Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss and health officials have predicted that the number of coronavirus cases in Irvington may surge to the highest level since the start of the pandemic due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
“With Thanksgiving approaching, I will take an aggressive approach to limit its spread and keep the residents of Irvington and the surrounding cities safe," The Honorable Mayor Vauss said in a statement Monday morning.
Accordingly, Mayor Vauss is calling for all nonessential employees of the Township of Irvington, the Irvington Public Schools and the Irvington Housing Authority to work-from-home for 14 days following the Thanksgiving holiday from November 30 to December 14.
He is further calling for all companies and industries within the Township that can allow their employees to work-from-home to limit their contact with the public.
All Township, Public School and Housing Authority employees will be required to be tested and receive a negative result prior to returning to work.
Further, there will be increased testing available to the public at two locations: (1) inside City Hall and (2) at Irvington high school.
The Mayor contends that limiting the number of employees and people spending time within the Township will significantly reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread.
Mayor Vauss is also calling for all of the Township’s businesses to participate in helping stop the spread by requiring masks in order to be served or enter the establishment and to make sure everyone is practicing social distancing by standing 6 feet apart from each other. Irvington’s local law enforcement will be out enforcing Gov. Murphy’s Executive Orders in the days leading up to and the weeks after Thanksgiving.
Mayor Vauss’s objective is to provide for the overall safety and wellness of the Township as a whole. Moreover, he has severe concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Irvington community.
Therefore, he is also calling for Irvington’s residents to practice common-sense safety measures during the holiday.
“We need to pay special attention to the people in our lives who are at highest risk of severe disease from COVID-19," the Mayor said. "My goal is to do everything I am empowered to do by New Jersey Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders to protect these people. Often, these are the people like grandparents and older relatives that we wish to see the most during the holidays. Unfortunately, there might not be a way to do so safely. This isn’t an ordinary year. This year, we all need to creatively problem-solve to spend time together so that we will have many more holidays in the future to spend with our loved ones.”
Mayor Vauss’s announcement is being made in compliance with Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 195, which permits municipalities and counties to impose limited additional restrictions on the hours of operation of non-essential retail businesses, food and beverage establishments, and recreation and entertainment businesses after 8:00 p.m.