State Sen. Steven Oroho: Governor’s Reopening Plan Is ‘Arbitrary, Inconsistent’

State Sen. Steven Oroho (R-24) believes it’s time to let all businesses reopen in New Jersey, saying that Gov. Phil Murphy’s multi-stage reopening plan is being rolled out in “an arbitrary and inconsistent fashion.”

Under Stage 2, restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen for outdoor dining and non-essential retail stores for shopping at 50% capacity on June 15. Beauty salons and other personal care businesses welcomed back customers June 22.

Aquariums, museums, bowling alleys, batting cages, arcades, boardwalks, shooting ranges and libraries are scheduled to reopen at 25% capacity on July 2, along with indoor dining, casinos, playgrounds, water parks and amusement parks.

Allow All Business to Reopen

Gyms and fitness centers may start offering “individualized training sessions by appointment” on July 2, but must remain closed along with other indoor venues like movie theaters, concert venues and nightclubs, the governor announced during a June 24 COVID-19 media briefing.

Oroho states that as the objective of the shutdown was to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed has been accomplished, it’s now time for the governor to allow all New Jersey businesses to reopen.

“Frankly, if a business can comply with appropriate safety protocols that align with CDC guidelines, it makes no sense to deny them the ability to reopen,” the Sussex County State Senator said in a June 24 press release.

Increase Gym Availability

Gyms and fitness centers, in particular, need to reopen, the Republican senator said.

“Regular exercise is a powerful tool that can improve your physical strength, mental health, immune system, and overall well-being,” he said. “With heightened isolation and reduced physical activity being an adverse effect of the COVID shutdown, the importance of re-engaging in physical fitness cannot be understated.”

“Allowing gyms to open while ensuring social distancing, sanitation measures and safety parameters are in place will keep both patrons and employees healthy, safe, and well.”

Business Protocols

Oroho is not alone in urging for a swifter reopening.

The New Jersey Business Coalition, a group of more than 100 business and non-profit groups across the state, believes all businesses “are deserving of the chance to show they are capable of exercising the same safety precaution protocols that are being used by other reopened businesses.”

“The thousands of Main Street and small businesses that remain closed under EO 107 can no longer withstand the loss of ongoing revenue and must be given the opportunity to reopen, as long as they can do so in a responsible manner,” the coalition said in a June 23 statement. 

Indoor Spaces Harder

Stage 3—which includes expanded dining and personal care services and limited entertainment businesses—could come within weeks, not months, if New Jersey’s coronavirus outbreak continues to slow, according to the governor.

But reopening indoor spaces is “harder” especially because a second COVID-19 wave is anticipated, Murphy has said.

During Wednesday’s briefing Murphy said, “We would love to be able to open those things up. We just are not there yet. We just don’t think it’s the responsible thing to do.”


  1. COVID-19 is making a resurgeance in approaching thirty states. I believe that the main reason for this is those states’ misguided urgency to re-open and get things “back to normal”. Here in NJ, we are experiencing an uptick in new cases among the 19-30 year age group; the result of the re-opening of bars and other social venues. It remains to be seen whether those newly-infected will spread the virus to older relatives and acquaintances, or those with predisposing, underlying health conditions. I’ve asked my partner about going to a bar or restaurant offering indoor dining or seating. Her response is a firm “No”, because she feels the risk is still too high. I am beginning to come around to her point of view.

  2. And become like Texas? No thanks. Governor Murphy is doing a great job. Stay the course.

  3. Another brain dead Trump sheep generating Trump propaganda. The pandemic is having a field day in the red states that listened to Trump and reopened too soon. The right strategy is to go slow asses the risk and listen to the science. Thank God, we have a governor who is do just that. Reopening so the economy is on the way back by Nov. 4th may be paramount to Trump republicans but not the majority of Americans who want and deserve a healthy workplace. Trump’s re-election at the cost of human lives may not bother the esteemed state senator but it sure does bother me.

  4. Tell Sen. Oroho tell look at Florida, Texas, and Arizona and do some research about the increase of cases in NJ. Also, tell him to stop following Trumps lead, it’s killing people.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.