North Jersey News Roundup for March 17, 2020

A third death related to Covid-19 was announced as New Jersey implemented aggressive social distancing measures to mitigate further spread in New Jersey in coordination with New York and Connecticut. Schools are to be closed statewide, entertainment venues were shut down and local officials ordered shopping malls to cease operations.

New Jersey mobilized the National Guard as state officials prepared to expand the number of available hospital beds. The state is in talks to re-open one shuttered hospital and restore the use of closed wings in four other facilities. The effort came as the Federal Emergency Management Agency deployed crews to New Jersey to set up two major testing centers, one at Bergen County Community College in Paramus, after the Trump administration designated the state as one of 12 “priority” locations. Politico NJ

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average wavered between gains and losses March 17, giving up much of the advance made earlier amid fears of a coronavirus-induced recession. The gauge for blue-chip stocks plummeted nearly 3,000 points March 16 over fears that the pandemic was disrupting supply chains and sidelining workers. The Wall Street Journal

Students and staff at George Washington School in Edgewater were told to self quarantine through March 29 after a staffer came back with a positive Covid-19 diagnosis. In addition, all students at Edgewater’s Eleanor Van Gelder (EVG) school students who ride Bus #2 in the morning or afternoon along with students who ride the “EVG Late Bus” due to participation in clubs, chorus or band were told to self-quarantine. The Record

Florham Park is closing all public facilities after a borough employee tested positive for COVID-19. The closings will allow the town to sanitize all borough facilities to protect essential personnel from contracting the virus, while allowing the incubation period of the virus to pass. The Daily Record

Forty percent of businesses will need to lay off employees to cope with the financial pain brought on by the public health crisis, according to a New Jersey Business and Industry Association poll. Thirty seven percent of business owners predicted they will have to cut staff hours, while 12% said they will reduce benefits. Just a quarter thought they could get by without any of those cost-cutting measures.

Stop & Shop cut its store hours and created a special time when customers age 60 and older can shop the supermarket. Store hours are now 7:30 am to 8 pm to give time for store associates to unload deliveries, stock shelves and serve customers throughout the day. Starting March 19, locations will open from 6 am to 7:30 am for customers over the age of 60 whom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says are most vulnerable. New Jersey Herald

ShopRite is putting limits on some products due to the short supply of items in high demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.The supermarket will restrict the number of items to purchase to two for disinfectant cleaners and wipes, paper products, bar and liquid soaps, cough, cold and flu over-the-counter medicines, fresh meat and eggs. Additional limits were placed on first aid supplies and bottled water. News12 New Jersey

The New Jersey Assembly passed a series of bills in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak to assist people, schools, businesses and local governments grappling with the medical and financial impacts of the public health crisis. The more than two dozen measures target people losing wages as more and more businesses close temporarily and social distancing wipes out commerce.

Over $86 million will go to the Jersey City School District collected through the city’s new payroll tax. The payroll tax ordinance  imposes a 1% payroll tax on an employer’s gross payroll to benefit Jersey City public schools. Employees of the municipality, school district, and those who live in Jersey City are exempt from the tax, but not subcontractors for the city or schools. Hudson Reporter

And finally….The New York Football Giants signed two players on the defensive side of the ball as NFL free agency began.

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