NJ towns combat record COVID spike with mask mandates

New Jersey

HOBOKEN, NJ — It was business as usual Wednesday inside Stop Crying Studios, a fitness and wellness boutique gym in Hoboken.

As concerns over the omicron variant grew, members and staff here started wearing masks at the beginning of the month, getting the jump on the city, which implemented its own citywide mask mandate that went into effect just Wednesday.

“I just started seeing a lot of clients come in and they were concerned themselves and I said, ‘If you want me to put my mask on I will.’ It’s about being responsible,” owner Jon P. told PIX11 News.

The explosion of COVID cases in the Garden State has forced many municipalities, including Hoboken, to take action.

It’s one of six towns where masks are now required to be worn inside businesses and public buildings.

Newark, which currently leads the state with the highest amount of cases, was the first to establish the requirement while Paterson is only requiring masks be worn in city buildings

Despite the mandate going into effect at 6 a.m. in Hoboken, there were some businesses where it was clear that masks were not being enforced.

According to the city, the Office of Emergency Management is in the early stages of providing education on the mandate to local establishments.

City inspectors will be spot checking businesses for compliance. Those not complying will first be provided a warning and could be subject to temporary closure as a last resort.

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