April 20, 2020
State officials have mandated Dalton Farms in Swedesboro, Gloucester County, to shut down its popular drive-through tulip tours due to the coronavirus pandemic across New Jersey, the farm announced on its Facebook page. The ban on the springtime tours went into effect at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, the farm said.
The drive-through tulip tours at the 99-acre family-owned farm began on March 30 and were slated to go until at least Wednesday. Anyone who had purchased tickets for the final three days of tours would receive a refund, the farm said.
“We're heartbroken to get this news in the middle of the day and would like to thank all those who came out over the last few weeks,” Dalton Farms wrote on its Facebook page.
Fans of Dalton Farms’ tulip tours shared messages of support on the farm’s Facebook page.
“It just isn’t fair!,” one Facebook user wrote. “I am thankful I got to see your beautiful farm! I was there during the second weekend you were open! Thank you for giving us a sense of peace during this time. It shows us that even during this terrible crisis, God still makes the world a beautiful place. God Bless!”
“So sorry this happened we had such a nice time during our drive thru brought such normalcy to our day!!,” another Facebook user wrote. “Can’t wait to come back!!”
Customers are able to pick up pre-ordered online tulip bunches at the farm’s Lakeside Tulip Farmstand at a scheduled time. Dalton Farms, which has 18 flower varieties, said that it’s hopeful to have customers back in September for its Festival of Sunflowers.
Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all non-essential businesses in New Jersey to close on March 21 to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus across the state. He also mandated all residents to stay at home and banned both private and public gatherings of all sizes across the state.
Restaurants and bars were two of the businesses that were permitted to stay open if only providing delivery and takeout services for customers.
Some of the other businesses that have been permitted to stay open across the state include grocery stores, food banks, pharmacies, medical marijuana dispensaries, gas stations, automobile repair shops, convenience stores, banks and financial institutions, hardware repair stores, laundromats, printing stores, pet stores, stores with children's supplies, mail and delivery stores, and liquor stores.
Murphy updated the list of essential businesses on March 30 to include auto dealerships, gun shops, breweries, and real estate agencies. Marinas, boatyards, and marine manufacturers in New Jersey were deemed permitted to remain open for personal use this past Saturday.
New Jersey reported an additional 3,528 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state’s total number of cases up to 88,806. There have now been 4,377 deaths due to the virus across New Jersey as of Monday afternoon.
While the vast majority of coronavirus cases and deaths due to COVID-19 have occurred in North Jersey, South Jersey has had 5,768 positive cases and 209 deaths due to the virus.