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Hoboken Lawmakers Consider Fine Of Up $1,000 For Indoor House Parties

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Hoboken is one step closer to cracking down on house parties to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

People who throw indoor gatherings that violate state regulations will pay a price.

As CBS2's Christina Fan reported, the city has a robust testing system, and officials say that testing has led them to find that a lot of rowdy house parties seem to be behind the recent surge in COVID cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, Hoboken has proposed some of the strictest ordinances to combat rising COVID rates. This week, the city is on the verge of adopting another.

"Our contact tracing has shown that a lot of the new incidents are being traced to house parties," Council member Phil Cohen said. "We're concerned, we want to be proactive about this."

Cohen is sponsoring new bill that would fine residents up to $1,000 for disorderly indoor gatherings of 25 guests or more. He says, with the virus on the rise in the county and state, Hoboken must do more to keep numbers low.

"After leveling off around 596 cases in July, we are now up 950, 960 cases," he said. "Recently, we've had days where we've had 12, 13 positive tests in a day."


The ordinance comes as the mayor plans to sign an order that bars must close at midnight each night.

While some think the robust rules will limit transmission, other Hoboken residents feel the city leadership is overstepping.

"It's definitely necessary. We should be very limited in how we do this. We should be smart, we should play it smart," resident Kayla Ford said.

"I would say that he is going a bit overboard. I think he's feeling a little bit like Governor Murphy in that he's trying to overextend," said resident Brian Jenkins.

Council members will vote on the new ordinance Thursday. If it passes, it will likely go into effect immediately -- right before Halloween.


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