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Jersey City becomes first in nation to scan residents for COVID

Jersey City is set to become the first city in the nation to scan its residents for COVID-19 as it battles back from the virus that has claimed the lives of nearly 500 of its residents and infected over 6,000.

Mayor Steven Fulop today unveiled state-of-the-art body temperature scanners and mask recognition technology being installed at every entrance of all Jersey City municipal buildings to help continue to slow the spread of infections.

It is hoped the technology will also help facilitate the swift and safe return of the city’s full workforce.

The body scanners are the latest effort by the city as it tackles the coronavirus. Last week, it introduced a Slow Streets program that temporarily closes designated streets throughout the city in order to give residents more recreational space for walking, jogging, biking, and more. It will also bring about more Pedestrian Plazas in other parts of Jersey City.

Anyone entering a city building will be scanned for COVID symptoms.

 “We have been working to bring outside-the-box solutions to address the various issues created by this unprecedented crisis,” said Mayor Fulop.  “We were the first to implement strict and effective social distancing measures, and now as we work to carefully reopen, these Slow Streets will act as a relief valve for safe outdoor activities this summer as we see the streets and parks start to get crowded again.  This program will also support further recovery efforts on the horizon.”

New Jersey has been pushing ahead with its phased reopening, allowing malls to opens their doors yesterday (Monday) without movie theaters, arcades, and food courts, however. All stores are limited to 50 percent capacity.

New Jersey restaurants had been ready to begin limited, indoor dining on Thursday, July 2. However, Governor Phil Murphy has nixed his initial plans after seeing a surge in coronavirus cases in states that reopened their indoor dining.

Governor Murphy has also signed a new executive order allowing gyms and fitness centers to offer “individualized indoor instruction by appointment only.” And the NJ Transit and the Light Rail will resume full weekday service starting Monday, July 6.

Indoor gatherings are now limited to 25 percent capacity of the rooms in which they will take place, with a maximum of 100 persons. Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 250 persons. Outdoor religious services and political activities have no limits.

Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors also re-opened in New jersey on Monday with business owners required to perform health screenings — such as temperature checks — on clients and staff.

The Garden State’s long-term care facilities are also allowing family members back to visit their loved ones in designated outdoor spaces.

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