As part of the state’s coordinated response to address the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency on March 9, effective immediately, to ramp up New Jersey’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Executive Order No. 103 declares a state of emergency and public health emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing state agencies and departments to use state resources to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.
“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” Murphy said. “My Administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19.”
The declaration tasks the State Director of Emergency Management and Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, Colonel Patrick Callahan, in conjunction with New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner, Judith Persichilli, to oversee the implementation of the State Emergency Operations plan and direct the state’s emergency response.
The declaration triggers other executive powers and safeguards, such as prohibiting excessive price increases pursuant to New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and the ability to waive certain procurement procedures to expedite the delivery of goods and services necessary for coronavirus preparedness and response efforts.
Murphy’s emergency declaration empowers all state agencies, specifically the Departments of Banking and Insurance, Health, Human Services, and the Civil Service Commission to take all appropriate steps to address the public health hazard of COVID-19.
In response to the declaration, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced the suspension of all daily senior activities and trips starting on Wednesday “given that our senior population is significantly more vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Our Department of Health and Human Services will be on hand to provide guidance and assistance on Tuesday as we inform our seniors of this decision, to protect their health and safety. The multi-service center, especially the gathering location for seniors, will continue to have enhanced sanitizing procedures implemented,” Bhalla said.
Bhalla also said that there are reports of price gauging for certain products in Hoboken and noted that price increases over 10 percent of a product’s normal cost is strictly prohibited.
“If you believe a business has unfairly raised prices given COVID-19, or if you were the target of a scheme, I encourage you to immediately file a complaint online at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or call 973-504-6240, as recommended by the State of New Jersey,” Bhalla said.
Bhalla advised residents to work remotely from home if possible and to avoid public gatherings.
” The City will continue to monitor the situation and make a determination on scheduled public meetings later this week,” he said, noting there are no presumed cases of Coronavirus in Hoboken as of this morning.
“If you feel sick, please be sure to stay home,” Bhalla said. “If you are in Hoboken and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider. You may also contact the Hoboken Health Department at 201-420-2000 ext. 5211.”
He recomended that residents continue to wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching their faces. He asked that residents remind their senior neighbors of the precautions.
“We’re all one community, and together we’ll do everything we can to stay safe,” he said.
For the most up-to-date information, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at http://www.nj.gov/health or the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov, or call the NJ Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-962-1253 (if using an out-of-state phone line).