Governor Murphy Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order, Closure of All Non-Essential Retail Businesses
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey’s health care system for the state’s most vulnerable, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 107 on March 21, 2020, directing all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions, such as:
- obtaining essential goods or services
- seeking medical attention
- visiting family or close friends
- reporting to work
- engaging in outdoor activities.
“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,” said Governor Murphy. “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.”
In effort to strengthen the existing social distancing measures in place, the order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized by the Order. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
Governor Murphy’s Executive Order further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:
• Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
• Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
• Medical supply stores;
• Gas stations;
• Convenience stores;
• Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
• Hardware and home improvement stores;
• Banks and other financial institutions;
• Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
• Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
• Pet stores;
• Liquor stores;
• Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
• Printing and office supply shops;
• Mail and delivery stores;
• Mobile phone retail and repair shops (added 3/24/20);
• Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair (added 3/24/20);
• Livestock feed stores (added 3/24/20);
• Nurseries and garden centers (added 3/24/20);
• Farming equipment stores (added 3/24/20).
Nothing in the Order shall limit:
- the provision of health care or medical services
- access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks
- the operations of the media
- law enforcement agencies
- the operations of the federal government.
Additionally, the order mandates that all businesses or non-profits, wherever practicable, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements. To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.
Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include, but are not limited to:
- law enforcement officers
- fire fighters
- other first responders
- cashiers or store clerks
- construction workers
- utility workers
- repair workers
- warehouse workers
- lab researchers
- IT maintenance workers
- janitorial and custodial staff
- certain administrative staff
The Order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, requirements that all restaurants operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education cease in-person instruction.
Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order No. 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restriction that in any way will or might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107. Municipalities or counties cannot 1) make any additions to or deletions from the list of essential retail businesses; 2) impose any additional limitations on businesses beyond the Governor’s Order; 3) impose any additional density or social distancing requirements; or 4) impose any additional restrictions on freedom of movement. The only exceptions are two categories over which municipalities or counties may impose any additional restrictions: 1) online marketplaces for arranging or offering lodging and 2) municipal or county parks.
All additional county and municipality restrictions, subject to the provisions above, are not only invalidated, but, going forward, municipalities or counties may not enact or enforce any rule or ordinance which will or might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107.
For additional information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses, please visit the State of New Jersey business portal at https://cv.business.nj.gov.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Our Response
- UPDATE: We will hold all services online as of March 11, 2020.
- Place hand sanitizer dispenser throughout the church.
- Disinfect and sanitize the sanctuary after large gatherings
- Keep a good supply of soap and hand towels in the bathroom.
How to Protect Yourself
Take steps to protect yourself
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take steps to protect others
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.