Gov. Murphy Announces NJ 'Stay-At-Home' Order Due To Coronavirus

Gov. Murphy Announces NJ 'Stay-At-Home' Order Due To Coronavirus

NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy issued a "stay-at-home" order on Saturday, and announced that five additional people have died, raising the state's coronavirus death toll to 16. He also announced 442 additional positive tests in New Jersey, raising the state's total to 1,327. (you can watch it live here, below).
"It's no time to panic. But it's no time for business as usual," he said.
The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work or engaging in outdoor activities.
The order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members or romantic partners, he said.
The orders shall take effect on Saturday at 9 p.m.
"From day one, we've made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey's nine million residents," said Murphy. "We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes. This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to flatten the curve and slow – and eventually halt – the spread of coronavirus."
Murphy's executive order further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:
  • Grocery stores, farmer's markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
  • Medical supply stores;
  • Gas stations;
  • Convenience stores;
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
  • Hardware and home improvement stores;
  • Banks and other financial institutions;
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
  • Pet stores;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
  • Printing and office supply shops;
  • Mail and delivery stores.
This does not limit:
  • The provision of health care or medical services;
  • Access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks;
  • The operations of the media;
  • Law enforcement agencies, or
  • The operations of the federal government.
Additionally, the order mandates that all businesses or non-profits, wherever practicable, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements, Murphy said.
To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary, he said.
Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include:
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Firefighters and other first responders
  • Cashiers or store clerks
  • Construction workers
  • Utility workers
  • Repair workers
  • Warehouse workers
  • Lab researchers
  • IT maintenance workers
  • Janitorial and custodial staff
  • Certain administrative staff.
The order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, requirements that all restaurants operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education cease in-person instruction.
Murphy also invalidated any county or municipal restriction that in any way will or might conflict with the state's rules.
The update comes as Murphy signed 16 bills into law, all intended to help New Jersey fight and deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Read more: Read more: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy Signs 16 Coronavirus Bills Into Law
Murphy also announced on Saturday the indefinite closure of all municipal, county and state public libraries in addition to all libraries and computer labs at public and private colleges and universities.
"New Jersey will continue to be proactive in our approach to identify and enact measures to promote social distancing," said Murphy. "While many of these facilities are an important part of the fabric of our communities, it's critical that we take this opportunity to slow the spread of coronavirus seriously."
That order took effect at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced the five deaths, saying three of the five were in either long-term care or rehabilitation facilities:
  • A Monmouth County man in his 50s
  • An Essex County man in his 80
  • A Bergen County man in is 40s
  • A Morris County woman in her 70s
  • A Bergen County man in his 90s
Persichilli also provided a county-by-county breakdown of the cases:
  • Atlantic 1
  • Bergen 113
  • Burlington 4
  • Camden 3
  • Cape May 1
  • Essex 34
  • Gloucester 3
  • Hudson 31
  • Hunterdon 3
  • Mercer 8
  • Middlesex 40
  • Monmouth 39
  • Morris 28
  • Ocean 13
  • Passaic 17
  • Somerset 7
  • Sussex 3
  • Union 38
  • Warren 2
Five more counties also will be getting coronavirus testing sites. Read more: Coronavirus Drive-Through Testing Sites To Open In 5 NJ Counties




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