ASBURY PARK – Faced with a surge in COVID-19 cases as omicron continues its rampage, the city has imposed a mask warrant that will take effect at noon Friday.
Masks will be required in all indoor public places, from government facilities to restaurants, supermarkets, gyms, hair salons, banks, hotels and places of worship.
Children under 3 will be exempt.
All “indoor public housing” areas must display signs advising clients of the mandate.
With the move decided at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Asbury Park joins a growing list of other cities that have taken this milestone, including Hoboken, Montclair, Newark, North Brunswick, South Brunswick and South Orange.
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The mandate will remain in effect until the devastating rise in COVID cases recedes significantly, said Asbury Park Mayor John Moor.
“The numbers in Asbury Park and in Monmouth County are only skyrocketing,” Moor said.
Asbury Park has seen more than 300 new cases over the past week, Moor said.
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“We’re trying to lead this back to normal,” Moor said. “We are trying to reduce the pressure on emergency responders and hospitals. It’s a mess over there. We are trying to take it in hand.
He added that he hopes the city can abandon the mandate before St. Patrick’s Day.
“As soon as we can lift this, we will lift it,” he said.
All public government meetings are back to video conferencing, he said.