Murphy Provides New Social Distancing Guidance to Essential Businesses

Tomorrow will mark one week since Gov. Phil Murphy issued the statewide closure of non-essential businesses in the state due to COVID-19.

“We are going to be at this for a while,” Murphy said about the “war” against the virus at a press briefing today.

The governor added that he will be providing all essential retail businesses – or those that are allowed to stay open – with further guidance on how to apply proper social distancing measures at their establishments. The guidance is available for review at

This comes with the backdrop of 1,982 new positive cases of COVID-19 overnight, which brought the statewide total of positive cases to 8,825. Additionally, 27 new deaths were reported, increasing the total number of fatalities from COVID-19 to 108.

Field Hospital Progress

After announcing the construction of three field hospitals two days ago, Murphy said that beds for the first pop-up site in Secaucus are “being unloaded as we speak.”

That site, located at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, is expected to be operational next Friday, according to officials.

The three field hospitals will be located at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus (general hospital), the New Jersey Convention Center and Exposition Center in Edison (COVID-19 only), and the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that the expectation is that by mid-April, the state will be seeing an increased demand in critical care beds.

“We are very mindful of the need for trained medical personnel to help ensure proper staffing as we build out this new capacity,” Murphy said. “I am putting out a call for volunteers with qualified medical training and experience who wish to join our fight against the coronavirus.”

Murphy extended the call for help to retired nurses and doctors, nursing and medical students, EMTs, and former members of the Armed Services medical corps. Essentially, anyone with trained medical experience.

Those interested in volunteering were urged to visit for more information.

Murphy also added that he has authorized the advanced payment of more than $140 million to existing healthcare providers to ready them for all COVID-19 related expenses.

Testing Site Update

Tomorrow, the drive-through testing sites at Bergen Community College and the PNC Bank Arts Center will only be open to symptomatic healthcare workers and first responders with valid credentials. “The general public will not be able to access these sites tomorrow,” Murphy said.

The sites will re-open to the public and begin having staggered openings after tomorrow. Information on when each testing site is open is available at

All Businesses Must Register their PPE

Murphy also announced a new state website for reporting personal protective equipment (PPE). In accordance with Executive Order No. 109, any business, non-hospital health care facility, or institution of higher learning in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines must submit that information to the state by 5:00 p.m. tonight, March 27. The website also gives these entities the ability to donate PPE.

Additional Notes:

  • Murphy said that a full announcement on mortgage payments is coming tomorrow. Stay tuned to New Jersey Business for more info.
  • 5:00 p.m. today (March 27) marks the suspension of all elective surgeries as stated in Executive Order No. 109.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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