Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the city’s Office of Emergency Management have instituted a mask requirement, effective on Wednesday morning, for all indoor, public venues. Details are explained in the following press release and Executive Order:
The Hoboken Office of Emergency Management today signed an Executive Order establishing a face mask requirement at all indoor facilities of public accommodation due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the City of Hoboken and New Jersey.
Under the Executive Order, all residents and visitors over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask or face-covering while inside any public building or commercial establishment, except when actively eating or drinking.
“We are today taking additional steps to help curb the spread of the Omicron variant in Hoboken,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “With cases at an all-time high, we need to revert back to one of the tools that we know works – a face mask. This new measure will create a safer environment for our most vulnerable residents and ensure our businesses can stay open and remain adequately staffed during the winter months. Thank you to the many Hoboken businesses which have already implemented this requirement.”
“Given the recent surge in omicron, we’re taking additional effective measures in preventing the spread of COVID and having our staff mask up for the safety of all,” said Anthony Pino, Owner of Bin 14 and Anthony David’s. “We’re hopeful the severity of omicron will be short lived and our community can resume to some normalcy. ”
During the recent Omicron surge, various Hoboken restaurants, bars, and other establishments have been closed by business owners due to outbreaks among staff.
The executive order applies to all areas of indoor public accommodation including, but not limited to restaurants, bars, gymnasiums, dance studios, recreation facilities, retail stores, cafes, supermarkets, places of worship, commercial establishments, salons, barbershops, banks, healthcare 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 distanced at least six feet apart from all others for an extended period of time, such as in an office setting when seated at desks.
The order goes into effect on Wednesday, December 29, at 6 a.m. and it will be enforced by the Office of Emergency Management.
The executive order will be lifted when the positivity rate for the State of New Jersey reaches 5 percent for a one-week average or when the daily positive cases in Hoboken fall below the weekly average as compared to the first week of November 2021 prior the surge of the Omicron variant, whichever is first.
The Hoboken Health Department reported record high positive COVID-19 cases as over 611 residents have tested positive in the last seven days and eight individuals are hospitalized at Hoboken University Medical Center with COVID-19. The City has had a total of 7,322 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic’s onset.
A copy of the Executive Order follows:
WHEREAS, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious disease that has become even more transmissible due to the Omicron variant; and
WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken declared a State of Emergency on March 12, 2020, before the very first case of COVID-19 was reported in Hoboken; and
WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken took proactive measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19 during the early stages of the virus, becoming the first City in the United States to shut down bars and restaurants, and one of the first in the tri-state area to declare a self-isolation order; and
WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken took additional proactive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 implementing a face mask requirement for indoor places of public accommodation in April, 2020; and
WHEREAS, multiple bars and restaurants in Hoboken have recently chosen to close due to COVID-19 outbreaks among staff, contributing to the loss of revenue for business owners; and
WHEREAS, the rate of positive cases has surged to record highs in Hoboken, leading to increased hospitalizations among the unvaccinated; and
WHEREAS, creating additional safeguards in local public businesses and commercial establishments will lead to a safer environment for staff and members of the public, which will encourage more individuals to patronize Hoboken businesses; and
WHEREAS, public officials have a moral obligation to create a safer environment for those vulnerable members of our community, such as the immunocompromised and the elderly who are at greater risk for hospitalization if they contract COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, given the greater transmissibility of the Omicron variant, governments should consider extra, temporary precautions to curb the spread of the virus, especially in locations where members of the public are in close contact; and
WHEREAS, temporary measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant will create safer places of public accommodations, as opposed to any lockdowns that would severely impact local businesses and jeopardize our local economy; and
WHEREAS, I find it necessary to take additional steps to protect the greater Hoboken public.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sgt. William Montanez, Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Hoboken, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the statutes of the State of New Jersey and the laws of the City of Hoboken, do hereby, ORDER, DIRECT, AND ISSUE THE FOLLOWING:
• All Hoboken residents, visitors, and staff, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask while in any indoor facility of public accommodation including, but not limited to, restaurants, bars, gymnasiums, dance studios, recreation facilities, retail stores, cafes, supermarkets, places of worship, commercial establishments, salons, barbershops, banks, healthcare 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 distanced at least six feet apart from all others for an extended period of time such as at a desk in an office setting.
• This order will be lifted when the positivity rate for the State of New Jersey reaches 5% for a one-week average or when the daily positive cases in Hoboken fall below the weekly average as compared to the first week of November 2021, prior the surge of the Omicron variant, whichever is first.
• This order shall take effect on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at 6 a.m. and supersedes all prior inconsistent Executive Orders.
Sgt. William Montanez S-34 DATE: 12/27/21 Office of Emergency Management Coordinator & Traffic Transportation