New Jersey businesses brace for state-ordered closures over COVID-19

BORDENTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey officials ordered sweeping social distancing measures Monday, shuttering bars, restaurants and casinos, and discouraging non-essential travel between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Per Governor Phil Murphy, all restaurants will be take-out or delivery only until further notice. Many local eateries are scrambling to come up with a plan.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 178 on Monday, including a third case in Camden County. Officials say a woman in Haddon Township is in self-isolation.

"Fortunately the patient did not come into contact with people other than her family, with the exception of one friend," said Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli.

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COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019, which was when the first cases were reported.

At Marcello's restaurant in Bordentown, pizza will still be in the oven, but the dining room will be empty.

"It's harmful. Everyone's scared," said owner Vincent Minerva.

Marcello's is offering incentives like free pasta with takeout pizza.

"We've been here for 16 years because all of our customers have been here for 16 years and they've built us up, so that's why we're giving back," said Minerva.

Regular customers we spoke with will miss their favorite spots.

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Governor Phil Murphy said Monday that 80 additional coronavirus cases have been reported, bringing the state's total to 178.

"Small businesses will be hurt terribly. And that's tough to fix," said Alice Rohrbacher of Bordentown Township. She stopped at Marcello's for lunch at the bar, just in time.

At Under the Moon Cafe in Bordentown, owner Estela Orosco worries this will sink her small restaurant. But she still thinks it's the right move to keep people safe.

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"This is something very serious. I have kids. All my customers know me for 15 years. And I am a very honest person. It's the right thing to do," said Orosco.

Murphy's social distancing measures announced Monday also mean casinos will be closed, along with gyms and movie theaters.

State officials say anyone who violates the governor's orders could end up with a disorderly persons offense from local law enforcement.
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