North Jersey News Roundup for May 20, 2020

Auto and motorcycle dealerships were allowed to resume sales from their showrooms May 20 with social distancing restrictions. The characteristics state officials are looking for in future business openings include having an outdoor element, being able to social distance and capacity management.

New Jersey residents will be asked to wear face coverings and practice social distancing until there’s a vaccine or effective treatment for the coronavirus, said Gov. Phil Murphy. “We’re not mandating you wear a mask, but we are strongly encouraging you to do that, and staying apart from people. I think that’s the new norm,” stated Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration received help from outside bond attorneys as they drafted a proposal to exercise emergency borrowing powers to aid the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The two bond counsels, Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi and Jeremy Ostow, were permitted to bill between $225 and $250 per hour with total billing capped at $30,000. NJ Spotlight

Licensed pharmacists in New Jersey were granted permission to administer tests for the coronavirus. The test would likely be done at pharmacies with drive-thrus. Residents do not need to have symptoms of the virus or need a referral from a doctor to receive a test. The Record

Gov. Phil Murphy said state leaders, the Department of Education and Department of Health are all talking about what back to school will look like in 2020. The governor predicted guidance for schools and parents should come in the next few weeks. News12 New Jersey

Some New Jersey campgrounds are expected to be allowed to reopen for Memorial Day weekend, although state officials said a final decision has not been made. The New Jersey Campground Owners & Outdoor Lodging Association said starting May 22, certain grounds will reopen to all guests, including “transient” campers going on short-term trips in campers, RVs or in tents.

Former councilman Alex Mendez deferated William McKoy, the longest-serving member of the Paterson City Council, in Paterson’s 3rd Ward, according to unofficial tallies. The five other incumbents—Michael Jackson, Shahin Khalique, Ruby Cotton, Luis Velez and Al Abdelaziz—all finished on top. The Record

If the Giants or the Jets play home games this year, Gov. Phil Murphy expects it will be in front of an empty stadium. Murphy said he would be “very surprised” if New Jersey didn’t follow the same path Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) outlined in letting major sports leagues open their seasons without fans in the stands.

The seven institutions represented by the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities have lost more than $125 million related to the COVID-19 crisis. That number is exponentially higher when research institutions such as Rutgers and Montclair State are included, officials said.

Drew University will not retain President MaryAnn Baenninger as the university board decided a change in leadership was necessary. Baenninger’s contract, set to expire June 30, was extended one month to help with the transition process.

Hoboken City Council will consider an ordinance to eliminate the city’s Office of Constituent Affairs and City Engineer, a move opposed by Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Council members said eliminating the offices will help the city save money as it faces a multimillion-dollar budget gap this year. Hudson Reporter

And finally…Bruce Springsteen is teaming up with Dropkick Murphys for a virtual concert May 29 at Fenway Park. News12 New Jersey

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