New Jersey - COVID-19 Covered

New Jersey

Total Cases: 227,339 (October 25)
Fatalities: 16,281 (October 25)
Testing:
  • A list of active testing sites in the tri-state area can be found here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 107 identifying essential businesses, including grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, pharmacies and alternative treatment centers that dispense medicinal marijuana, medical supply stores, gas stations, convenience stores, 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 old, pet stores, liquor stores, car dealerships (but only to provide auto maintenance and repair services, and auto mechanics), office supply shops and mail and delivery stores. All other brick-and-mortar premises of non-essential retail businesses must close to the public as long as the order remains in effect. Essential businesses must, wherever possible, offer pickup services outside or by phone and are required to practice social distancing whenever possible. (March 21)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • New Jersey released official reopening guidance for businesses based on sector. Details for each sector can be found here. 
  • Governor Murphy signed legislation authorizing the extension of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission deadlines and streamlining processes during the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 10) 
  • Governor Murphy issued an executive order allowing any public employee eligible for enrollment into the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) to immediately enroll upon hire, rather than wait two months. Previously, the two-month waiting period was waived only for public employees hired specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order, which will last for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, applies to any public employee eligible for enrollment into the SHBP who is hired on or after March 9. (August 3) 
  • The New Jersey Labor Department announced the state would be extending unemployment benefits by 20 weeks. (July 1) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Murphy announced $14 million in additional Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to develop workforce development programs. The programs are designed to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 replenish their workforce and help jobless residents learn new skills that lead to successful reemployment. (October 21) 
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order that extends a moratorium preventing New Jersey residents from having their utilities disconnected through at least March 15, 2021. The moratorium applies to all residential gas, electric, and water utilities, both public and private. The order also requires that all residential services that were disconnected after social distancing measures went into effect on March 16 be reconnected. Governor Murphy and legislative leadership further announced that $15 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be allocated to assisting lowincome households in paying off utility arrearages. (October 15) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $100 million in additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 13) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for the Local Government Emergency Fund to aid counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct CRF allocation plan. (October 9) 
  • The Murphy Administration announced today the availability of grant applications for school security, water infrastructure improvements, and enhancement of career and technical education in county vocational-technical school districts and county colleges in New Jersey. The grants are supported by $500 million in bonds authorized by the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Actand approved by New Jersey voters in November 2018. (October 9) 
  • Governor Murphy, alongside Congressman Andy Kim and Congressman Donald Norcross, announced $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for the Local Government Emergency Fund to aid counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct CRF allocation plan. (October 9) 
  • Governor Murphy signed the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) Appropriations Act into law, working together with legislative leadership to enact a revised spending plan that manages to protect core priorities and deliver middle-class tax relief during the historic fiscal crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget plan also fully reestablishes the millionaires’ tax that expired in 2010, instituting the existing 10.75% rate on income over $5 million to income earned over $1 million. (September 29) 
  • Governor Murphy and the Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride today announced $3.5 million in grant funding for community organizations to serve as state Navigators to provide free outreach, education, and enrollment assistance to residents shopping for health insurance during the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period. (September 15) 
  • Governor Murphy announced plans to dedicate $250 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, which will provide additional support to children and their families as well as for thousands of child care providers with resources. These plans are highlighted in the Governor’s FY2021 revised Budget Proposal as part of the state’s spending plan for the $2.39 billion federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. (August 28) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that the State’s public water, gas, and electric utility companies regulated by BPU have all agreed to extend their voluntary moratorium preventing shutoffs to both residential and commercial customers during the COVID-19 pandemic until October 15. Additionally, the utilities will offer residential and commercial customers a flexible and extended Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) of at least 12 months and up to 24 months. No down payments will be required for this assistance. (August 21) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $37 million in support for 12 additional counties to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 20) 
  • Governor Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, and Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced the Administration’s proposal to provide long-term care facilities with $155 million in additional funding as they look to reopen to visitors and resume normal operations. (August 10) 
  • Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver announced that $25 million in CARES Act funding will be allocated to reimburse landlords whose tenants missed rent payments between April and July. (August 7) 
  • Governor Murphy signed into law the “New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act,” which authorizes the state to borrow up to $9.9 billion to address the unprecedented fiscal crisis that has arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 16) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that $20 million of CARES Act funding will support local food banks during the pandemic. (July 9) 
  • New Jersey officially opened enrollment for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, a $100 million endeavor designed to help people pay past due rent. (July 7) 
  • Governor Murphy today signed legislation providing substantial health care cost savings for New Jersey’s educators while reducing costs for taxpayers, removing longstanding and onerous provisions resulting from a 2011 law known as Chapter 78. (July 1) 
  • The Murphy Administration announced they would be establishing a $100 million short-term rental assistance program for low and moderate-income families. (May 29) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Murphy announced an additional $15 million in CARES Act funding has been made available to New Jersey small businesses. (July 28) 
  • Governor Murphy announced a new relief program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that will allow businesses in 64 eligible municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. (July 23) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that the State would be “committing $50 million in federal CARES Act funding” to support small businesses. (May 15) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Murphy signed two bills ordering reforms to the long-term care industry. (October 23)  
  • Long-term care facilities can use antigen testing and expand indoor visitation under an amended Executive Directive released today by the New Jersey Department of Health. (October 21) 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Arizona and Maryland, bringing the total to 39 states and territories. (October 20) 
  • Governor Murphy announced the launch of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Transparency website, providing oversight and public confidence in the expenditure of federal recovery funds as the State continues to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 16) 
  • Governor Murphy and New York Governor Cuomo announced the launch of COVID-19 exposure notification mobile apps in their respective states that will serve as crucial tools to supplement the effort to trace and contact individuals subject to a COVID-19 exposure. The appsCOVID Alert NJ and COVID Alert NYnotify users of potential COVID-19 exposure while maintaining user privacy and security. (October 1) 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Colorado — with Arizona and Virginia removed from the list — bringing the total to 34 states and territories. (September 29) 
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order that extends the Public Health Emergency originally declared on March 9. (September 24 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes five additional states — Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming — bringing the total to 35 states and territories. (September 22) 
  • New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson announced that applications are now open for the new COVID-19 childcare tuition assistance program. The Murphy administration created the program to help families with child care costs as schools open remotely. (September 21) 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes one additional territory, Puerto Rico— with California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, and Ohio removed from the list, bringing the total to 30 states and territories. (September 15) 
  • Governor Murphy and State Police Superintendent Colonel Pat Callahan today announced an administrative order, which clarifies that health club facilities located in hotels, motels, condominiums, cooperatives, corporate offices, and other businesses can open their indoor premises. (September 8) 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days. The updated advisory includes four additional states — Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and West VirginiaPuerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands were removed from the list, bringing the total to 35 states and territories. (September 8) 
  • Governor Murphy and state health officials released a long set of rules on Friday for reopening indoor dining amid the coronavirus crisis. (September 4) 
  • Governor Murphy today signed legislation (S2455), which prohibits lawful presence in the United States as a qualification to obtain a professional or occupational license, provided that the applicant meets all other requirements for licensure. (September 1) 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of the last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes two additional statesAlaska and Montanabringing the total to 33 states and territories. (September 1) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that starting on Friday, September 4, indoor dining can resume at 25 percent capacity. Social distancing between tables and other safety measures must be followed. (August 31) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey gyms will be able to open on September 1, but will be required to operate at 25 percent of indoor capacity, and must follow other safety guidelines. (August 26) 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of the last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes two additional states — Alaska and Delaware, bringing the total to 35 states and territories. (August 18) 
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order to create a modified vote-by-mail election for the November general election. The order suspends the sending of sample ballots and requires that each county’s elections officials send VBM ballots with pre-paid postage to all active registered voters for the General Election. Additionally, every voter will have the option to either return their ballot through a secure dropbox or turn in their ballot at a polling location on Election Day. (August 14) 
  • Governor Murphy said it remains too risky to permit indoor dining at bars and restaurants, citing a study of a restaurant outbreak in China earlier this year as evidence. (August 11) 
  • Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of the last contact within the identified state or territory. In addition to the Virgin Islands, the updated advisory includes two additional states: Hawaii and South Dakota. With Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Rhode Island removed from the list, this brings the total to 33 states and territories on the advisory. (August 11) 
  • Governor Murphy announced indoor gatherings are now limited to 25 percent of a rooms capacity, with a maximum number of 25 people. (August 3) 
  • Governor Murphy announced individuals traveling to New Jersey from Rhode Island will need to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of the last contact within the identified state. The District of Columbia and Delaware removed from the list, bringing the total to 35 states and territories. (August 3) 
  • Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 168, allowing the resumption of contact practices and competitions in outdoor settings for organized sports defined as “high risk” by the New Jersey Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities.” (July 20) 
  • Governor Murphy will issue an executive order moving all upcoming elections to coincide with the general election on November 3. (July 13) 
  • Governor Murphy issued a statewide order requiring people to wear face coverings outdoors. (July 8) 
  • Governor Murphy announced he would sign an executive order increasing crowd limits for outdoor gatherings from 250 people up to 500. (July 2) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that indoor dining will no longer resume on July 2 as initially planned. (June 29) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that starting July 2, museums, aquariums, indoor recreation facilities, and libraries would be permitted to reopen at 25 percent capacity. (June 24) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that starting July 2, outdoor amusement parks and water parks could reopen at 50 percent capacity, and playgrounds will also be allowed to reopen. (June 23)  
  • Outdoor gatherings are now permitted at 250 people maximum, with no limits for outdoor religious or political gatherings. Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 percent of capacity, but no more than 100 people. (June 22) 
  • Beginning July 2, casinos were allowed to open at 25 percent capacity. (June 22) 
  • Personal care businesses organized sports teams, and outdoor swimming pools reopened June 22. (June 22) 
  • Beginning June 29, indoor portions of malls were permitted to reopen, but required masks to be worn, stores to be limited to 50 percent capacity, and restaurants to provide take out or outdoor dining. Theaters and arcades must remain closed. (June 18) 
  • The State released guidance for outdoor organized sports, allowing for practice and competition of low-risk sports and “modified no-contact practices” for higher risk sports. (June 15) 
  • Per Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 148, professional sports teams that play in the State are permitted to practice and compete in games if the coordinating league is operating. (May 26) 
  • Governor Murphy announced his plan, “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” to reopen the state once the stay-at-home order is lifted. The plan has six underlying principles: “Demonstrate sustained reductions in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” to increase testing capacity, to establish robust contact tracing, “secure safe places and resources for isolation and quarantine,” launch a “responsible economic restart” and to “ensure New Jersey’s resiliency.” (April 27) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Murphy announced $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) aid to ensure schools can reopen safely. (August 26) 
  • The Department of Healthin collaboration with the Department of Educationhas developed guidance to help local health departments assist schools in providing a safe environment for students and staff. (August 14) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that public schools in New Jersey will have the option of starting the school year with no in-person classes if they meet certain criteria. (August 12) 
  • Governor Murphy released the latest guidance for the reopening of schools. The guidelines include the latest rules on the mandatory use of face masks, conditions around social distancing in the classroom, and a range of other issues involved with opening schools. (August 7) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey will provide a remote-learning option for schools amid the coronavirus outbreak. (July 20) 
  • The State announced that public schools would reopen for in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year and released guidance which can be found here. (June 26) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of New Jersey universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • Governor Murphy and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education announced that the State will award $150 million in federal CARES Act funds to New Jersey’s public and private colleges and universities to help offset costs incurred as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (August 14) 
  • Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway announced that most fall semester courses will be offered remotely, and on-campus housing will be extremely limited. (June 6) 
  • The Secretary of Higher Education released guidance for colleges for summer sessions and the fall semester. The State is also requiring that colleges and universities submit their plans to reopen to the Secretary of Higher Education at least 14 days before anyone returns to campus. (June 17) 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com