Governor Murphy Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order, Closure of All Non-Essential Retail Businesses
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey’s health care system for the state’s most vulnerable, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 107, directing all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities.
“From day one, we’ve made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey’s nine million residents,” said Governor Murphy. “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. 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.”
In effort to strengthen the existing social distancing measures in place, the order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized by the Order. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
Governor Murphy Announces That New Jersey Has Recieved Major Disaster Declaration
Governor Phil Murphy announced that President Donald J. Trump has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey. The declaration will provide federal assistance to supplement statewide recovery efforts affected by the COVID-19 pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020.
“With our major disaster declaration approved, New Jersey will now have access to greater essential federal support to help our residents through this emergency,” said Governor Murphy. “This declaration will allow us to lift remaining bureaucratic barriers to assistance and enhance our statewide response to COVID-19. I am grateful to the Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their collaboration and coordination in supporting our response and recovery efforts to COVID-19 in New Jersey.”
In his request dated March 23, 2020, Governor Murphy requested two types of statewide assistance, including individual assistance, which provides assistance to individuals and households, and public assistance, which includes assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
Governor Murphy Suspends All Elective Surgeries, Invasive Procedures to Preserve Essential Equipment and Hospital Capacity
As part of the state’s effort to preserve the capacity of the health care system to respond to COVID-19, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 109, directing the suspension of all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults that are scheduled to take place after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27. The Governor’s Executive Order applies to all medical and dental operations that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s physician or dentist.
“Our new reality calls for aggressive action to reduce the burden on our health care system and protect our frontline medical responders,” said Governor Murphy. “Given the dramatic shortfall in personal protective equipment we face, it’s imperative that we work with our partners in health care to strategically preserve supplies and equipment for emergency purposes only.”
Murphy Administration Sends Letter Directing Commercial Laboratories to Report All COVID-19 Test Results to the Department of Health
In a letter to commercial laboratory operators, Jared M. Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and Chair of the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force directed the reporting of all COVID-19 test results to the Department of Health (DOH). As testing expands throughout the State of New Jersey, it is vital that the State has access to the most accurate and up-to-date COVID-19 test results.
“New Jerseyans deserve to have critical public health information and a high level of transparency as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic together,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We are committed to working with our private sector partners to save lives and to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but in order to do so, we must have access to all test results, including negative results. I am confident that our in-state commercial labs will do the right thing and help us keep the public informed.”
“Obtaining this information from New Jersey’s commercial labs will sharpen our risk mitigation efforts and strengthen our resilience as a state. As we continue to address the challenge of COVID-19, we will utilize every tool in our power to flatten the curve and ultimately beat this virus,” said Director Maples.
NJ Human Services Announces $70 Million in Food Assistance for Vulnerable Families in New Jersey
Many New Jerseyans who receive food assistance through the NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) will receive an extra benefit payment on Sunday, March 27th and their benefits will be higher in April to help address critical food needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SNAP supplemental payments were included in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A total of $70 million in extra NJ SNAP benefits will be provided over the next two months to New Jerseyans to help with the purchase of groceries.
“We want every individual and family to be able to have the food they need as they comply with the Governor’s directive to stay at home. For many New Jerseyans and their families that means needing more NJ SNAP support, and these benefits are coming on Sunday,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “We appreciate our congressional delegation’s continuing work to support the critical needs of all New Jerseyans during this challenging time.”