Several NJ towns could lock down completely for days — NJ top news for 11/18
The first of what could be a series of regional lockdowns may be imposed in Essex County in the days ahead as COVID-19 cases surge.
Newark, Orange, East Orange and Irvington have reportedly agreed to plan to shut everything down for 24 hours. East Orange Mayor Ted Green told NBC-4 he and his fellow mayors had a Zoom call this week, and agreed to the lockdown if cases continue to rise.
"We're going to have to stop the stores opening up. We're going to have to stop the beauty salons opening up," Green said.
Green said if the number of COVID infections continue to rise even after that, they would extend the shutdown for three days.
Essex County has had among the highest infection rates in New Jersey according to figures released by the state health department. All four cities have enacted curfew restrictions beyond what Gov. Phil Murphy has declared statewide. Murphy did issue an executive order that empowered municipalities to tighten curfews, but a total shutdown goes beyond the scope of that order, and would need state approval. Murphy has been warning that "all options are on the table" as COVID cases spike beyond where they were in April.
Green says he realizes business and residents may be angry about another lockdown, but tells News 4 he can take it: "It's tough love. If I didn't love you, I wouldn't do it."
This is similar to a plan in New York state that enacts targeted closures in micro-clustered regions where COVID cases are spiking.
Other Top NJ News:
- While some of you tell us you have altered how you plan to have Thanksgiving dinner this year, there are a large number who are thumbing their noses at suggestions by Murphy and health experts.
- State health officials are strongly urging you not to travel over Thanksgiving. Nearly every state in the nation has been added to New Jersey's travel advisory list.
- The Murphy administration is warning about kids coming home from college for the holidays.
- No matter how safe and effective an eventual COVID-19 vaccine may be, plenty of New Jersey residents say they will not get one.
- As a growing number of school districts close their buildings, when will in-person classes resume? Many are pushing things off into January.
- Cherry Hill is welcoming students back into classrooms, despite more than three dozen kids testing positive.
- League officials say it's not hockey players to blame for a COVID outbreak, it's parents misbehaving in the parking lot.
- State police are investigating the shooting of a cat left paralyzed after its spinal cord was pierced by a bullet and left along the side of the road.