Indoor Malls In New Jersey Closed by COVID-19 to Reopen June 29

New Jersey indoor malls closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic are moving to their next phase in reopening starting June 29.

Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement at his daily press briefing on June 18, with most of the guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus already familiar to residents of the Garden State.

“Certainly, malls are part of New Jersey culture and lure,” Murphy joked. 

A capacity limit will be set at 50% and customers entering an indoor mall will be required to wear face coverings at all times while mall operators are to enforce social distancing guidelines. 

Familiar Rules

Mall owners are required to establish policies and plans to protect customers and control customer flow to avoid congestion, such as creating entrance- and exit-only points and establishing pedestrian directions similar to those in effect at grocery stores. 

Malls are to provide sanitization materials to both employees and patrons, preferable at entrances. 

Restaurants rules, allowing for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery but no indoor dining, currently in place are to be followed. Common areas, including food courts, will be closed. 

Theaters, Arcades Closed

Non-essential retail businesses can open, following the same protocols that went into effect on June 15. Retail stores at malls that had direct exterior entrances were already permitted to reopen.

Murphy said that movie theaters and arcades remain closed. 

“We want these businesses to get back up and running responsibly and safely,” said the governor. “We ask everyone who wishes to head out to the mall to comply with the requirements in place.”

Daily Data

As of June 18, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 168,107 with 442 new cases and 38 new deaths, bringing that total to 12,800. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,758, followed by Bergen at 1,684, Hudson with 1,256, Passaic at 1,009, Morris at 638, Sussex at 151 and Warren with 139. 

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested June 14 increased to 2.9%. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one. By region, the north tested at 2.2%, the central at 2.9% and the south 4.4%.

Officials reported 1,268 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 73 new hospitalizations—while 134 patients were discharged. The north tier had 518 patients hospitalized, the central 414 and the south 326.

The daily discharge and new hospitalizations by tier for June 18 was the north charting 43 hospitalizations and 48 discharges, the central having 17 hospitalizations and 43 discharges, and the south reporting 13 hospitalizations and 43 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized, 319 are in intensive care units and 257 on ventilators. There are currently 16 patients in field hospitals, with 489 treated overall. The reported Rt rate was at 0.75.

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,949, followed by Hudson at 18,753, Essex at 18,499, Passaic at 16,706, Middlesex at 16,547, Union at 16,304, Ocean at 9,351, Monmouth at 8,830, Mercer at 7,416, Camden at 7,061, Morris at 6,652, Burlington at 4,954, Somerset at 4,786, Cumberland at 2,755, Atlantic at 2,583, Gloucester at 2,438, Warren at 1,205, Sussex at 1,170, Hunterdon at 1,049, Salem at 736 and Cape May at 680.

Another 643 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 54% White, 20% Hispanic, 18% Black, 6% Asian and 2% another race. Murphy has noted the rates in the black and Hispanic communities are running about 50% more than their population in the state. 

In regards to the underlying disease of those who have passed, 56% had cardiovascular disease, 45% diabetes, 31% other chronic diseases, 18% neurological conditions, 17% lung diseases, 15% chronic renal disease, 10% cancer and 14% other.

A census of ages for 9,941 confirmed deaths shows 47% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 33% in the range of 65-80, 16% between 50-65 and 4% under the age of 49. 

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children who in turn  test positive for COVID-19. No new cases were reported June 18, with the total remaining at 43 for children ranging in age from 1-18. All have tested positive for COVID-19 or have antibodies in their blood. Five are currently hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from the disease. 

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli has stated “Black and Hispanic children account for a disproportionately high number” on a national scale. While only a small sample, state officials reported the racial breakdown in New Jersey was 36% Hispanic, 33% Black, 19% White, 8% Asian and 3% other.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 555 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 35,484 of the cases, broken down between 23,596 residents and 11,888 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, which was 6,117 on June 18. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,364 residents deaths and 117 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3250 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1699 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 914  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 11  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2164 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1021 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 565  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1411 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 694 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 465  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1254 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 744 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 373  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 15  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 996 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 537 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 248  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 8  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 258 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 145 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 107  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 407 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 134 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 117  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

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