Additional COVID-19 Updates from Senator Bucco

Hi friends – we wanted to pass on the following information which Senator Bucco sent in his most recent newsletter:

Breaking News Update on COVID-19 (4/8/2020)

As New Jersey continues under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, please know that our district office remains available to serve constituents by phone and email. Included below are links to information that you may find helpful, along with important state and national news updates related to COVID-19.

Important State News:

  • Daily Briefing: Gov. Murphy will deliver a coronavirus briefing at 1 p.m. in Trenton. Click here to watch the livestream.
  • Public Health Emergency Extended: Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 119 yesterday extending the state’s Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9 and all related executive orders. By law, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days.
  • State & County Parks Closed: Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 118 yesterday closing all state parks and forests and county parks to further social distancing measures. Municipalities still have the authority to open or close municipal parks as they see fit.
  • School Testing: Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 117 yesterday waiving 2019-2020 statutory school year assessment requirements for eighth grade students and twelfth grade students who have not yet met the graduation assessment requirement.
  • WIC Update: In light of COVID-19, New Jersey WIC is allowing more food substitutions in addition to previously approved items in anticipation of limited food selections related to recent events. Families who rely on WIC can now substitute certain items of food like cheese, cereal, whole grains, and more.
  • Supplies: The State of California is sending 100 lifesaving ventilators to New Jersey.

Unemployment Benefits Update:

    • If you are currently collecting unemployment: We fully intend to begin issuing the additional compensation the end of the week of April 5. It will be a separate payment from your regular unemployment benefit, and will continue through July 31.
    • New filers: You also will be eligible for the additional $600/week; it will be retroactive to the week of March 29.
    • Freelancers, gig workers, independent contractors: While we wait for federal guidelines, we encourage you to apply for unemployment now. Your claim likely will be denied, but your ineligibility for regular unemployment is a prerequisite for receiving benefits due to COVID-19. Additional details will be posted online as they become available.
    • We are also awaiting guidance on the 13-week extension of unemployment benefits. Please check back for details.

Important Resources:

  • The latest data on coronavirus infections in New Jersey are available on the New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub includes valuable resources and information for families, workers, and employers who have questions or needs arising from the current crisis.
  • Testing Sites: To locate a COVID-19 testing site, specifics on how to get a test, and the hours of operate, click here.
  • Information for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Questions or need assistance? Call or email our legislative office.

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