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Ten people in New Jersey, including a 99-year-old man, have been charged for violating the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order after attending an engagement party.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday., police broke up the party in Lakewood on the front lawn of the home of Yaakov Kaufman, 47, and Eti Kaufman, 45, and found a group of adults and children gathering to celebrate an engagement. The couple was charged not only with violating the governor’s executive order but also with six counts of child endangerment, according to a release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office.
Eight other adults, including 99-year-old Michael Zimmerman, were charged with violating the emergency declaration.
Days before, cops broke up a 47-person “corona party,” where guests were crammed into a 550-square foot apartment — complete with a DJ — in Ewing Township. Only the party’s 47-year-old host, Wade Jackson, was charged.
“NO CORONA PARTIES,” Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted after the bust. “We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine.”
Murphy signed an executive order on March 21 directing all residents to “stay at home,” closing all nonessential businesses and banning all public gatherings and nonessential travel.
“All gatherings are canceled. This means no weddings, no funerals or birthday parties,” Murphy said in a video posted to Twitter. “I don’t take this action lightly, but my goal is to make sure you can gather safely with family and friends later.”
Police in Lakewood alone have faced more than 50 compliance issues, according to CBS New York. The city has pledged to fine those who refuse to disperse up to $500.
As of Wednesday afternoon, New Jersey had the second-highest number of cases in the country, with 18,997 diagnosed and 262 deaths.
The U.S. surpassed 200,000 cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, coming in at 203,608 and 4,476 deaths.