Governor Phil Murphy: Good afternoon. I'm joined by the woman on my right who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli. To her right, another familiar face, the State's Epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan, thank you both, as always. To my far left another name familiar to all, Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Pat Callahan. Pat, thank you as always. And joined to my left today by another terrific leader, the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Tim Sullivan, great to have you, Tim. Director Maples, Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. More on the EDA in a few moments. I think it's appropriate, we obviously didn't plan this this way, but we are running at the same time as the funeral for George Floyd, so I'm just going to ask all of us to do a short moment of silence in his memory, and his family's solidarity.
Thank you very much. Next today I am signing two Executive Orders that will put us even more firmly on our road back. These orders complement the actions we have already taken to begin our restart and recovery and will set the stage for the days to come. With both of these orders, social distancing will remain our watchwords. While they will allow for greater movement and greater flexibility, our number one concern must remain protecting public health. For those of you who watch on a daily basis, you could see that we have replaced the words -- I believe we have, I haven't seen it myself – "stay at home" on the front of our table with public health creates economic health, and there's a reason for that.
Today, the stay at home order which has been in place since March 21 is being lifted. With more and more of our businesses reopening, we are no longer requiring you to stay at home, but we are asking you to continue to be responsible and safe. And when you do go out, please continue to wear face coverings and keep a social distance from others whenever possible. And let's keep this in mind. Research shows that stay at home orders have saved lives. In our case, hundreds if not thousands, not just here in New Jersey, by the way, but across the country. We would not be at this point today had we not taken the step. Always, again, keep those words in mind: public health creates economic health. We cannot move through stage two and into stage three and beyond unless we continue to see the numbers trending downward. We cannot become complacent or irresponsible.
My second order raises the limits on both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Effective immediately, indoor gatherings will be permitted at whichever number is lower: 25% of a building's capacity or 50 persons in total, and all attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart. And yes, this order will allow for greater indoor religious services. We have not only heard from our partners in our faith communities, but we have worked closely with many of them, and we believe this represents a responsible plan that ensures that religious services will be appropriately distanced and as safe as possible.
I fully appreciate that there are faith leaders who do not yet feel comfortable reopening their sanctuaries at this time. There is no requirement that they do so. No one should reopen unless and until they feel fully confident in their ability to do so. We have worked literally every day with our faith institutions, including through our faith and social service subcommittee, and we will we will be giving them the guidance they need and continuing to stand beside our faith leaders as they grapple with this very important decision.
Also effective immediately, the limit on outdoor gatherings will be raised from 25 to 100 people. Again, effective immediately, and there will now be an exception explicitly allowing outdoor gatherings of more than 100 persons for first amendment protected outdoor activities, such as political protests of any persuasion or outdoor religious services. Given the growing body of evidence showing the reduced risk of transmission outdoors, we believe such a rule appropriately prioritizes individuals' rights to speak and worship freely.
While we take these steps today, we are also looking ahead. I anticipate being able to raise the limit on non-protest and non-religious activities to 250 people on June 22, and to 500 people on July 3. This means that school districts planning graduations should prepare for a 500-person limit to be in place by the time graduations can resume on July 6. However, as I've noted many times before, should we see any troubling signs in the data indicating a spike in cases or a backslide in our fight against COVID-19, either or both of these steps may not happen. Obviously, we hope they do.
This order also formally authorizes pools to reopen on June 22, as I announced they can yesterday, and Judy and the Department of Health will be issuing standards for pools later today. It also authorizes all outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses that were previously closed to reopen with the exceptions of amusement parks, water parks, and arcades, which all involve large numbers of people coming into contact with high-touch surfaces. By the way, I hope we can get there on them sooner than later as well, but not yet.
It all comes down to this: social distancing must remain our practice and our priority, covering our faces must remain our practice and priority, and that's because it's worked. These are the metrics we are following closely. You've seen them every day for a while now and we show them to you, as I say, almost daily. The numbers of hospitalizations and patients in our ICUs and on respirators continues to push downward. We have seen these trends sustained over time and, I might add, across all regions of our state. But this is where we need to continue to be careful. We're still not out of the woods, and we are still near the top of some lists we don't want to be atop of. This is why even as we take these steps today, we need you to continue practicing the social distancing that is now part of our everyday routines and you've done an extraordinary job. All we're asking is please keep it up.
However, we can take these steps today and be significantly more permissive in the outdoor sphere than the indoor sphere, because of the data and the prevailing science. The data tells us the time can be now, and the science tells us that outdoor activities are far safer than indoor activities, and we will continue to base our decisions squarely on facts and data, as we have throughout this emergency. And by the way, this is not a life sentence on indoor activities. We hope we can get to those activities sooner than later as well, as we have begun to show today as it relates to the steps we're taking on faith.
Switching gears, moving on for a minute as to why Tim is with us today. Put clearly, small businesses are the backbone of our state's economy, and starting Monday, many of them will be reopening their doors and welcoming back workers and customers as we enter stage two of our restart and recovery. However, we know that this continues to be a fraught time for many small businesses. Many business owners continue to have very real concerns about their ability to survive this pandemic. We hear this ourselves. We hear this from the members of our Restart and Recovery Advisory Council, the hundreds of small businessmen and women who have been helping us guide our way through our planning. Their voices are amplified by our Restart and Recovery Commission, and we see it in the results of the statewide business survey the EDA recently conducted.
We all fully appreciate and recognize these concerns, and we remain fully committed to helping our small businesses not just make it to survive, but to thrive as we move forward with our restart and recovery. Earlier today, the EDA opened the application period for an additional $45 million in small business grants made possible through federal CARES Act funding. And additionally, the EDA is expanding its microbusiness loan program to provide up to $50,000 in direct assistance to the smallest of our small businesses, which are also among our most vulnerable. I know Tim will be speaking at greater length about both of these programs and about the other offerings from EDA which are critical to getting our business community back up on its feet, as we enter stage two on Monday.
As we said, public health creates economic health and the EDA is where the rubber will really meet the road back for our small businesses and employers. So Tim, to you, and the EDA Chair Kevin Quinn and your entire staff and board, thank you for all that you have done throughout this emergency to help our small businesses survive, and for all you will continue to do to see them back up and powering our Main Streets and downtowns.
Now switching gears, moving forward, let's get to our overnight numbers. Yesterday we had an additional 375 positive test results for an updated statewide total of 164,796. Here are these numbers of new cases graphed over time, and here is the graph, which shows the slowing rate of transmission of COVID-19. The rate remains below one at 0.64, which means that each new case is leading to fewer than one other new case. We have one of the lowest rates of transmission right now in the nation and folks, that's all on you. You have done this. You have literally, single handedly done this.
Judy just handed me something that we're also going to start looking at, not necessarily for slides, but this is the rate of transmission by county, so we can get down and really bore down into this. So again, hats off to everybody. The daily positivity or spot positivity rate for the test samples from June 5 was roughly 3%. These numbers tell us that the spread of COVID-19 continues to slow across our state, but to be absolutely sure, we need more data. And we get more data when more of you go out and get tested. And this is going to be even more important as we continue to take steps along our road back, such as we are today and allowing for more and larger gatherings and lifting the stay at home order.
And again, I urge everyone who took part in a march or protest this weekend, or over the past number of days, to get tested. We have the capacity to serve you. Go to covid19.nj.gov/testing to find a testing location near you. Let's make sure we get our big picture and let's keep moving these numbers in the right direction.
Looking at our long-term care facilities, 34,635 positive cases. We have, in terms of lab-confirmed fatalities, we can flip to the next chart, we have 5,573 blessed lives lost. It continues to be a very high area of focus for all of us. In our hospitals as of last night, there are 1,736 patients being treated for COVID-19. That's our sixth straight day of being below 2,000 statewide. Field medical stations had 12 patients. This is the breakdown of hospitalizations by region. The number of patients reported in critical or intensive care ticked up a hair to 510. The number of ventilators continues to track below 473. Yesterday, we had 84 new patients enter our hospitals, but another 80 live patients left.
And here are yesterday's hospital admittance and discharge numbers charted across the regions. However, with the heaviest of hearts, we report the loss of another 91 New Jerseyans to COVID-19 related complications. We've now lost a total of 12,303 members of our New Jersey family, and may they never ever, ever, ever be just a number. As we do every day, let's remember several more of them.
We start in Bergen County, handsome lad, home of Anthony Tony Lupo, a longtime Ridgewood resident who had most recently moved a few communities over to Mahwah, and he had turned 70 just two months ago. He spent his career as a bond broker working at several Wall Street firms including Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was a managing director. And by the way, Tony, I believe, retired not long before 9/11 and Cantor Fitzgerald, as we know, was crushed on 9/11. Tony moved to Ridgewood in 1983 shortly after he married his wife Karen, with whom I had the great honor of speaking yesterday. And that's where they raised their three daughters Justine, Brianne and Kimberly.
Tony was an active member of Ridgewood's extraordinary community, particularly with Our Lady of Mount Carmel, where he was a dedicated member of the Knights of Columbus and Men's Cornerstone. He was also a volunteer basketball coach and mentor, giving of his time not just to Ridgewood's youth, but also to the street basketball program in Paterson. Tony leaves Karen and by the way, you talk about an incredible couple of months of tragedy, Tony and Karen each lost their mothers respectively on March 5 and March 9 of this year, not to COVID, but you can imagine the couple of months this family's been through. So Tony leaves behind his Karen, his daughters and their families, including his three beloved grandchildren, Reese, Bradley and Shay. He also leaves behind his sister Laurie, and a community that thanks him for his years of service. God bless you, Tony, and may they all find peace in his tremendous memory.
Next, we remember Suzanne Koransky of Wayne. Growing up her friends called her Sue, even though apparently it drove her mother crazy. Suzanne earned a nursing degree from Wagner College and immediately went to work at her father's office. He was a doctor, by the way, before moving to the maternity ward at Hackensack Hospital. She moved to Wayne shortly after marrying her husband Jay, that handsome guy by her side, and stayed there for the rest of her life, and she and Jay only just recently celebrated their 40th anniversary in the dream house they built together.
Suzanne left the nursing field to raise her two daughters. But she'd go back to school to become a certified school nurse and then to receive her master's of curriculum and instruction degree with supervisor certification from Caldwell College. She would dedicate the rest of her career to the Wayne Public Schools, first as the nurse at Skylar Colfax Middle School, before becoming the district-wide supervisor of health services. In fact, I first heard about Suzanne and her passing from my friend Sean Spiller, the recently elected Mayor Elect in Montclair. Suzanne lost her mother Phyllis in January, and she is survived as well by her father Joseph. Suzanne leaves behind Her Jay and their daughters Jamie and Sarah. I had the great honor of speaking with Jay and Jamie yesterday, and that was among the tougher conversations that I've had over the past couple of months, as well as by Sarah's husband, Darrell and granddaughter Sadie, and their dog, Rusty. She also leaves behind her brother and sister David and Paula and her beloved nephews, Seth and Jacob, among so many others. We thank Suzanne for her career of caring for others, especially the children of Wayne. May God bless her memory and all who loved her, and I know Jay is watching. Hang in, buddy, God bless you too.
Finally, this is Julian Jules Rydarowksi. He lived to be 90, and I know that because I was honored to provide a birthday greeting for him on his 90th. The party was in November, but he turned 90 on December 30. And I know he had many, many more years before him if not for COVID-19. He was born and raised in Plainfield, but after he married the love of his life, Maureen Degnan, he made his home in South Plainfield. A 1948 graduate of Plainfield High School, Jules enlisted in the United States Navy in 1951, eventually serving at the US Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in Oceanside, California, and then continuing as a combat medical corpsman, attaining the rank of Hospital Man Second Class. Sergeant Jules found himself with the 9th Marines 3rd Marine Division in Osaka, Japan, assisting the 1st Marine Division fighting during the Korean War.
After returning home in 1955. He earned a degree from the St. John's University School of Pharmacy and spent nearly 40 years in medicine before retiring in 1995 from Thrift Drugs in East Brunswick. He was a faithful member of the Church of the Sacred Heart in South Plainfield, serving on the parish council and is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He also belonged to the Roadrunner Travel Club in South Plainfield Senior Center. But Jules took special joy in being with his family and took special pride in the accomplishments of his grandchildren. Now Jules is back with his beloved Maureen, leaving behind his daughter, Susan and her husband Glen and son Joe and his wife Debbie. I had the great honor yesterday of speaking separately with both Susan and Joe. He also leaves his five tremendous grandchildren Robert, Sarah, Aiden, Joseph and Dylan. Jules is also survived by in-laws, including my dear friends, our dear friends, Pat and Anita Degnan, as well as nieces and nephews and an extended group of family and friends. And by the way, Jules' family has set up a memorial fundraiser to support the medical staff at JFK Medical Center in Edison, by purchasing iPads and other means for families and patients to stay connected. A fitting way to remember a great man by remembering the healthcare heroes who stood by him. The memorial can be found under Jules Rydarowksi on Facebook. To Jules, God bless you. We thank you for your service to our nation and for being a model New Jerseyan. May God bless you and all of your family and friends.
Three more members of our extraordinary New Jersey family taken by COVID-19. Look, we're taking steps today to move our state forward on our road back, but we can never forget the more than 12,000 people who will not be joining us on that road. It's for them that we need to continue up with our social distancing, that we need to remember to bring our face coverings with us when we leave the house, and why we need to keep up with the washing our hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizers. All of it matters. All of it is how we can continue to save lives, even as we more fully begin to restart our recovery.
And this includes getting tested to ensure that you're not carrying the corona virus that can so easily infect others. Again, please go to covid19.nj.gov/testing, to find a testing site near you, and then go out and get tested. Public Health creates economic health. That's what it says here, and it's one of the mottos we're going to repeat again and again in the days ahead. I also like common sense for the common good. Not just doing it for yourself, but for others. Our economy can't restart unless we know that our residents have confidence that we're doing all we can to safeguard their health, and that's not just up to us sitting up here. It's also up to all of you, the 9 million of you, to continue doing what you've been doing. You've been doing an extraordinary job. Keep it up, folks. Let's all keep doing our parts.
With that, please help me welcome the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Authority. Tim Sullivan.
EDA CEO Tim Sullivan: Thank you, Governor. It's great to be here. I appreciate the opportunity to update everyone on a few EDA programs, as the Governor mentioned are, we think, hopefully helping to stabilize and support small businesses as they prepare to reopen and survive this crisis. We've said from the outset that this is not only first and foremost a public health crisis and the beautiful remembrances you just gave, Governor, are a reminder of the staggering degree of the public health crisis. And it's also an economic crisis. And both of those crises are being felt disproportionately by communities of color, and minority and women-owned businesses in particular. When the Governor announced a few weeks ago that he was allocating $50 million of federal CARES Act funding to support small business, we took a very hard look at how we could make sure to distribute that money in a way that was equitable and inclusive and got to businesses that really needed it the most, and that really means in a big way, businesses owned by communities of color and by women.
So the funding we started taking applications for today, a third of that money, $15 million was reserved for businesses located in opportunity zone eligible census tracts. These are high poverty, high unemployment, low-income census tracts, to make sure that we're putting an equity and justice lens on everything we're doing around economic recovery. And the good news is so far, so good on the application process. As of 12:45, we've gotten 19,500 applications. The average size is about 2.8 employees per application, so really pretty small companies, which is what we want to do. We want to be helping the smallest businesses who need support the most. If that average holds, we can support about 16,000 grants with the $45 million. So depending on eligibility, and some of those won't be eligible, so we're right around being fully subscribed. What we don't know yet is of that reservation, of the $15 million, what the allocation of those applications are there. So if you have not yet submitted your application, please do so. The application is at CV, as in coronavirus, business.nj.gov. We'll continue to take applications for the next couple days and make sure that we're processing those as quickly as we can. The last time around, we made grant awards within the first couple days after the applications were opened. We hope and expect to do that again, so hopefully make some good news, probably in the early part of next week and start moving that money to businesses.
The other thing I'll mention, the Governor mentioned earlier, our board met this morning telephonically and approved a new and expanded $10 million microbusiness financing tool. This is to support sole proprietorships and other microbusinesses. Something like 90% or more of African American and Latino-owned businesses are sole proprietorships, and we thought it was important and we wanted to make sure we developed a tool to support those businesses in particular, which are hurting disproportionately right now, and so that $10 million program will be launched in the next couple of weeks as well, to provide another way to support our small businesses through this terrible economic crisis.
I appreciate the chance to be here with everyone. I want to do a quick thanks to our great team at the EDA and our board for their incredible work around the clock the last couple months to bring these programs to light and I'm happy to answer any questions with everyone.
Governor Phil Murphy: Tim, thank you. And again, we'll come back around for questions if we can. And I applaud your focus, particularly on the equity piece of this. It isn't just putting the money out, which is obviously, it is partly that, but it's where that money is going, who the proprietors and owners are, which communities they go to. Thank you for your leadership on that.
Please help me welcome again the woman who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Thank you, Governor and good afternoon. I know many people are eager to visit their local pools. The department is releasing guidance on municipal and private swim club pools, which will be allowed as of June 22. Pools must reduce capacity to 50% maximum. Measures to limit capacity could include things like implementing a reservation or a pass system, or reducing hours. Staff and patrons must safely distance from one another while in the water and on the pool deck. Signage and markings should denote six feet of spacing in all commonly used areas. Staff and pool goers are encouraged to wear cloth face covering while not in the pool and when and if social distancing cannot be maintained. Social distancing is still the only tool we have in our toolkit. Cloth face coverings should not be used on children under two years of age and should not be worn in the water, and lifeguards should not wear face coverings.
Pools should designate and stagger access to entry and exit points to avoid congregation. At designated entry points, pools must post signage that patrons should be on the alert for signs of illness and should stay home if they are not feeling well or have symptoms of COVID-19. Guests and staff must sign in to facilitate potential contact tracing efforts. Hand sanitizer stations must be provided throughout the facility. Occupancy and restrooms, shower areas and locker rooms should be limited in order to allow social distancing when possible. Foot coverings must be worn in these areas and we recommend the installation of foot pedals or motion sensors in shower areas.
Before entering the facility, staff must be screened for fever and COVID-19 symptoms. The department encourages proper hand washing and glove use by staff. Gloves should be worn when handling and serving food to patrons. Routine cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces should be done several times daily. To limit the opportunity of sharing items, the use of pool toys and equipment such as noodles, kickboards and snorkels should not be permitted. The standards will ensure that precautions are in place to protect our health while enjoying the pool this summer.
Moving on to my daily report, as the Governor shared, we are reporting 1,736 hospitalizations with 510 individuals in critical care and holding firm at approximately 73% on ventilators. No new cases of multiple system inflammatory syndrome in children are reported since yesterday, so the total remains at 39 cases in the state. In New Jersey, there are no deaths reported at this time. The ages of the children affected are 1 to 18. One child is still currently hospitalized. And as reported yesterday, the breakdown of race and ethnicity are White 22%, Black 34%, Hispanic 38%, Asian 6% and other 3%.
The race and ethnicity breakdown of our death cases are similar to yesterday. White 53.7%, Black 18.5%, Hispanic a slight tick up at 20.4%, Asian 5.7%, and other 1.7%. State veterans home numbers remain the same, as do our psychiatric numbers. The daily percent positivity as of June 5, overall in New Jersey is 3.06%, North 2.58%, Central 3.26%, South 3.73%. That ends my statistical report. Please continue to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Judy, thank you. Two quick comments. Number one, just to repeat something you and I've been saying now for going on three months, the racial inequities continue to be stark, both among fatalities and among specifically the children's inflammation syndrome, again with a small denominator in that case. Secondly, I wonder aloud whether or not it may not be a bad idea for us, at least occasionally, to show the RT on the county basis, so folks out there can see if you're living in a county which is either staying low and going low, or alternatively may be going in the wrong direction. That's something I think you and I will probably want to do, at least from time to time. I'm not sure it's worth doing it every day, but who knows. Thank you again for everything, especially your leadership.
Pat, would love to get your thoughts on protests, compliance and any other matters. Thank you again for everything.
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon. Again, compliance remains overwhelmingly phenomenal. Last night there were just two non-essential businesses that were cited throughout the entire state. Of all the protests yesterday, they ended peacefully and we continue to knock on wood. Today, I believe the ROIC reported there 17 scheduled protests and the information I've got while I'm sitting here is that they are also peaceful.
And I'll just state briefly, I know the Attorney General's press release, which came out yesterday with regard to the parkway shooting, for those that don't know, I'm a tremendous man of faith and I've prayed every day for Maurice Gordon's family for a devastating loss. I hope my words, if there's questions today, that beyond clarifying any points that they offer some level of comfort, although they may seem insignificant. That is certainly my hope here today. I also pray for the trooper who was involved in that incident and had to make that decision, which again, no law enforcement officer wants to be in that. So willing and able to take any questions to the extent that I can answer them. Thank you, Governor.
Governor Phil Murphy: Thank you, Pat. We mourn the loss of any life, period. Just the broader picture, not only again the thank yous are really two levels. One is the compliance in a health crisis unlike any we've ever seen. And the other is the peaceful protests, which again, we have set a national mark and both thanks are to the extraordinary efforts of the millions of you out there. And again, face coverings are essential, social distancing is essential. But having seen it with my own eyes, that's harder to achieve at every moment. But to each and every one of you out there, thank you for everything you've done. Please just continue to keep up the great work because it is clearly working and it's allowing us to continually now open things up.
I think we're going to start with Dustin today. Today is Tuesday, correct? So tomorrow, Mahen, I think unless we hear otherwise, we'll be back together at one o'clock. Is that right? Okay. Dustin, good afternoon.
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Good afternoon. What exactly is an indoor gathering? Does that mean a restaurant or a funeral home can open indoors at 50 people or 25% capacity?
On the emerging issue of defunding police, I heard you say in your interview with Politico today that it's complex and it sounded like you're against it, but I'd like to know what defunding the police means to you and what you think the state can do maybe in budgeting to improve law enforcement's relationships with communities? That might also be something that the Colonel wants to weigh in on.
Did the strong pushback you got since you marched in the two protests have anything to do with your decision today on changing the rules for outdoor gatherings? And then a tennis business owner in Morris County was issued two summonses over the weekend for violating the executive order when she organized a pro-business rally. Understanding that summonses are local police decisions, they're also based on your orders. Can you explain to people like that business owner who feel like you're holding inconsistent standards and want to know how you justify ticketing certain protesters, but not others? And will protests that exceed your new gathering limits be subject to summonses?
Governor Phil Murphy: What kind of business? Tennis?
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Yeah, it was like a tennis facility of some sort.
Governor Phil Murphy: Okay, I don't know that I've got any insights on that, but indoor gathering does not include indoor dining. It does not include that explicitly. This is not only directed at faith, but Dustin, the big emphasis here, the big thrust is faith. We had promised would allow faith gatherings to begin this Friday the 12th, a couple of days ahead of the stage two and we have come out with this guidance today. Not only for that, but explicitly for that. I hope we'll get to indoor dining sooner than later, but we're not there yet.
Yeah, the budget as it relates to how do we get to a better place? The budget does scream out your priorities and we've tried since the moment we got here, now two-and-a-half years ago, to make the investments in communities, in community policing, to lift up communities, whether it's education investments or healthcare investments. Obviously, as you hear from the healthcare data every day, we're not there yet. We remain overwhelmingly a work in progress, but I think I'm less focused on a tactical, what do these words actually mean? And I recognize the passion around this right now, around the notion of defunding police. To me, it's what's the ultimate end state? What are we trying to get to? And I think we're trying to get to law enforcement and community relations. And Pat, you should weigh in as well here, that are defined by words like transparency and accountability and trust and where we make increased community investments that the law enforcement is representative of the communities that they serve. And frankly, at the same time, where we allow members of law enforcement to focus on their core mission, as opposed to stretching them across a whole range of social services where we perhaps can aid and abet those efforts.
The outdoor, and again, let me finish Pat and ask you to weigh in if you would like. Wasn't related to the pushback, it was -- I thought that, you know, I think we all thought, and Matt Platkin is here with us. We have to be consistent. We have to recognize this moment in time. This is unlike any other moment in our nation's history. We have to acknowledge that. We have to allow folks to get out there rightfully and peacefully, but angrily protest and express themselves, and we have to do it in a way that is consistent with the law.
I've got no insights on the tennis business. We'll have to come back to you on that, but I think we're trying to -- the general part of your question is, I think we are trying, particularly with today's actions, to try to give people some sense, and I think we've done, for the most part, all along that there's consistency and coherence to the Executive Orders that we're promulgating with Judy's guidance at every step of the way. And I hope that today these steps can sort of further give folks a further sense that we're doing just that.
Pat, anything you want to add to any of the above?
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: I would just add that I think law enforcement evolved into a profession. So that word professionalism, I think, is key. I know the Attorney General talked about it last week, the 21-21, where the 21 county prosecutors were holding town halls throughout the year. Our State Police hosted two citizens academy, a 10-week course where diverse citizens from throughout the entire state and through different walks of life got to see what the State Police was about and become ambassadors for us. I think the communicating of how the oversight that we have is something that we could do a lot better at, to give assurances to communities throughout the state, whether that's in our internal affairs processes, motor vehicle stop data, use of force. We do a lot that we don't share very well, and I think that'll be a huge step in letting our community know what is in place, and maybe a constant, structured reporting to give them the assurances that they're seeking as we move forward. Thanks, Gov.
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, I just would add to that, I completely get the passion around this question of defunding police. But again, my point is that there's a broader picture here and I think of it in terms of priorities, not just telling the story and communicating in all the words that I mentioned that I associate with a more perfect end state, but also the budget, to your question, the budget screams out what do you care about? And it's got to be education, healthcare, all the things that we do to try to lift communities up. Thank you for adding that. Nikita, give us one sec here, please. Aswan with the mic, I should have introduced you more properly.
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Globe: Governor, so I only have three for you today. Firstly on the budget, so I mean, the Legislature is going to have to approve something by the end of September. Do you have any indication on when you might send them a budget?
And then I have two off-topic questions for you. President Donald Trump said that he'd resume holding rallies in about two weeks. Do you think that he can come hold a rally in New Jersey without fear of getting cited?
And I know you've endorsed a bunch of House incumbents for Congress. I'm wondering, are you planning to make an endorsement in the second district before the primary?
Governor Phil Murphy: So on budget and timing, we have a leadership meeting I think in a couple of days. I'm going to see the Senate President today on another non-budgetary matter. No update on timing. But clearly the ability to bond and the need for federal direct cash assistance are two huge wildcards, and we need both. You've heard me get red-faced and pound the table on that. I don't think I need to continue to do that. One second, please.
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Globe: Is there like a deadline for when you would have to send the Legislature a budget. Say it's September 1 and there's no federal aid, there's no borrowing?
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, there's no deadline but we obviously need to make sure we do it expeditiously and we do it in full transparency and with a process that everyone can look into, as we normally do. I've said this many times before. New Jersey does the budget thing really well relative to other states. This year is highly unusual, but we need more clarity. We need more clarity on both the bonding which we desperately need the ability to do, as well as the federal cash.
No observations on the President and political rallies, I, I do think this is not directed at the President. This is a broader, we're lifting some limits today and I use the word responsible. So let's make sure that when we do choose to gather, that we're, A, personally being responsible, but also the raison d'etre, the reason you're there is a responsible one. So you asked me, I think several weeks if not months ago, how do I feel about door-to-door campaigning? I'm still a little skittish about it, frankly. But we're able, I think too, we've got more latitude now than we did a couple of months ago, clearly.
We've made no endorsements and CD-2, other than I'll pound the table and want a Democrat to win that seat. If we have any news there, I promise you we'll let you know. Thank you. Real quick. Real quick, please.
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Globe: You're suggesting that you're more okay with door-to-door campaigning stuff now?
Governor Phil Murphy: Not me. I still think we've got to be careful. I still think we have to be careful. Thank you. You're good? Sir.
Reporter: Governor real short today, are children's playgrounds going to open as a part of today's announcements? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: To the best of my knowledge, no. Are you disagreeing with me or you're agreeing? You're agreeing. The answer is no. Again, I mentioned this on amusement parks and water parks and high-touch services experiences, and that continues. Is that fair to say that continues to be a concern? You're agreeing. Okay. So the answer is not yet. Thank you. Daniel, how are you?
Daniel Munoz, NJBIZ: Hi, Governor. Sorry, I wrote them down. With the EDA grant money, do you expect any of the applicants will use any of that money to finance or pay for any of the reopening like with restaurants and retail on June 15, hair salons –
Governor Phil Murphy: To pay for what, sorry?
Daniel Munoz, NJBIZ: To pay for any of the reopening like PPE or outdoor dining or anything, maybe for reopening? Do you expect that casinos will be reopened before indoor dining and why? If so, are you still bound to the June 15 reopening? I know that there's been some push from Senate leadership for June 12th for outdoor dining.
Governor Phil Murphy: Outdoor dining is June 15, right.
Daniel Munoz, NJBIZ: Right, but there's been a push for Friday, June 12th, from Senate leadership.
Governor Phil Murphy: It will remain Monday, June 15.
Daniel Munoz, NJBIZ: Okay. And I noticed when talking about liability protection for businesses, similar to the hospitals, the new law, so if a restaurant owner says that they got COVID-19, if a patron got COVID-19 at a restaurant, that they can't sue. Do you support that? Or thoughts on that?
Governor Phil Murphy: Is that it?
Daniel Munoz, NJBIZ: Yeah.
Governor Phil Murphy: Let me just say two quick things and then maybe, Tim, you'll want to come in on the first one. We're working like heck to get to casinos and indoor dining. We want to get there on both. I think you asked, will casinos come before indoor dining? I don't have a definitive answer, but if I were a betting man, no pun intended here, I would bet probably yes. But I hope both sooner than later.
Liability protection, I've got nothing specific. I know it's a particular discussion in Washington as it relates to quid pro quos for a potential next COVID 4.0 legislation. I have to say, I can appreciate the fact that If you're a restaurant by example, and you're about to take this step, that it weighs on you and I can appreciate that. So how it gets resolved, I don't have an answer for you. But the concern is an understandable one, given the environment, the extraordinary environment that we're in. Any comment on any of this money for PPE or other COVID-related?
EDA CEO Tim Sullivan: It's certainly an expense that is eligible, that we have 16,000 decisions about how to use the money in rent and payroll and staying current on loans and buying PPE I'm sure will be a big part of the mix.
Governor Phil Murphy: Thank you. Dave, good afternoon.
Dave Schatz, New Brunswick Today: Hi, Governor, you had mentioned that the indoor expansion, because there's a lot going on, a lot of news here, is primarily for religious services, but would it include, you said not indoor restaurants dining, but could it include, for instance, I don't know, community theaters, maybe comedy clubs, that sort of thing? Would that be within that realm? And if not, what else if anything indoor?
And then on the outdoor side, presumably if we go to 500 people in an outdoor situation at the beginning of July, could that include minor league baseball, for instance? Could it include a racetrack or racecars or something along those lines? I know in Japan, they have mannequins in the stands to mix with the people that they're putting to give everybody more of a sense of reality. Would that be within the realm of what you see at this point? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Yep, thank you for both. I think the answer is not on indoor entertainment yet, so not theaters, comedy clubs was on your list. I got asked about a different indoor entertainment a short while ago, but I would hope we can again, get guidance on that. I hope we're going to get to all of this sooner than later. And it is not only for faith, I want to reiterate that, but that's the principal thrust. And again, not there yet on fans in the stands.
I was asked this today again on a podcast I did, I still think and Judy's going to be the one and her team that ultimately has to put holy water on this. I want to hold out that hope that it's still possible. But I can't say definitively.
You know, we're seeing the German soccer reality, which looks so far so good in terms of the on-field reality, but there's no one in the stands other than the management or the bench players. Could we potentially see minor league or NFL or racecars with folks in the stand? I will say I'm not prepared to say no to that. I just hope that we get there at some point. The progress we've made is extraordinary. If we continue to make that progress, then everything's on the table. Thank you for both. Matt Platkin is trying to get my attention. Thank you. Matt.
Chief Counsel Matt Platkin: I just want to clarify, the gatherings, the indoor gatherings limit was previously set at 10. So what the Governor is doing with today's order is raising that up to 25% of your indoor capacity with a maximum of 50. It's not changing, if your business was closed before, that particular provision doesn't change whether the business can open or not.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: Can people now go –
Governor Phil Murphy: Thank you Matt, and thank you Tim for the assist. Brent.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: Can people now go back to their offices at reduced capacity, now that the stay at home order is lifted? What about larger schools' graduation? I graduated with 750 people at East Brunswick High School in 2002.
Governor Phil Murphy: Do you have a ranking in your class graduation, or?
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: No, but I was class president.
Governor Phil Murphy: Were you really? God bless you.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: Yeah, I was awesome. Many health experts are saying a second round of cases is inevitable in the fall, and there's a belief that the public won't have an appetite for more stay at home orders. How would you navigate another round? Would you be leery of another shutdown?
We saw that a house party in Cape May lead to an outbreak. Any new updates on whether there's been an uptick in cases since beaches reopened? And nail salons, I've heard that they're not closed and I think it was said yesterday they are allowed to reopen on June 22. Where are we on nail salons?
Governor Phil Murphy: Okay, nail salons are June 22, that's unequivocal. I've got no update on Cape May County on that, you mean the particular situation where the folks went back to Bucks County? Yeah, I've got no update on that, but the general feedback, and Pat, tell me if you disagree or Judy, but the general feedback out of the beach reality has been so far so good. Unless you all have heard otherwise, in terms of compliance, but also in terms of rate of transmission. And if you look at Judy's, and again, I think we should, Mahen, begin to show this at least from time to time. If you look at rate of transmission, you see very good realities on the four shore counties.
Listen, Brent, I'm going in reverse order, I recognize that. Second round, stay at home, lack of appetite, who could blame people for, you know, not having any appetite or desire to see that happen? It's a big, and by the way, I've said this before, but I don't think we've said it in a while and Judy and Tina can correct me. No matter how good a job we do at our restart and recovery and get the place back open again, the chances are overwhelming we're going to see some kind of community flare up, right? It's the nature of this virus. It's the nature of intermingling, crossing these bubbles that we've talked about from time to time.
To me, that is not the question. Obviously, the scale of it is open. But to me, it's do you have the pieces of the puzzle in place that we decidedly, as a nation and therefore as a state, did not have in place three plus months ago? And that's everything from the emergency stuff like bed capacity, PPE, ventilators, reserve healthcare workers, the medicines, all of which we are continuing to doggedly try to husband and generate, but also in the more recent reality of the testing, contact tracing, isolation realities. And again, we owe you and we'll do that within the next few days on the contact tracing and isolation piece, so that folks have the confidence that we can surround this thing if it pops up again.
And to me, that's the big game changer, not whether it will pop up again, unless you all disagree, but when it pops up, that we can surround it. And you know, when you're testing and you've got a capacity as we do now, that's not necessarily, we don't have the demand for these tests every day, but God forbid if this were to flare up again we'll have the demand, but I can guarantee we'll have the capacity of right now 30,000 or more tests a day.
I think on larger graduations, unless Matt tells me otherwise. And we've had this conversation, I had this with someone in Westfield on Sunday, we're going to need folks to do two sessions, by example. Same day, different time, different day. And listen, on stay at home and office protocols, those remain in place. So in other words, we're not making you go back to the office. Yeah, we do need, however, if you have an office environment, that it needs to be properly set up for social distancing, for separation of people, for the environment that you've actually got there, but we fully anticipate that folks will continue == People ask me all the time, I'm sure we all think about this, what's life going to look like when we're in a new normal? And on my list, Judy, of what life's going to look like, is a lot more people working from home. And so just because we may be lifting the stay at home order does not mean we're making you go back into the office. That's up to the business that you're a part of. And we do expect if you're in an office, that you've got the protocols in place, that most importantly keep you away from each other and strong emphasis on face coverings. And a belated congratulations on your election as president. To say it was belated is an understatement.
I'm going to begin to mask up here. We will be again back together with you at one o'clock tomorrow unless you hear otherwise. I want to thank Judy and Tina, as always, Pat as always, a special treat to have Tim with us today. Jared and Matt and Mahen and the rest of the team, Aswan, thank you for your help. But again, I'll repeat the two thank yous that we have been hitting over the past couple of weeks. One thank you over the past several months, extraordinary performance in New Jersey, unlike any American state. You saw that small group that were associated with six states that have done the most in this awful pandemic. Thank you. Please keep it up. Please keep it up because it's working.
And secondly, as you have rightfully protested systemic racism, the stain of racism in this country, you have done so peacefully and responsibly, and we thank you and ask you please, to keep your voices strong and loud, but to do it peacefully. God bless you all and thank you.