O'Scanlon Update on COVID-19 (6/29/2020)
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 & Federal News: • Daily Briefing: Gov. Murphy will deliver a coronavirus briefing at 2:30 p.m. in Trenton. Click here to watch the livestream. • Upcoming Reopenings: The following reopenings have been announced: o June 29th: Retail shopping malls o July 2nd: Museums, Aquariums, Libraries, Indoor Dining, Bowling Alleys, Indoor Batting Cages, Boardwalk Arcades, Outdoor Water Parks, Indoor Shooting Ranges, Casinos, Playgrounds, Outdoor Amusement Parks o July 6th: Youth Day Camps, In-Person Summer Education, Expanded NJ Transit Rail and Light Rail, Graduation Ceremonies • NJMVC In-Person License & Vehicle Transactions Delayed: The Motor Vehicle Commission announced that most in-person transactions scheduled to start on June 29th will be delayed until July 7th, while the text notification system undergoes final testing. Road testing and Inspections stations will still be fully operational June 29. Those who successfully complete their road tests will have to wait to get their new licenses until July 7th, but they will be given access to “Road Test” express lanes at every Licensing Center. In addition, during the month of July, NJMVC agencies will be CLOSED ON MONDAYS to allow us to do Health & Safety assessments of our facilities following each week of expanded activity. • Reopening Guidance for Schools: The NJ Department of Education has issued guidance to assist schools with reopening in the fall. Absent a change in public health data, public schools will open for in-person instruction and operations in some capacity at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The guidance describes several health and safety standards to be prioritized in school reopening: 1. Social distancing: Schools and districts must allow for social distancing within the classroom. This can be achieved by ensuring students are seated at least six feet apart. If schools are not able to maintain this physical distance, additional modifications should be considered. These include physical barriers between desks and turning desks to face the same direction (rather than facing each other) or having students sit on only one side of a table and spaced apart. 2. Face coverings: School staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age. Students are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and are required to do so when social distancing cannot be maintained, unless doing so would inhibit the student’s health. It is necessary to acknowledge that enforcing the use of face coverings may be impractical for young children or certain individuals with disabilities. 3. Limited capacity: It is recommended that students and staff be seated at least six feet apart in class when practicable. When weather allows, windows should be opened to allow for greater air circulation. 4. Cleaning/disinfecting: Procedures must be implemented by each school district for the sanitization of school buildings and school buses. Increased handwashing measures are also important for students and staff. • Indoor Dining, Indoor Recreational Facilities, and Personal Training at Gyms and Fitness Centers: An executive order was signed allowing indoor dining to start on Thursday, July 2nd. The order also contains the baseline requirements for indoor recreational and entertainment businesses, which can open on July 2nd at 25 percent capacity, with the exceptions of gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues, and indoor amusement and water parks. Further, dance floors at any business must be closed or cordoned off. Gyms and fitness centers can, however, offer individualized indoor instruction by appointment only. o Indoor Dining will be limited to 25% of the establishment’s indoor capacity. Patrons will be required to order and consume food or beverages while seated and must wear face coverings except when seated. o Recreational & Entertainment Businesses, Including Libraries, Museums, Aquariums, and Public and Private Social Clubs must limit the capacity of their indoor premises to 25 percent, and are held to many of the same requirements that are imposed on retail businesses (a full list of the requirements is in the order). However, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues, and indoor amusement and water parks, must keep their indoor spaces closed, and dance floors at any business must be closed or cordoned off. o Gyms & Fitness Centers will be permitted to offer individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual’s immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners. If a gym or fitness center is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements. o Playgrounds are permitted to open July 2nd. o Personal Care Services that would require the removal of a face covering, such as facials, can resume on July 2nd. • 14-Day Quarantine for Individuals Traveling from Certain States: New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut announced a joint incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. This quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. • Limits on Excessive Third-Party Delivery Fees: A new law places limits on service fees charged to restaurants by third-party delivery applications and websites during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The legislation provides much needed relief to restaurants across New Jersey that have faced excessive fees while being limited to takeout and delivery service. • Increased Limits for Indoor & Outdoor Gatherings: Limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings have increased. Indoor gatherings are now limited to 25% capacity of the rooms in which they will take place, with a maximum of 100 persons. Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 250 persons, and outdoor religious services and political activities will continue to have no numerical limits. Important Resources: • 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: 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. Questions or need assistance? Call or email our legislative office.