Small businesses in New Jersey take precautions as COVID cases rise

Coronavirus Update New Jersey

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Saturday, December 18, 2021
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Naveen Dhaliwal has more on rising COVID cases in New Jersey.

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- At the Peper and Parlor Boutique on Washington Street in Hoboken, Grace Aki says business has been good, and the safety precautions are clearly set.

"We are happy to have our door open," said Grace Aki, "Having hand sanitizer at the door, making sure people are masked, it's the only way we can feel safe."

As the holiday season is in full swing, it is happening again - COVID numbers in New Jersey are rising.

The new variant, omicron is spreading quickly, with Governor Murphy giving a warning.

"While omicron is listed as a small percentage of cases right now in New Jersey, I'm here to tell you it's much more prevalent than that," Murphy said.

New Jersey's Covid positivity rate is just over nine percent, and as far as new mandates, the governor said "everything is on the table.'

This comes as people gear up for holiday gatherings.

"We have a small gathering tomorrow, and we all got rapid tests today," said Maria Zoccoli.

Zoccoli and her husband, Bert Contestabili are not letting their guard down any time soon.

"We were given the impression we were in the safe zone if you have a double vaccine and the booster - we did all those things, but apparently that's not working," said Contestabili.

This weekend, the annual Hoboken Santa Con will bring hundreds to the bars and restaurants that are required to ask for proof of vaccination. For resident Vito DePinto who is also a shop owner, it is not enough.

"People just don't care, I don't believe they know how serious this is," said DePinto.

With the COVID cases expected to rise, there is a bigger push for vaccinations and boosters.

ALSO READ | Shortage of Santa impersonators due to COVID worries comes as demand is at all time high

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