As lockdown continues, Vauss urges residents to follow the rules

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IRVINGTON, NJ — Mayor Tony Vauss is vigorously working to enforce the Irvington, Newark, East Orange and Orange four-city lockdown, consistently meeting with the other mayors to reassess.

 “I’ve issued an executive order that complies with the governor’s order to make sure that we’re doing our part,” Vauss said in a recent update. “Our major concern has been social distancing and people staying away from one another.”

To enforce this, the four towns have created a public safety task force comprising firefighters and police officers.

“What they are doing is going out into the community, in every ward, to disseminate information regarding COVID-19 and how to keep them and their families safe, and it really has been working,” Irvington Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers said. “Some people are not listening, and we did have to issue some summons, but overall, we have been doing a great job. We also have our safety units out there doing the same thing. They don’t answer service calls, but they ride around to the hot spots where we have been receiving complaints. We’re also limiting the exposure to the virus by pulling back all workers, where they work for four days and are off eight days.”

For Operation Lockdown, the four cities are conducting nightly roving border patrols, which have been seeing relatively quiet and empty streets, in compliance with the governor’s directives, according to Orange Police Director Todd Warren.

“We’re still at it,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said. “We’re still closing the nonessential businesses down. The ones that are still open, we check to make sure there is social distancing inside and outside. We’ve checked the stores and we’ve dealt with pedestrians that we thought needed to be dealt with. Now, we are requiring people to wear masks in stores, which is important. From senior citizen buildings and supermarkets to places of work, intense cleaning has taken place.”