New Jersey - COVID-19 Covered

New Jersey

Total Cases: 657,536 (January 23)
Tests Administered: 9,006,944 (January 22)
Fatalities: 20,934 (January 23)
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 an executive order that provided mandatory health and safety standards to protect all New Jersey workers during the pandemic. (October 27) 
  • 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 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. (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 signed an executive order extending a moratorium utility disconnections through at least March 15, 2021. The moratorium applied to all residential gas, electric, and water utilities, both public and private. The order also required all residential services disconnected after social distancing measures went into effect on March 16 to be reconnected. Additionally, $15 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund would be allocated to lowincome households to help pay off utility arrearages. (October 15) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $100 million in additional CARES Act funding to support New Jersey residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 13) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $60 million for the Local Government Emergency Fund to aid counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct Coronavirus Relief Fund allocation plan. (October 9) 
  • Governor Murphy signed the FY 2021 Appropriations Act into law, working together with legislative leadership to enact a revised spending plan that protected core priorities and delivered middle-class tax relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget plan also fully reestablished the millionaires tax that expired in 2010. (September 29) 
  • Governor Murphy announced plans to dedicate $250 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to additional support to children and their families, as well as for thousands of childcare providers. (August 28) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $37 million in support for 12 additional counties to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 20) 
  • Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver announced that $25 million in CARES Act funding would be allocated to reimburse landlords whose tenants missed rent payments between April and July. (August 7) 
  • Governor Murphy signed the “New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act” into law, which authorized the state to borrow up to $9.9 billion to address the fiscal crisis that has arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 16) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Murphy announced New Jersey would expand COVID vaccine eligibility to people 65 and older within days following a change in federal guidelines. (January 13) 
  • Governor Murphy announced a comprehensive economic recovery package to support small businesses, drive sustainable economic growth, and reform our tax incentives system. The plan would specifically target historically underserved communities that had also been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with tailored programs to combat food deserts, spur brownfields redevelopment, and support historic preservation and renewal, as well as a grant and loan program designed to bolster Main Street small businesses. (December 15) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $14 million in additional CARES Act funding to develop workforce development programs. The programs were 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, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, and Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson 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 announced a new relief program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that would allow businesses in 64 eligible municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. (July 23) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order extending the Public Health Emergency another 30 days. (January 19) 
  • Governor Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan announced Administrative Order 2020-25, which clarified that indoor sports practices and competitions are subject to current indoor gathering limits, which was most recently set at 10 persons. However, a practice or competition could proceed with more than 10 persons if individuals who are not necessary for the activity, such as spectators, are not present. The total number of individuals still may not exceed 25 percent of the capacity of the room in which the practice or competitions takes place, and such limit may not exceed 150 persons. (December 31) 
  • Beginning on December 28, all United customers with flights originating in the United Kingdom were required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 72 hours of departure for incoming flights to Newark Liberty International Airport. (December 24) 
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order that extended the Public Health Emergency another 30 days. (December 21) 
  • Governor Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan issued an order clarifying that indoor entertainment centers where a performance was viewed or given, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, could host a performance in an adjacent outdoor area with a maximum capacity equivalent to the facility’s indoor capacity permitted under a previous executive order. (December 5) 
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order that paused indoor practices and competitions for youth and adult sports from December 5 at 6:00AM through January 2, 2021. The order also lowered the outdoor gatherings limit from 150 people to 25 people, effective December 7 at 6:00AM. (November 30) 
  • New Jersey announced a new policy that required travelers and residents returning from any US state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Delaware) to self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging for the period of time recommended by the CDC. (November 25) 
  • The New Jersey Department of Health issued health and safety guidance for the state’s long-term care facilities, which provided measures for residents who leave the facility for a holiday gathering, including a 14-day quarantine at the conclusion of their visit. The Department strongly recommended against families taking residents out of facilities for holiday events or gatherings. (November 16) 
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order that permitted municipalities and counties to impose additional restrictions on the hours of operation of non-essential retail businesses, food and beverage establishments, and recreation and entertainment businesses after 8:00PM. The order prohibited municipalities and counties from imposing restrictions that prevent dining establishments from arranging for the pickup or delivery of goods or otherwise limiting their scope of operations. (November 12) 
  • Governor Muphy signed an executive order that required all restaurants, bars, clubs, and lounges that serve food and drink to close their indoor premises by 10:00PM each day and to not open until at least 5:00AM the following day. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery services may continue past 10:00PM. (November 11) 
  • Governor Murphy signed aexecutive order prohibiting interstate indoor K-12, club and league youth sports competitions. Practices, inter-team games, scrimmages, and tournaments, both contact and non-contact, would be permitted for Low, Medium, and High Risk Sports in indoor and outdoor settings for in-state teams. Indoor interstate youth sports competitions – including those operated by school-based, club and recreational programs — would be suspended across all risk levels. (November 11) 
  • Governor Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan issued an order clarifying restrictions on professional and college athletic competitions, indoor mall services, self-service food and drink, and private tutoring facilities. (October 31) 
  • Long-term care facilities were permitted to use antigen testing and expand indoor visitation under an amended executive directive by the New Jersey Department of Health. (October 21) 
  • 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 announced the launch of COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app that would serve as crucial tool to supplement the effort to trace and contact individuals exposed to COVID-19. The appCOVID Alert NJwould notify users of potential COVID-19 exposure while maintaining user privacy and security. (October 1) 
  • Governor Murphy and State Police Superintendent Colonel Pat Callahan announced an administrative order clarifying that health club facilities located in hotels, motels, condominiums, cooperatives, corporate offices, and other businesses could open their indoor premises. (September 8) 
  • Governor Murphy announced indoor dining could resume at 25 percent capacity on September 4. (August 31) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey gyms would be able to open on September 1, but would be required to operate at 25 percent of indoor capacity, and must follow other safety guidelines. (August 26) 
  • Governor Murphy issued a statewide order requiring people to wear face coverings outdoors. (July 8) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Murphy, along with the governors of Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusettsannounced an extension of the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues through at least January 31. (December 30) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that ten additional school districts would receive Preschool Education Aid totaling $10M in the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget to implement or expand quality early childhood education programs in their communities starting February 1, 2021. (December 21) 
  • Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Education announced a $2.5 million grant to implement, scale-up, and enhance evidence-based interventions that accelerate students’ academic progress and reduce learning loss among New Jersey students that has resulted from school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (December 10) 
  • Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 203, postponing all special school elections from January 26, 2021 to the March 2021 special school election date. (November 25) 
  • Governor Murphy announced an administrative order clarifying that athletes, coaches, referees, trainers, and other individuals necessary to the performance of an outdoor high school sporting event are not included in the total number of individuals present at the gathering for purposes of the limit on outdoor gatherings. (November 21) 
  • Governor Murphy announced $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) aid to ensure schools can reopen safely. (August 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) 

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