Businesses Await Guidance from State as Unemployment Scenario Worsens

As thousands of businesses statewide await permission from Gov. Phil Murphy to restart, Murphy said at today’s COVID-19 press conference that he had a “very good exchange” with legislators about “a lot of things like youth sports, small businesses [and] dining outdoors.”

He added, “We are going to be giving a whole lot of guidance both tomorrow and in the coming days on where we are headed.”

This is against the backdrop of another 34,410 New Jerseyans filing for unemployment for the week ending May 23, according to New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development data released this morning. Although this is the lowest number of weekly unemployment claims since March 15, cumulative unemployment claims since that date now total 1,165,249 (the state’s nonfarm workforce is only approximately 4.2 million).

COVID-19 Testing

Murphy meanwhile said today that New Jersey is now third in the nation for COVID-19 testing, and that, as of tomorrow, there will be 208 locations across the state where people can be tested.

“I encourage you to go to to find a location near you and go out and get tested,” he said.

Murphy has long touted the benefits of testing, in part to provide the state with more data regarding the size and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic within New Jersey’s borders.

Public health data announced today appeared mixed, with a slight uptick in hospitalizations (2,797), but intensive care unit patients decreasing to 740. There were 365 new hospitalizations, with 287 hospital discharges – both large figures that Murphy, in effect, said might potentially be caused by reporting delays.

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