Montclair and South Orange have become the latest New Jersey municipalities to order indoor mask mandates as COVID-19 omicron cases continue to rise and are expected to soar over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
In Newark on Monday, Mayor Ras Baraka issued an executive order requiring residents and visitors to be masked when in public buildings. The order, effective immediately, also requires bar patrons to be seated and to wear masks when not eating or drinking. South Orange Mayor Sheena Collum said in a statement Tuesday night that she signed an executive order, effective immediately, requiring an “indoor mask mandate for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.” Masks are to be worn in all public buildings and businesses within the township, Collum said. “Despite our incredibly high vaccination rates in all age categories, we have 113 open cases right now,” Collum said. “The overwhelming majority of these cases are considered breakthrough cases, meaning a fully vaccinated person got infected with the virus and can spread it to others.”