Cites 3 incidents where police charged persons for illegal gatherings
TRENTON—Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today reiterated his message that law enforcement agencies across New Jersey are strictly enforcing the Governor’s Executive Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who refuse to comply will face criminal charges. Attorney General Grewal cited three recent examples where police charged individuals for holding prohibited gatherings, including a house party in Penns Grove and two large gatherings yesterday in Lakewood, one of which was a wedding reception. “Our first responders should not be expending their limited personal protective equipment and putting themselves at risk by breaking up large gatherings like they did twice yesterday in Lakewood and over the weekend in Salem County,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “That’s why we’ve charged these three individuals and will charge anyone else who threatens public health by holding large gatherings during this emergency. Our message is clear: stay home!” Late Saturday night, police responded to a noise complaint on Lanning Avenue in Penns Grove, where more than 30 people were attending a house party. Officers of the Penns Grove Police Department broke up the party and charged the man who was hosting the party, Jacquon Jones, 37, with a disorderly persons offense for violating Governor Murphy’s order prohibiting large gatherings. Party guests were making videos of the party to post on YouTube. In Lakewood, police responded at approximately 2:30 p.m. yesterday to a large group of people gathered at a tent for a wedding outside a home. As police units responded to disperse the gathering, the homeowner continued the wedding. Lakewood Police issued a summons to the homeowner, Meir T. Gruskin, 37, charging him with a disorderly persons offense for violating the emergency order. After the summons was issued, the wedding ended and the crowd dispersed. The second incident in Lakewood took place at a school located on Main Street. Police responded at approximately 5:52 p.m. yesterday and discovered a gathering of approximately 25 teenage and adult males. Upon conclusion of the gathering, officers advised the school’s headmaster, Abraham Bursztyn, 48, that he was violating the emergency order and issued him a summons, charging him with maintaining a nuisance, a disorderly persons offense. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 110, directing all child care centers in New Jersey to certify by Friday, March 27, that they will solely serve as emergency child care centers for the children of essential workers. Child care centers that do not certify that they can and will exclusively care for these children of essential workers must close by Wednesday, April 1. “Essential personnel are a vital part of our response and limiting child care to solely these individuals will assist in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases, as well as provide our front-line workers with the critical services they need to get through this emergency,” said Governor Murphy. “A lack of child care cannot be a barrier for our essential employees, and while these workers commit themselves to our New Jersey family, we will commit ourselves to protecting their families.” “Safe, dependable childcare has always been a necessity for working families,” said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “It is even more crucial now for parents working in professions deemed essential during this public health crisis. The state’s response to, and recovery from, the Novel Coronavirus really hinges on the skills and ability of our dedicated first responders and essential personnel. We need to do all we can to help them do their jobs without the worry and distraction of losing safe childcare options.” “In this ongoing emergency, child care providers and staff who care for the children of essential workers are vitally important to our children and to the State’s response,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “We thank the entire child care workforce for their dedication and commitment every day, and especially during this difficult time.” Among the directives, the Governor’s executive order directs:
The Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, in consultation with the Commissioners of the Departments of Education, Human Services, and Health, shall implement a plan permitting access to emergency child care services for the children of “essential persons.”
In order to be designated as an Emergency Child Care Center, any person or organization, requesting permission to stay open or resume operations on or after April 1, 2020, shall submit the certification form to the Commissioner of Children and Families for approval by Friday, March 27, 2020. If the certification form demonstrates that it will provide child care services exclusively to “essential persons” during the school closure period, and that it will follow all applicable emergency child care standards, the Commissioner shall authorize it to remain open or resume operations as an emergency child care center.
Any child care centers, including those as defined in this executive order, that fail to timely certify shall be closed to the public as of Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and remain closed through the school closure period. Centers shall receive notice of the Commissioner of Children and Families’ certification decision by Monday, March 30, 2020.
Child care centers, for purposes of this order, include entities providing care on a regular basis for children aged 0-13, including licensed child care centers.
For purposes of this order, essential persons shall include, but not be limited to: 1) Health care workers, including staff working in health care facilities and in community-based services including home health and behavioral health; 2) law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency services personnel, and staff at correctional facilities; 3) individuals employed at emergency child care centers operating on or after April 1, 2020; 4) staff working for entities that provide essential social services, including, but not limited to, group home and shelter staff; 5) essential government employees who are unable to work from home, including child protection services workers, child welfare workers, foster care workers, unemployment compensation processing staff, and public health employees; and 6) certain critical workers, as defined by the Commissioner of DCF, at essential retail businesses, as defined in Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent Administrative Orders. The Commissioner of DCF shall have the authority to make changes to this list.
The order will take effect immediately. For a copy of Executive Order No. 110, click here.To access the form for Child Care Centers, click here.
Hamilton, NJ –The Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) alerted the Hamilton Township Health Department that we have a total of 12 (twelve) positive COVID-19 cases in town. The residents range in age from 22-years-old to 91-years-old. All are either at home self-isolating or admitted to the hospital.
As a reminder to the public, confidentiality laws (HIPAA) prevent the Township from releasing certain details to the public. Please know that our Health Department has been diligently working to conduct comprehensive investigations for each positive case. Anyone who was in close or direct contact with the individuals who have tested positive is contacted by the Health Department to inform them that they have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Over the weekend, Governor Murphy announced a stay at home order for all residents of New Jersey. We ask Hamilton Township residents that when venturing outside of your home to please cooperate with social distancing guidelines. Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.
We know that staying at home and limiting physical interaction is difficult, especially with the warming weather, but is a critical part in doing everything we can now to flatten the curve to keep people safe and save lives. We know that COVID-19 can have very serious consequences for our vulnerable populations, especially our seniors, and ask that you keep them in mind.
For general questions about COVID-19 please dial 2-1-1, text “NJCOVID” to 898-211, or visit covid19.nj.gov.