Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Official in New Jersey, US, to lift some business and recreational restrictions starting May 18. Stay at home order remains in place.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Trenton, New Jersey
  • Bridgewater, New Jersey
  • East Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Morristown, New Jersey
  • Parsippany, New Jersey
  • Paterson, New Jersey
  • Plainfield, New Jersey
  • West Windsor, New Jersey
  • Teterboro

This alert began 15 May 2020 00:42 GMT and is scheduled to expire 25 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): New Jersey (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued orders to ease restrictions on some business and activities starting May 18, while keeping in place a stay at home order until further notice, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities will allow all construction projects to resume, though with certain guidelines, including enhanced sanitation, social distance measures, staggered shifts, and the use of face coverings and gloves by workers.

Officials will also lift restrictions for retail businesses to provide curbside pickup services, starting May 18, and for car-gatherings at drive-in movies, religious services, and other drive-through activities. Attendees must remain within their vehicles. From May 22, beaches, lakes, boardwalks, and lakeshores will be allowed to open, albeit with limitations in the number of visitors to avoid crowding. Amenities such as visitor centers, playgrounds, and indoor recreational facilities must remain closed. State parks and golf courses were allowed to reopen May 2.

A stay at home remains in place since March 21, until further notice. Residents are only allowed to leave their homes to perform essential tasks, such as to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, perform outdoor recreational activities while maintaining proper distance from other persons, or go to work at a permitted business or service. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and fuel stations may continue to provide in-person services, while companies in agriculture, manufacturing, security, transport, and media services can also remain open. Other businesses may operate only with their employees working from home. All gatherings are banned. In-person lessons at schools will remain canceled until the end of the academic year. Officials have ordered all employees and customers at essential businesses to wear face coverings whenever they are inside the facilities.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming days and weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures will likely accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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