State Watch

New Jersey orders residents to wear masks in grocery stores


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) ordered all residents to wear masks in grocery stores as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to climb.

Murphy announced Wednesday that he was signing an executive order enforcing restrictions to try to decrease the spread of coronavirus in some of the only businesses that remain open in the state.

To lessen overcrowding, all “essential retail” stores will only be permitted to allow up to 50 percent of their approved capacity inside. All customers and employees will be required to wear face coverings while inside the store, and businesses must supply employees with masks, coverings and gloves.

The executive order also mandates stores provide certain shopping hours for high-risk populations such as seniors, place physical barriers between customers and employees “where practicable” and regularly sanitize employee areas.

He said during a press briefing Wednesday that those not wearing face coverings would “get asked to leave,” except for those who are under age 2 or with medical reasons to not wear a mask.

“My personal guidance is you gotta go out and find something to put on your face before you come in,” he said, according to

Murphy also announced that all nonessential construction will “CEASE indefinitely” starting at 8 p.m Friday, with exceptions for hospital, school, transportation and affordable housing projects. Individual housing sites may continue construction if they can follow rules restricting the number of workers on the site. 

New Jersey passed 1,500 deaths associated with COVID-19 Wednesday, leading the governor to warn that the state is “not at any plateau.” 

The state recorded its highest single-day increase in deaths with 275 Wednesday, surpassing Tuesday’s 232 deaths

New Jersey has confirmed 47,437 cases across the states, the second-most, behind its neighbor New York which has documented 149,401 cases.

Tags Construction Coronavirus COVID-19 face coverings grocery stores Masks New Jersey

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