New Jersey denies Garwood’s plan to limit when shopping can be done

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A plan to restrict when Garwood residents could go shopping during the coronavirus crisis was denied by the state.

Americans across the country are being asked to limit how often they go out into public in order to limit potential COVID-19 exposure – especially so that the nation’s elderly residents are not put at risk.

Many supermarkets have updated store hours so that the elderly can shop in the morning with limited people around them. But Garwood wanted to take it one step further by limiting shopping based on a resident’s last name.

People with last names starting with A through M would have only been able to shop on even-numbered days. Last names starting with N through Z would have only been able to shop on odd-numbered days. But the measure did not go through because it overrides what was already put into place by the state government.

RELATED: Dollar General among several shops setting aside special hours for those at higher risk of coronavirus 
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“The goal behind it – being public safety – was to minimize the total number of people in a store at a given point in time and I know there are stores around New Jersey doing similar things,” says Mayor Sara Tedisco.

Photos: The Impact of Coronavirus Around the World

Shoppers were split on the proposal.

“I think it’s a good idea to start of space out the shoppers,” says Jenny Cline of Westfield.

“I don’t know, we did this in the 70s during the gas crisis,” says Garwood resident John Nieroda.

But for now, Garwood’s two supermarkets have reserved the hours of 6 a.m. through 8 a.m. for shoppers age 55 and older for the next two weeks.

“It could be beyond that, maybe a month or more,” Tedisco says. “We’re all praying that it ends sooner rather than late because of course, it has a huge impact on us. Not just on a government standpoint, but on an economic one too.”

Garwood currently has one case of coronavirus – a 62-year-old who is self-isolating but is in good condition.

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