Governor Murphy Opens Beaches in Time for Memorial Day: This week, Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey’s beaches, boardwalks and lakes will be open by next Friday, in time for Memorial Day, with some restrictions. New Jersey’s beaches, a major driver of New Jersey’s economy, have been closed since mid-March. This announcement marks one of the biggest rollbacks of restrictions as Murphy continues to slowly reopen the state’s economy.
While boardwalk restaurants may offer take-out and delivery, rides, arcades, games and “other draws” will remain closed along with water fountains, playgrounds and visitor centers. Organized games, contact sports, recreational summer camps, concerts, festivals and fireworks remain prohibited.
“The Jersey Shore is where memories are made. The last thing any of us wanted was for a summertime down the shore to be a memory,” said Murphy. “Today, I am proud to announce that yes, our shore and our lakeshores will be open.”
$50 Million Dedicated to Small Business Relief: Governor Murphy announced that his Administration is committing $50 million in federal CARES Act funding to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. These funds will be administered through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).
Elective Surgeries to Resume May 26: Governor Murphy is signing an Executive Order to allow for elective surgeries to resume on May 26 with guidance to be issued by the Department of Health and the Division of Consumer Affairs. Patients must be tested 72 hours prior to surgery, with symptoms screens conducted on the day of, and patients must be quarantined 3 days before the procedure. Those showing symptoms will have their surgeries delayed and facilities are required to have adequate staffing, bed-space and PPE.
Executive Order Clarifying Procedures for July 7th Primary Election Day: Governor Murphy is also signing an Executive Order clarifying that the July 7th primary election day be conducted as hybrid vote-by-mail (vbm)/in-person election, though it will be weighted to the former. All registered Democratic and Republican voters will automatically receive a postage-paid VBM ballot. There will be a limited number of in-person polling places in each county. Counties will receive additional drop-off mailboxes from the USPS to receive VBM ballots.
Legislation to Furlough Public Employees Passed; Heads to Murphy’s Desk: This week, the state legislature passed a bill that would create a job-sharing program to help partially furlough public employees and which lawmakers say can save the state and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars. The bill, sponsored by Senate President Sweeney among others, would also guarantee that furloughed employees’ pension benefits would not be reduced and would combine to continue to accrue seniority. Sweeney noted that, due to the expansion of federal unemployment benefits, most furloughed workers would take home more money than if they were not on leave.
Atlantic City Casinos Experience Worst Month Ever: According to the state’s earning figures released this week, Atlantic City had its worst month ever, with its nine casinos reporting a 69% drop in revenue ($265.4 million) in April 2020 from the same month in 2019. Atlantic City casinos did report $82.6 million in revenue in April, almost all of it from online gambling.
Latest NJ COVID-19 Statistics: The number positive coronavirus test results in New Jersey has increased to a total of 143,905. The number of statewide coronavirus-related deaths is currently 10,138.
All NJ residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and resources available to them should visit: www.covid19.nj.gov
Jobs and Assistance in NJ: An online portal is available to provide information to impacted small business owners. The portal includes information on Executive Orders, regulations impacting small businesses and access to financial assistance from the US Small Business Administration (SBA).
Testing Sites: Click here to get updated information and locations of public testing sites.