MIDDLETOWN, NJ –At Monday’s Middletown Township Committee meeting, Mayor Tony Perry declared a State of Local Disaster Emergency within Middletown to help mitigate the evolving COVID-19 health situation.
“The health and safety of this community is our top priority,” said Mayor Perry. “It is crucial that we find ways to encourage fellow citizens to practice social distancing to help contain the spread of this disease. We are implementing these measures because it is imperative that our residents understand the gravity of the situation.”
Effective 8:00 p.m., Monday, March 16, 2020, the following measures must be taken and will be enforced, along with any other laws or orders imposed by the Governor of the State of New Jersey. Violation of a State of Emergency is considered a disorderly conduct penalty and is punishable by a fine of up to $1000, up to 6 months in jail or both.
1. All bars and restaurants, with or without liquor licenses, shall hereby be prohibited from serving any patrons on their premises at any time, but may conduct take out or delivery services only. Bars that do not serve food shall be closed. This directive shall also apply to private clubs and fraternal organizations that serve food and alcohol.
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2. All public theatres, gyms, indoor sports arenas/facilities, and health clubs shall hereby be closed at all times.
3. All non-essential places of business open to the general public shall only be open from 5:00 a.m. at the earliest until 8:00 p.m. at the latest. When opened, non-essential places of business with an occupancy of greater than 50 people shall be closed or limited to no more than 50 occupants at any one time and shall exercise social distancing practices as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”).
a. Supermarkets, stores selling food and personal products, pharmacies, medical facilities, and gas stations (including ancillary food markets) shall be considered essential places of business not subject to the above restrictions, but are advised to exercise social distancing practices.
b. Supermarkets or other stores selling prepared or other consumable foods on site, may not allow such foods to be consumed by the general public on site (employees may eat on site only).
4. All supermarkets, and applicable stores with more than three checkout lines, shall, within 24 hours, establish a minimum of one checkout line reserved for patrons over the age of 65.
5. All public or private gatherings of more than 50 people at any one location shall be strictly prohibited.
6. A mandatory curfew shall be in place for anyone under the age of 18 not accompanied by an adult of 21 years or older from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. each day unless it is an emergency circumstance or travel is required for employment.
7. All buildings and facilities of the Township of Middletown, except for outdoor public park facilities, shall be closed to the public except in the case of an emergency whereby a member of the public needs assistance from police, fire or emergency medical personnel.
8. All non-essential meetings of the Township of Middletown, its boards and commissions, are hereby cancelled until further notice.
On Friday, the Township issued a statement restricted public access to all municipal facilities through Tuesday, March 31st. Township employees are available to assist residents by phone and by email. Parks, playgrounds, golf courses and beaches are currently open to the public.
“Please be vigilant about helping flatten the Coronavirus curve by continually washing your hands with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, using hand sanitizer, staying home when sick and following guidelines provided by the CDC and New Jersey Department of Health,” recommended Mayor Perry.
Crisis counselors from the Monmouth County Division of Behavioral Health are available through the phone banks to help residents who may be experiencing stress or anxiety due to the evolving situation. The counselors will provide County residents with guidance to help them through this challenging time. The Monmouth County Health Department phone bank is now open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 732-845-2070.
Updates and information regarding events and programs affected by the COVID-19 situation are posted at www.middletownnj.org/coronavirus.