State Watch

New Jersey governor unveils phased reopening plan but no timeline

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New Jersey’s governor announced a five-stage reopening plan for the state’s economy on Monday as state officials debate how to handle the continuing coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) plan, posted on the governor’s website, indicates that the state is currently in the first phase of the reopening plan but did not give any indications as to when or under what parameters the state would reach phase two.

“Through our combined efforts, we have flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases, and we are well-positioned to continue our restart and recovery process,” Murphy said. “Our multi-stage approach uses science, data, and facts to determine which businesses and activities can reopen according to their risk level and challenges they face to safeguard public health.”

“We are currently in Stage 1, and we will aim to move through each stage quickly, but also judiciously, with the public health of our communities and all New Jerseyans in mind. We are also counting on all New Jerseyans to continue keeping themselves and their neighbors safe by wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and limiting gatherings,” he added.

Phase one allows a some businesses to resume operation, including construction companies and some retail businesses that can provide curbside pickup services. Phase two of the governor’s plan expands the scope of retail services allowed to reopen under some health restrictions, as well as allowing restaurants with outdoor seating to resume dine-in service.

Murphy’s order comes as the state has been one of several targeted by protesters urging state economies to reopen sooner and opposed to state stay-at-home orders. New Jersey has seen the second-most number of coronavirus cases in the country, and on Monday reported more than 1,700 new confirmed cases.


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