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Gov. Phil Murphy Grants Local Authority to Curtail Short-Term Rentals

Gov. Phil Murphy has given municipalities and counties the authority to impose restrictions on short-term rentals in response to COVID-19.

“We have heard too many stories, especially from our shore communities, of people trying to relocate, for the time being, into their towns from impacted areas,” said Murphy. 

This order gives municipalities and counties the ability to impose additional restrictions on the ability of hotels, motels, guest houses, private residences or seasonal tenants after 8:00 pm on April 5.

Flatten the Curve

“The only way we will flatten the curve is by continuing to practice social distancing and by traveling only when necessary,” said Col. Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “This administrative order will empower vulnerable communities, like shore towns, allowing individual municipalities to impose restrictions, which will prevent people from relocating from more affected communities.”

The order stipulates that municipalities and counties may not impose restrictions on individuals housed as a part of a state-directed non-congregate shelter initiative; taking temporary residence supported by federal, state, or local emergency and/or other housing assistance; and healthcare workers taking temporary residence. 

“Social distancing does not work by relocating to the Shore,” said Murphy. “Many of our shore communities lack the health care infrastructure to accommodate an influx of part-time residents. New Jerseyans should stay at their primary place of residence for the duration of this emergency.”

Deaths Pass 900

The order came on the day the number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey climbed to 37,505 with 3,482 new cases and 71 new deaths recorded April 5, bringing that total to 917. Of the 917 deaths, Bergen had the most of any county with 189, while other North Jersey county totals include Essex at 172, Hudson at 87, Morris at 56, Passaic at 42, Sussex at nine and Warren with six.

A total of 44,661 people in the state tested negative for COVID-19.

Bergen Tops NJ

Bergen is still the primary hot spot in the state with 6,187 total cases, followed by Essex at 4,082, Hudson at 3,924, Passaic at 3,227, Union at 3,216, Middlesex at 2,950, Monmouth at 2,354, Ocean at 2,177, Morris at 1,800, Somerset at 833, Mercer at 645, Camden at 556, Burlington at 547, Sussex at 267, Gloucester at 248, Warren at 195, Hunterdon at 189, Atlantic at 121, Cape May at 77, Cumberland at 54 and Salem at 26. 

Another 3,935 positive tests and 14 deaths are under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Homemade Masks

The governor and state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli both stated that homemade masks are not an alternative to social distancing.

“Social distancing is by far our best preventative measure,” said Persichilli. “Wearing a simple cloth face covering when you are out is not in any way a replacement for social distancing to flatten the curve.“

The commissioner said cloth face coverings made from common materials like scarves and bandanas, while lowering the chance of spreading the virus, is not a “failsafe measure” to prevent from being exposed to COVID-19.

Protecting Others’

“If you wear a mask you are protecting others, and if others wear masks they are protecting you,” stated Persichilli.

Murphy reiterated the measures in place will last for some time to make sure there is no setback.

“This is going to be longer than anyone wants, but we’ve got to be sure that we not only crack the back….but as we begin to open things up again, we don’t inadvertently put gasoline back on the fire,” said Murphy.

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