Jersey City Councilman-at-Lavarro Rolando Lavarro will introduce a resolution urging all residents to wear non-medical face coverings in all public spaces outside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic at next week’s regularly scheduled meeting.
By Corey McDonald/Hudson County View
The resolution, which will be introduced at the May 6th city council meeting, cites evidence from the U.S. Center for Disease Control that indicates the coronavirus is being spread by asymptomatic carriers and has recommended the use of a non-medical face covering in public spaces to prevent the spread of the virus.
“As of yesterday, New Jersey alone has lost 6,044 to coronavirus, with 673 in Hudson County and 278 in Jersey City. These are not mere numbers but people in our lives and our community who have been taken away from us too soon,” Lavarro said in a statement.
“ … It is a small sacrifice for all of us to properly wear a non-medical or home-made mask or bandana while walking outside, for our own health and that of your neighbors.”
As of April 27th, Jersey City has tested 7,501 residents, but Lavarro noted that the “the status of over 250,000 residents, whether they are carriers of the coronavirus or not, are unknown and can be potential carriers.”
Additionally, Jersey City has confirmed 4,975 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of yesterday.
Earlier this month, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) issued an executive order mandating that all essential employees and customers wear face masks.
The resolution, if passed by the Jersey City Council, would be similar to what Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has asked of his residents.
Additionally, Union City Mayor Brian Stack has signed an executive order calling for all patrons to wear a face mask whenever exiting their homes.
“We are already asking people to wear a mask or face cover while at the grocery store or at one of five local parks that are now open to the public, so it is not a big stretch to ask everyone to wear a face cover while you are outside walking your dog or taking a stroll by yourself or with a family member,” Lavarro added.
Many Jersey City residents can already be seen wearing masks while outside, despite the fact that there is no obligation.
Others choose not to wear a mask, but instead opt to “stay away from people as much as we can,” said Catherine, a Jersey City resident who declined to give her last name.
“I think making people try to do it might be a little difficult,” she added.
“Whatever keeps people safe,” said Will Ramirez, a Jersey City resident who spoke in favor of the resolution.
Others, however, were concerned that the priority should be ensuring that all first responders have face masks.
“I think the resolution is smart, but I also think that as hard as it was for people to find face masks, I think it’s more important that the first responders have them,” said James, who declined to provide his last name.
“I’m not going to wear a mask when I don’t need to. I’m going to wear one when I need to, not when I’m walking through the park.”
Follow Corey McDonald on Twitter @cwmcdonald_