor’s Office)

The New Jersey Department of Corrections said its suspending visits for the next 30 days as of Saturday evening.

Murphy said earlier that the state is preparing for closing schools statewide, though he stopped short of taking that step. He said it’s a matter of when, not if, they close. Education officials said some 354 districts, or roughly half, in the state have closed already.


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A graphic illustrates the importance of social distancing in order to reduce the number of infected patients during a pandemic. (Edwin J. Torres/Governor’s Office)

HOBOKEN CURFEW

Hours after announcing that gyms, health clubs, day cares and movie theaters would join the list of closures in Hoboken, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla announced the forthcoming curfew and additional restrictions.

The citywide curfew that begins Monday will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and requires all residents to remain in their homes, barring emergencies. People who are required to report to work are exempted.

To further limit gatherings, the city’s Office of Emergency Management will not permit restaurants and bars to serve food within their premises. Bars that don’t serve food will be shut down, effective Sunday at 11 a.m. Any establishment that serves food will be allowed to conduct takeout and delivery service.

Bhalla said that, as he was writing the statement, he received a call from the city’s police chief notifying him of a bar fight in downtown Hoboken. One person fell in and out of consciousness and police waited more than 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive because of the number of service calls emergency services have received.

He said the incident illustrated how bar operations “can trigger calls for service that are delayed in part because of this public health crisis.”

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