North Jersey News Roundup for April 28, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled the state’s roadmap on health standards needed to be achieved allowing for an economic recovery in the state. The six point Road Back plan features four health benchmarks the governor believes is critical to achieve to give residents confidence to restart the economy. “This is a plan for how we move forward—not if we move forward,” said Murphy.

The state modified the executive orders restricting certain business operations in the state. Under the revised rules, if you order a vehicle online or over the phone, you can now test drive it before buying, as long you’re alone in the car, and the vehicle is cleaned and sanitized afterward should you decide not to buy it. Additionally, pet groomers, pet daycare providers and pet boarding businesses can operate, as well as stores that sell items for religious observance or worship.

There’s still a chance New Jersey students could return to classrooms before the end of this school year, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. The governor cautioned the state “cannot rush to reopen” schools amid the coronavirus pandemic and promised guidance before May 15 for plans for the rest of the school year. New Jersey Herald

President Donald Trump opined states should “seriously consider” reopening their public schools before the end of the academic year, even though dozens already have said it would be unsafe for students to return until the summer or fall. Trump made the comments as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked to finalize guidelines for schools which would mandate putting  students’ desks 6 feet apart, serving meals in the classroom instead of the cafeteria and closing playgrounds. News12 New Jersey

Health care workers who cared for coronavirus patients at New Jersey hospitals are being studied for insights into how their immune systems reacted to potential exposure and whether the antibodies they developed will protect them in expected future waves of the virus. Employees and affiliated staff at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and Teaneck’s Holy Name Medical Center are being tested for antibodies to the novel coronavirus. These blood tests provide evidence of previous, rather than current, infection with the virus. The Record

Stop & Shop and a union representing employees at its stores want to label grocery workers “extended first responders” amid the coronavirus pandemic. An emergency personnel designation would provide workers with priority access to testing, emergency childcare and protective gear, according to the joint statement from the company and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. The Daily Record

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s “highly likely” the next coronavirus response bill will aid local governments whose budgets have been decimated by lockdowns and face spiraling deficits. Additionally, McConnell wants Congress to limit the liabilities of healthcare workers, business owners and employees from lawsuits as they reopen. PoliticoNJ

Arrests and traffic summonses were down dramatically in March as the statewide stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic first took effect. Statewide, there has been a 40% drop in arrests to March from February and when compared against March 2019, there was a 36% decrease in arrests in March year over year, State Police records show. The Record

The New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) began furloughing a small number of inmates to try to stem the spread of COVID-19. The DOC had released 54 individuals and put them on emergency medical-home confinement. Those furloughed went back home or to live with friends or other support. NJSpotlight

Jersey City Council President Joyce Watterman nominated Yousef Saleh to fill the Ward D seat until a special election in November. The City Council will vote April 30 during a special meeting to determine if Saleh will take the helm of the Heights council seat. Saleh’s nomination has already received the support of Mayor Steve Fulop. The Jersey Journal

And finally…Mary Alice Williams is stepping down as NJTV News anchor after six years..

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