Four NJ businesses reopen in violation of COVID-19 shutdown orders: police

Maya Rajamani
May 22, 2020 - 12:50 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- At least four businesses in New Jersey violated the state’s executive order by reopening within the past 24 hours, including a gym, a car wash and a pizzeria, the head of State Police said Friday. 

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During Gov. Phil Murphy’s daily briefing on Friday, New Jersey State Police Colonel Pat Callahan said the owner of a car wash in Teaneck and the owner of a gym in Hillsboro both received citations for opening and operating overnight Thursday into Friday.

A pizzeria owner in Hoboken, meanwhile, was cited for serving both indoor and outdoor diners and “refus(ing) to close when warned,” Callahan said. 

And in Clifton, the owner of a hair and nail salon that opened for business was charged with violating the state’s COVID-19 executive order, according to Callahan. 

Police also broke up a “large crowd” in Rahway that failed to disperse, Callahan said. One person in the crowd received a citation. 

Callahan didn’t provide the names of the businesses that were cited for violations. 

The gym in Hillsboro wasn’t the first fitness center to reopen in defiance of the state’s executive order. State health officials on Thursday shut down a gym in Bellmawr after it opened and remained so for three days. 

Asked about the Bellmawr gym on Friday, Murphy said he was “not going to comment about the specifics of it.” 

“Overwhelmingly, gym operators are doing the right thing,” he said. The state will reopen gyms when it is safe to do so, but is “not there yet,” he maintained. 

“What good does it do us to say that we’re not opening gyms, unless we’ve got a good reason?” he asked. 

“If you’re indoors, you don’t have ventilation, you’re in close proximity, you’re sedentary and/or you’re sweating and breathing heavily,” he added. “It’s a petri dish.” 

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