Both Senator Bucco and the NJGOP provided important updates today on COVID and other issues, therefor we wanted to pass along:
From Senator Bucco:
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 & Federal News:
- Legislative Action: Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature are meeting today to vote on bills related to COVID-19. Click here to listen live.
- Daily Briefing: Gov. Murphy will deliver a coronavirus briefing at 1 p.m. in Trenton. Click here to watch the livestream.
- Reopening New Jersey: In response to calls from legislators and our constituents, Governor Murphy has signed an executive order permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events. The construction and non-essential retail provisions will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, while the car gatherings provision will take effect immediately. Retail businesses operating in shopping malls are permitted to operate by curbside pickup, in accordance with the other requirements of this paragraph, but staff must bring the goods to customers at the exterior of the mall. The indoor portions of shopping malls must remain closed
- Non-Essential Construction: The order permits non-essential construction projects to resume effective at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18. All construction projects must abide by the social distancing, safety, and sanitization requirements.
- Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Retail Businesses: The order also permits non-essential retail businesses to allow curbside pickup of goods, beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, but businesses must continue to have their in-store operations closed to customers. Businesses that choose to offer curbside pickup must abide by the requirements in the order, which include but are not limited to the following:
- In-store operations should be limited to those employees who are responsible for the operations required for curbside pickup;
- Customer transactions should be handled in advance by phone, email, facsimile or other means that avoid person-to-person contact;
- Customers shall notify the retailer by text message, email, or phone once they arrive, or make best efforts to schedule their arrival time in advance. The customer should be asked to remain in their vehicle, if arriving by car, until store staff delivers the purchase;
- Designated employees should bring goods outside of the retail establishment and place goods directly in a customer’s vehicle when possible, avoiding person-to-person contact; and
- Such businesses must follow social distancing and mitigation practices outlined in previous orders, including requiring workers to wear cloth face coverings when in contact with other workers or customers and gloves when in contact with goods or customers.
- Car Gatherings: The order clarifies that car gatherings do not violate the Governor’s ban on gatherings under a prior executive order. Examples of such car gatherings include but are not limited to drive-in movies, religious services, or drive-through farms or safaris. Car gatherings will be subject to the restrictions in the order, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Attendees must remain in their same car throughout the gathering, unless 1) an occupant needs to get out of the vehicle for their health or safety or 2) an occupant needs to use the restroom;
- The vehicle must remain closed at all times unless 1) there is six feet of distance between other vehicles or individuals or 2) an officer, public official or guard requires the vehicle to open. There is a further exception allowing the opening of the vehicle if necessary for health or safety;
- Individuals organizing the gathering who are not in vehicles must follow social distancing and wear cloth face coverings; and
- To the degree that a gathering requires pre-payment, or seeks donations of any kind, contactless options for pre-payment or donation, such as online or by telephone, must be offered wherever feasible.
- Testing in All Long-Term Care Facilities: The State Health Commissioner has signed a directive requiring all long-term care facilities in the state to implement testing of staff and residents for the virus by May 26. Approximately 50% of all COVID-19 deaths in New Jersey have occurred in long-term care facilities, including nursing and veterans homes.
- Federal Stimulus Payments for SSI Recipients: The Social Security Administration has offered guidance on $1,200 stimulus payments for SSI recipients who do not file tax returns. Payments will be sent in the same form that regular SSI payments are sent. Those who receive Direct Deposit and Direct Express should receive their payment by today, May 13. Paper checks will begin to be sent on May 15.
- NJMVC Adds to Online Services: The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission this week announced it has added to its growing offering of web-based transactions, expanding the types of vehicles eligible for online registration renewals and replacements. The additional vehicle registration categories range from four-year commercial trailers to commuter vans and ATVs. A full list is available at NJMVC.gov.
- The latest data on coronavirus infections in New Jersey are available on the New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard. The dashboard has been updated to provide more information on long-term care facilities, State psychiatric hospitals, and overall demographics on COVID-19 deaths.
- 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: There are currently 122 COVID-19 testing sites across the state, including State-sponsored and private facilities. To locate a testing location, specifics on how to get a test, and the hours of operation, click here.
- Information for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Since Governor Murphy’s indefinite order to close New Jersey’s economy without any plan for re-opening it, the State has seen a record surge in unemployment claims. More than a million workers have applied for unemployment benefits in New Jersey, but hundreds of thousands of residents are still waiting, some as long as six weeks, for their checks. We’re past crisis point.
New Jersey families of all backgrounds are suffering. They need leaders who are kind hearted, not mean spirited, but Governor Murphy has been callous to criticisms of his Administration’s handling of unemployment claims. When he was questioned about his Labor Department’s abject failures, he told New Jersey’s unemployed that if they were unhappy, they could “go to another state”. Ouch.
Governor Murphy needs to show he has the temperament and real solutions to the unemployment crisis, not dismiss the more than one million New Jerseyans wanting answers. Even members of his own party are now publicly urging him to address New
Jersey’s unemployment pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know today
- Retail stores that Governor Murphy has deemed “non-essential” can now open for curbside pickup.
2. President Trump is working to ensure underserved communities across America have the resources necessary to fight the virus. To provide health and economic support, President Trump has delivered:
- $2 billion for community health centers to provide care and testing for their 28 million patients
- $60 billion in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program targeted to support minority and disadvantaged communities
- $1 billion to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic serving institutions, and other minority serving institutions impacted by the coronavirus
- Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump has supported the farmers, ranchers, fisherman, and producers who put food on America’s kitchen tables.
- On Friday, USDA approved $1.2 billion in contracts to support both American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
- President Trump signed an Executive Order and announced $300 million to assure America’s competitiveness in the seafood industry and to support fishermen and related businesses hurt by the coronavirus.
- Last month, President Trump issued an Executive Order to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations to the maximum extent possible.
- The President authorized $16 billion in funding to counter economic losses during the pandemic for farmers, ranchers, and food producers.
- The Administration has provided small agricultural businesses access to capital through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
Article of interest: Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Time Is Right for State Reopening Process to Be Expedited