North Jersey News Roundup for April 3, 2020

The first field hospital to free up hospitals to deal with COVID-19 patients will open starting April 6. The 250-bed hospital at the Meadowlands Exposition Center will have a “soft opening” to take non-COVID-19 patients. In order to use every tool to acquire medical supplies and equipment, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order authorizing the state’s Director of Emergency Management to commandeer supplies when needed from private companies and institutions.

Gov. Phil Murphy said the state would continue its crackdown on “knucklehead row” for those defying the stay at home order and threatening law enforcement officers. Police will increase enforcement on people who ignore orders to stay indoors unless necessary and not gather in public to help curb the spread of the virus, facing fines of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in jail. 

New Jersey’s public transportation systems are eligible to receive up to $1.75 billion in CARES Act funds through the Federal Transit Administration. The next step will require the state to determine how much each transit agency will receive. NJ Transit requested $1.25 billion and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey expects to see $1.9 billion in revenue losses and extra expenses. The Record

New Jersey is offering state subsidies to help health care workers, emergency responders, and other essential workers pay for child care amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Emergency Child Care Assistance Program will offer up to $450 a week through April to those workers so they can attend to fighting the coronavirus.

YMCA’s across New Jersey are opening child care centers to help essential workers with children at home. There are 12 YMCA’s in the state qualified for a special license that will offer child care not just for members, but any parent who is an essential worker. The parents will need to prove they’re essential, while children will have their temperature taken before drop off. News12 New Jersey

New Jersey’s public television network is going live to help enhance remote learning starting April 6. NJTV Learning Live will debut as a four-hour block of educational programming with lessons taught by New Jersey teachers starting at 9 a.m. for third-grade instruction, 10 a.m. for fourth-graders, 11 a.m. for fifth-graders and 12 p.m. for sixth-graders. Subjects will include English language arts, math, science, social studies and a “special” such as art, music or physical education.

Courtyard by Marriott in Montvale is housing more than a dozen health professionals and essential workers who are either volunteering from afar or isolating themselves to avoid infecting family members. The hotel uses contactless check-ins and new keycards for each guest, rooms are sanitized before check-in but no one enters the rooms during the stay and stairwells and elevators are sanitized every 15 minutes. The Record

Jersey City will match state-funded small business grants for city businesses facing financial hardships due to the coronavirus crisis. The city program will mirror the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant program, which will operate through April 10. Small businesses and nonprofits that have a physical storefront can receive up to $5,000 from the city, which will be available through Community Development Block Grant funds. The Jersey Journal

More than 206,000 New Jersey workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. When combined with the two previous weeks,  more than 371,000 residents of the state have filed claims. Nationally, more than 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s weekly claims report. The Daily Record

The addition of 10 new police officers in Paramus is at a standstill after council members clashed over hiring the mayor’s son for one of the positions. The borough attorney warned council members who proposed hiring the nine other officers but wanted to exclude the mayor’s son would be an illegal action and result in a lawsuit.  The Record

Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali dropped out of the GOP race for New Jersey’s 5th district congressional seat. Ghassali endorsed John McCann, who is running against Frank Pallotta, John Baldini and Hector Castillo for the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer. New Jersey Globe

And finally...Bergen County native and resident John Minko will retire on April 3 after more than 32 years at WFAN. The Record

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