Home COVID-19 Hoboken Now Requiring Employees of Essential Businesses to Wear Masks, Asking Public to Do the Same

Hoboken Now Requiring Employees of Essential Businesses to Wear Masks, Asking Public to Do the Same

by Arielle Witter
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In wake of continuing concerns regarding the coronavirus, Hoboken has taken its protective measures a step further. As of Saturday, April 4th, the Mile Square is requiring that employees + customers of essential businesses that remain open wear face masks and gloves as a means of combating the spread of the coronavirus + keeping residents safe. Here’s what you need to know: 

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Wearing Face Masks

In a press release issued on April 4th, Hoboken’s Mayor Ravi Bhalla “released recommendations similar to those issued by the CDC to wear a face cover when out in public.”

He explained that the City will continue to “strongly recommend face covers for whenever a resident is outside his or her home,” but is now also requiring employees of essential businesses to cover up as well.

Mayor Bhalla said via press release:

“The Hoboken Office of Emergency Management issued a directive requiring that all employees of essential businesses, including but not limited to supermarkets, pharmacies and all restaurants and food establishments, wear a face cover and gloves while at work and serving customers. Face covers can include a bandana or scarf, or similar material. Face masks are also permitted, however, N95 masks and other PPE are urged to be left for medical professionals and first responders.”

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Now, many of us have likely seen many essential business employees already taking this protective measure, but now it is officially required to be done through the City of Hoboken.

Additionally, the City + OEM are taking things a step further and are requiring any customer of an essential business to also cover up.

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“OEM’s directive today requires face covers to be worn by any customer within essential businesses including supermarkets and pharmacies,” Mayor Bhalla said.  “While this may be uncomfortable, our objective is to provide added protection to both employees and residents in indoor confined spaces with a large amount of people filtering in and out throughout the day.”

This new step is simply an additional precaution to take amidst growing coronavirus concerns. The mayor, however, did clarify that covering up is not a precaution to be taken in place of social distancing — it’s simply an additive measure.

See More: All the Ways to Help Hospitals in Need of Resources in Hoboken, Jersey City, + Beyond

“Wearing a face cover does not at all negate the need for social distancing. Even when wearing a face cover, social distancing should be observed everywhere at all times, as recommended by the CDC, especially given that those who are asymptomatic could very well be carrying the virus,” he said.

The Bigger Picture

This additional precaution has been put in widespread effect following CDC findings “that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.”

In wake of these findings, the “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain {e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies} especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” So this isn’t just Hoboken-centric — it’s a major recommendation for the whole country to follow.

Ultimately, however, the goal here on a local level is to keep all of Hoboken’s residents as safe + healthy as possible while the pandemic continues to grow across the globe + new findings are released regarding how the virus spreads.

Beyond Masks

This new citywide update comes just a day after Hoboken announced that its COVID-19 testing center via Riverside Medical Group is now open to all of the city’s residents.

The reasoning here is simple — the more tests conducted, the more the City can understand and ultimately combat the virus. The unfortunate reality is that as testing continues, the more cases will come to light. And the more protective gear we all, particularly our healthcare professionals + first responders will need.

Luckily, many local residents have taken to donating + making their own masks and personal protective equipment {PPE} for medical professionals to use {like 96-year-old Josie Cemelli}. So if you do have PPE you’d like to donate to help our healthcare heroes, please contact Brian O’Nieal from the City’s Community Emergency Response Team {CERT} at [email protected], as they are collecting donations at City Hall.

See More: 14 Headlines You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

Following this news, if you’re looking to make your own mask at home, there are plenty of ways. Find a full guide here and a quick visual tutorial with a bandana + some scrunchies here.

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at [email protected]! We appreciate it.

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