To curtail the spread of the coronavirus in the state, Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered New Jersey residents to stay at home except for necessary journeys. He has ordered non-essential businesses to close until further notice. The measures, which the governor announced at a 1 p.m. briefing Saturday, will go into effect at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Murphy said there have now been 1,327 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in New Jersey, with 16 deaths.
Businesses listed as “essential” and thus allowed to stay open are: grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store; pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries; medical supply stores; gas stations; convenience stores; ancillary stores within healthcare facilities; 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; pet stores; liquor stores; car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics; printing and office supply shops; mail and delivery stores.
An accompanying press release noted that “Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, other first responders, cashiers or store clerks, construction workers, utility workers, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, IT maintenance workers, janitorial and custodial staff, and certain administrative staff.”
The governor’s order also prohibits “all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized…”
“We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes,” Murphy said. “This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow – and eventually halt – the spread of coronavirus.”