Murphy Activates National Guard as COVID-19 Cases in NJ Hit 178
By George N. Saliba, Managing Editor On Mar 16, 2020
In the midst of a novel coronavirus pandemic which is sickening New Jersey residents at an exponential rate (there have been 111 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 48 hours, for a total of 178 confirmed cases statewide), Governor Murphy today announced sweeping measures aimed at stopping the virus’ spread and otherwise protecting the state’s residents. Many steps have been taken in unison with leaders from New York and Connecticut, who are enacting similar measures.
Gov. Murphy also today activated the New Jersey National Guard, which may assist with a range of logistical endeavors, including potentially helping to re-open old sections of hospital wings to house the sick, if necessary, Murphy said.
With the signing of Executive Order No. 104, Gov. Murphy also enacted sweeping social distancing measures today intended to keep New Jersey residents from interacting with each other and spreading the highly contagious virus.
He explained, “It is time for smart, intelligent, aggressive, proactive action. And just as that is true, it is equally as true: This is not time for business as usual.”
In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Murphy’s executive order states (the following list was sent from the governor’s office):
All gatherings of persons in the State of New Jersey shall be limited to 50 persons or fewer, with limited exceptions;
All public, private, and parochial preschool programs, and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, will be closed beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and remain closed as long as the Order remains in effect;
Institutions of higher education will cease all in-person instruction beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and shall cease such in-person instruction as long as the Order remains in effect;
The Commissioner of Education shall continue working with each public, private and parochial school to ensure students are able to continue their education through appropriate home instruction;
The Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Education shall take all necessary actions to ensure all students eligible for free or reduced meals will continue to receive the services necessary to meet nutritional needs during closures;
All casinos, concert venues, nightclubs, racetracks, gyms, fitness centers and classes, movie theaters, and performing arts centers will be closed to the public beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. and remain closed as long as the Order remains in effect;
All other non-essential retail, recreational and entertainment businesses must cease daily operations from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.; (Murphy added that not more than 50 people are to gather in an establishment at one time, and they must adhere to social distancing).
All restaurant establishments, with or without a liquor or limited brewery license, are limited to offering delivery and/or take out-services only.
And while it is not a statewide curfew, Murphy directed all residents to avoid non-essential travel between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., each day.
This is a developing story. New Jersey Business Today will have additional coverage in the coming days and weeks.