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Murphy Promises State Residents New Information Friday on COVID-19 Lockdown

The Center Square) – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday he will give new guidance on “where we’re headed” on Friday and in the next few days but did not say specify what he Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 19.19.25will discuss.

The governor met with a bipartisan group on Wednesday and the discussion ranged from youth sports to small businesses, he said.

The state has been under a stay-at-home order since March. Murphy has relaxed some restrictions including allowing curbside pick-ups for retailers and the opening of motor vehicle showrooms. Beaches and state parks are also open.

 

Republican lawmakers are asking Murphy to clarify his plans for reopening the rest of the state. On Thursday, Sen. Michael Testa asked Senate President Steve Sweeney and other senators to join with him on a plan to reopen the state’s economy, saying some restaurants in his South Jersey district are struggling.

“Last week, the Mayor of North Wildwood created a well-organized plan to allow community restaurants to open up and enjoy the beautiful weather,” Testa said. “What did our heavy-handed Cape May County prosecutor do? He followed Gov. Murphy’s orders and shut down the plan.”

New Jersey residents supported Murphy when he asked the state to shut down to ease the strain on hospitals but that threat never materialized, North Wildwoods Mayor Patrick Rosenello said. "The ‘curve’ that we were all supposed to be working to ‘flatten’ is now about as flat as the economic heartbeat of this State. It is time to reopen.”

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is proposing street festivals that will allow small businesses to sell their wares outdoors.

 

Her bill has bipartisan support, Schepisi said.

“My legislation would also ensure that appropriate social distancing protocols and the use of personal protective equipment by members of the public and employees of participating businesses are required and enforced,” she said. “For this to work best, it has to be done safely and responsibly to reassure patrons and employees that it is safe to work and shop.”

Murphy has repeatedly said that data will drive decisions. The number of hospitalizations and patients in intensive care units are steadily increasing but the governor is being cautious.

“We’ve been on a one-way street folks and we don’t want to have to turn the car around and go back the other direction,” Murphy said.

He did not give any details of his future plans.

“In some cases, we will be very specific,” Murphy said. “And in other cases, we are going to point you directionally where we’re headed with some of the details to be filled in at a later point.”

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