Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 10, 2020

Union County Freeholder Board Warns against Price Gouging during COVID-19 Outbreak

Union County, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has declared a Public Health Emergency due to the expected spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey. As part of the declaration, Governor Murphy invoked the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, which prohibits excessive price increases by businesses during and immediately following a declared state of emergency.

“Price gouging is illegal during and after a declared emergency, it’s as simple as that,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We encourage any resident or visitor to report excessively high prices for sanitizer and other items to the County’s Office of Consumer Affairs.”

Consumers who suspect price gouging in Union County can contact the Office of Consumer Affairs at 908-654-9840 or use the online complaint form at ucnj.org/public-safety/office-of-consumer-affairs.

The Governor’s Public Health State of Emergency declaration, Executive Order 103, is designed to strengthen preparedness measures. It covers procedures for staffing and supplying government offices and also qualifies New Jersey for federal disaster assistance. It does not involve travel restrictions or other closures that impact the public.

Union County residents and visitors are advised to take common sense precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home if you are sick, and avoid sick people.

Health professionals also advise members of the public to maintain a safe “social distance” of approximately 3 feet from other people. This may mean avoiding crowded events, activities and spaces where social distancing is impractical.

In the event that Union County residents are advised to stay indoors for a period of time, the standard guidelines for limiting trips outside of the home apply:

  • Stock up on a two-week supply of food, water, household supplies, baby care items, and over-the-counter medications, including supplies for any pets.
  • Ensure that any necessary prescriptions have been filled.
  • Make a plan for caring for family members in your home if needed.
  • Plan for extended school and day care closures.
  • Talk to your employer about telecommuting.

Additional guidance and links to more resources are available from the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health/cd/topics.

Members of the public with questions about COVID-19 can call the New Jersey Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Call Center 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222. The call center is open 24/7 and offers guidance in several languages.

Please note that this number is for the general public only. Clinicians should call their local health department for guidance.

#  #

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

Facebook Feed