New Jersey - COVID-19 Covered

New Jersey

Total Cases: 185,031 (August 10)
Tests Administered: 2,301,852 (January 1)
Fatalities: 15,878 (August 10)
Testing:
  • A list of active testing sites in the tri-state area can be found here. 
  • CVS Health has increased drive-thru testing sites to 45 of its New Jersey stores. (May 28) 
  • The State has partnered with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics to open drive-thru testing sites at 7 Walmart stores across the State starting May 22. (May 20)  

 

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 Executive Order No. 172, allowing any public employee eligible for enrollment into the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) to immediately enroll upon hire, rather than waiting 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) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • 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 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) 
  • The New Jersey Labor Department announced the state would be extending unemployment benefits by 20 weeks. (July 1) 
  • 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) 
  • Governor Phil Murphy signed a three month $7.6 billion budget into law that includes a series of deep cuts and spending deferrals to help the state meet its most basic obligations through the extended fiscal year (FY 2020). New Jersey extended its fiscal year beyond the traditional closing date of June 30 in light of the global pandemic and the decision to extend state and federal tax filing deadlines to July 15 to help taxpayers weather the COVID-19 crisis. (June 30) 
  • The Murphy Administration announced they would be establishing a $100 million short-term rental assistance program for low and moderate income families. (May 29) 
  • Governor Murphy signed A4157 into law, which extends the deadline to file a property tax appeal to July 1. (May 28) 
  • Online grocery shopping will be available to New Jerseyans enrolled in the state SNAP program through Amazon, beginning May 27, and participating WalmartsShopRites, and The Fresh Grocers beginning May 28(May 20) 
  • The federal government approved the State’s plan to provide $248 million in special food assistance benefits to State children who normally receive free or reduced school meals. (May 11) 
  • The State received $31,511,487 from the second round of Community Development Block Grant CARES Act funding. (May 11) 
  • 53 New Jersey Hospitals will share $1.7 billion in aid from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. (May 2) 
  • The State Human Services Commission is providing new funding to support New Jersey residents including $36 million in food assistance for State SNAP recipients, $24 million for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, $6.3 million to provide meals for seniors, and $20 million for childcare for essential employees. (May 1) 
  • The State Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced that notification of eligibility for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed and independent contractors will begin April 29 and payments will begin to be disbursed on May 1. (April 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 and Lieutenant Governor Oliver today convened the first meeting of the Atlantic City Restart and Recovery Working Group. The group, comprised of members of the existing Atlantic City Executive Council and other regional stakeholders, will examine the post-COVID-19 recovery of Atlantic City, including continued efforts for citywide economic diversification, workforce development, and improved public health. (July 14) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that the State would be “committing $50 million in federal CARES Act funding” to support small businesses. (May 15)
  • Businesses can apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the Small Business Administration loans. These loans are offered at interest rates of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private, nonprofit organizations, with a repayment period of up to 30 years. (March 20)
  • New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is offering assistance programs to support small and medium-sized businesses during the COVID 19 outbreak. (March 19)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Murphy announced indoor gatherings are now limited to 25 percent of a rooms capacity, with a maximum number 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 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 Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. In addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the updated advisory includes three additional states – Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota – bringing the total to 36 states and territories. (July 28) 
  • Governor Murphy updated the quarantine advisory to include individuals coming into state from Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Washington. (July 21) 
  • 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) 
  • The New Jersey Department of Health released a directive that permits parents, family members, legal guardians, and support persons of pediatric, developmentally disabled, and intellectually disabled residents of long-term care facilities to arrange for by-appointment indoor visits with their loved ones. (July 15) 
  • Governor Murphy updated the travel quarantine advisory for people entering New Jersey. The updated advisory includes four additional states – Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Delaware was removed from the list. (July 13) 
  • Governor Murphy will issue an executive order moving all upcoming elections to coincide with the general election on November 3. (July 13) 
  • Governor Murphy announced capacity restriction of 50% on NJ transit and private buses will be lifted at 8 p.m. Wednesday. (July 13) 
  • Governor Murphy issued a statewide order requiring people to wear face coverings outdoors. (July 8) 
  • Governor Murphy updated the quarantine advisory for individuals traveling to New Jersey from Delaware, Kansas, and Oklahoma, bringing the total to 19 states(July 7) 
  • 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, along with the governors of New York and Connecticut, have updated their travel advisory that all individuals traveling from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah, will be required to quarantine for 14 days. (June 30) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that indoor dining will no longer resume on July 2 as initially planned. (June 29) 
  • The Motor Vehicle Commission will delay the reopening of in-person license and vehicle transactions  to July 7. Road tests and inspections will still begin June 29. (June 26) 
  • Governor Murphy, along with the governors of New York and Connecticut, instituted a travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with a positive test rate of higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or with a 10% or higher positivity rate over seven days, will be required to quarantine for 14 days. The three states will continually update and publish which states the advisory applies to. (June 24) 
  • NJ Transit Rail and light rail service will resume its full weekday schedule July 6. (June 24) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that starting July 2, museums, aquariums, indoor recreation facilities, and libraries will reopen at 25 percent capacity. (June 24) 
  • Governor Murphy announced that starting July 2, outdoor amusement parks and water parks may 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 will be allowed to open at 25 percent capacity. (June 22) 
  • Personal care businesses, organized sports teams, and outdoor swimming pools reopened today, June 22. (June 22) 
  • Beginning June 21, twelve state parks, forests, and recreation areas have opened for tent-style camping. (June 20) 
  • Beginning June 21, facilities such as nursing homes and other types of adult care will be permitted to allow visitors in outdoor spaces. (June 19) 
  • Beginning June 29, indoor portions of malls will be permitted to reopen, but will require 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) 
  • The State began Stage Two, which includes opening restaurants for outdoor dining, non-essential in-person retail, libraries for curbside pickup, childcare centers and drop-off and pick-up services for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Nonessential retail businesses are required to limit their store capacity to 50% and have customers wear masks. (June 15) 
  • Governor Murphy issued an executive order extending the State’s Public Health Emergency for another 30 days. (June 4) 
  • Governor Murphy is signing an executive order to permit restaurants and bars to offer outdoor dining services beginning June 15. (June 3) 
  • The Murphy Administration announced that horse racetracks are permitted to reopen on June 1, with no spectators in the stadiums and health guidelines in place. (May 30) 
  • Per Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 148, professional sports team that play in the State are permitted to practice and compete in games if the coordinating league is operating. (May 26) 
  • The Jersey Shore reopened on May 22. (May 22) 
  • Governor Murphy issued an administrative order to allow bike shops, car dealerships, and motorcycle dealerships to resume in-person sales beginning May 20 at 6AM. (May 19) 
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order allowing the reopening of outdoor recreational activities and businesses including: batting cages, golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs, and community gardens. (May 18) 
  • Governor Murphy issued an executive order permitting the reopening of charter fishing and watercraft rental businesses. (May 16) 
  • Elective Surgeries were permitted to resume on May 26. (May 15) 
  • 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 that New Jersey will provide a remote-learning option for schools amid the coronavirus outbreak. (July 20) 
  • The State will allow outdoor-only graduation ceremonies beginning July 6. (June 29) 
  • 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) 
  • The State Department of Education is releasing guidance that allows school districts to begin offering in-person summer educational programs starting July 6. (June 12) 
  • The State Health Department issued guidelines for reopening of summer youth day camps beginning July 6. The guidance directs that staff and campers should wear masks when social distancing cannot be maintained and that groups of children or staff stay with the same group of people to the maximum extent possible. (June 8) 

State Higher Education:

  • 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) 
  • A list of New Jersey universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • Governor Murphy issued an executive order permitting in-person instruction at clinical, lab and hands-on programming at higher education institutions as well as the opening of trade and training schools beginning July 1. (June 18)  
  • 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) 

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