RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A day after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a proof of vaccination requirement for anyone taking part in indoor public activities, all eyes were on Gov. Phil Murphy to see if he would follow suit.
Over in New Jersey, cases are on the rise and many, including business owners, are waiting on more guidance.
While no official announcement has been made, It’s fueling some frustration among residents and businesses.
“We are a very small family owned business,” said Danielle Vance, who’s been serving up vegan treats for nearly 15 years at Sweet Avenue Bake Shop in Rutherford. “If we get sick, we’re going to close down.”
So when Bergen County was designated an area of “substantial” transmission for COVID-19 by the CDC last week, she did what she thought was in the best interest of the community, implementing a mask mandate for everyone who enters the shop.
“Some people say they’re boycotting us, now they don’t want to come in,” Vance said. “Someone said that we’re forcing customers to wear muzzles.”
A masking recommendation issued by Gov. Murphy last week appears to have caused a fair of problems for small businesses like Vance’s.
She like many, now hoping to get more guidance from the state.
“It makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page,” Vance added.
Gov. Murphy — who Wednesday signed a sweeping housing prevention and utility assistance bill into law at an event in Union City that drew anti-vaccination protesters — stopped short of making any announcements. He merely said that “all options are on the table.“ The governor even said that implementing a proof of vaccine requirement similar to what Mayor de Blasio announced Tuesday is one of those options.
New Jersey reported another 1,164 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths as the Delta variant continues to drive up the state’s numbers. Officials are crediting its high vaccination rate — which currently sits at 58% — for preventing an explosion of new cases.
Despite cases on the rise, Murphy has said in the past the numbers that will trigger new restrictions are deaths and hospitalizations. Both of them, for now, remain low in New Jersey.