Murphy orders N.J. residents to stay home, closes non-essential businesses in state lockdown to fight coronavirus
Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday announced he’s putting New Jersey into a virtual lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus, ordering New Jerseyans to stay at home except for necessary trips and mandating all non-essential businesses closed until further notice.
The measures will go into effect 9 p.m. Saturday, Murphy said while announcing that the state now has 1,327 confirmed cases of the virus that has infected hundreds of thousands across the globe. There have now been 16 deaths from the virus in New Jersey.
“From day one, we’ve made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey’s nine million residents,” Murphy said.
“We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes. This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow – and eventually halt – the spread of coronavirus.”
The governor said essential workers, such as emergency responders and health-care employees, are allowed to travel. And the general public can still go outdoors for exercise.
Businesses allowed to open include grocery stores, food banks, pharmacies, medical marijuana dispensaries, gas stations, auto mechanics and repair services, convenience stores, banks, hardware and home improvement stores, laundromats, dry cleaners, printing and office supply shops, pet stores, stores that sell supplies for young children, and mail and delivering shops.
Restaurants, bars and liquor stores that provide takeout can remain open.
Murphy’s move follows similar stay-at-home orders in recent days by the governors of California, New York, and Connecticut.
Murphy had already indefinitely closed public schools, indoor malls, movie theaters, casinos, gyms, barbershops, salons, libraries and more across the state. He banned dine-in areas of restaurants and previously limited public gatherings to fewer than 50 people. Plus, he has strongly suggested that people refrain from non-essential travel in New Jersey and called on people to stay home if they can.