- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2020

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday said he is signing an executive order that will allow some construction and retail businesses to reopen in a limited fashion starting on Monday, saying the state has made enough progress in the fight against the coronavirus to move to the next phase.

“Non-essential” construction will be allowed to resume starting at 6 a.m. Monday, with workers required to take precautions like wearing face coverings and staggering their work hours and breaks.

“Non-essential” retail stores will also be allowed to reopen for curbside pickup at 6 a.m. Monday.

Mr. Murphy also said the order will allow “drive-up” and “drive-in” events like church services to resume, effective immediately.

“The data has allowed us to determine that the date to start our recovery, however cautiously — at least the next steps — is today,” Mr. Murphy said.



The governor said New Jersey is still not out of the woods, noting that the state ranks first among a handful of large states in terms of new cases, hospital patients, and new deaths per capita.

But Mr. Murphy said long-term trends in key metrics like cases, hospitalizations, and individuals on ventilators are all moving in the right direction.

New Jersey has more than 141,000 cases and more than 9,700 coronavirus-related deaths out of a population of close to 9 million people. It’s the second-hardest hit state behind New York.

The announcement comes as virtually all states, including New York, are moving toward relaxing some of their coronavirus-related restrictions on business.

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