North-JerseyNews.com

Gov. Phil Murphy Formalizes Indoor Dining, Other Activities Set to Open July 2

As New Jersey takes significant steps in reopening this week, Gov. Phil Murphy laid out guidelines for indoor activities set to open their doors July 2 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Starting June 29, indoor malls are able to reopen. This is followed on July 2 with the ability for indoor businesses to welcome back their patrons—including restaurants, libraries, museums, aquariums and gyms—but with capacity limits mandated on each.

On the list to open the Thursday before the July 4th weekend are casinos and racetracks.

Dining Rules

On June 27, Murphy signed an executive order that spelled out those specifications. Murphy has steadfastly made the argument that the spread of the coronavirus is much more dangerous in indoor settings than outdoor and the need for social distancing, wearing of masks in public and continuous hand washing.

“As we enter into the latter phases of stage two of our restart, we ask New Jerseyans to continue to answer the call of personal responsibility that has gotten us this far,” said Murphy in a press release. “We have been actively working up to this point for weeks and are confident that the health metrics we needed to see are in place.”

Capacity Limitations

The order spells out the requirements for indoor dining, specifically limiting capacity to 25%, while patrons are required to be seated when ordering and consuming food or beverages. Dance floors at any business must be closed or cordoned off.  

Other indoor dining mandates include:

  • Ensure that tables where individuals or groups are seated are six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat and that individual seats in any shared area that is not reserved for individual groups, such as an indoor bar area, are six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat;
  • Require patrons to wear face coverings while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment;
  • Abide by all other health and safety standards issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health, including infection control practices and other sanitization protocols, consistent with her authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act.

For recreational and entertainment businesses opening July 2, including libraries, museums, aquariums, and public and private social clubs, must limit the capacity of their indoor premises to 25 as well. These businesses are being held to many of the same requirements that are imposed on retail businesses, such as social distancing and face covering requirements for patrons and staff. 

Limited Gym Use

Gyms and fitness centers are allowed to offer individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual or immediate family members, household members.  If a gym is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.

Outdoors, playgrounds are permitted to open on July 2, along with outdoor amusement and water parks. Murphy previously said they will open at 50% capacity with social distancing measures required as well as face masks and gloves by staff.    

Expanded Personal Care

Additionally, personal care services that would require the removal of a face covering, such as facials, can resume on July 2 as well, subject to otherwise applicable requirements issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Health.

Indoor operations still closed include movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and indoor amusement and water parks.

Daily Data

As of June 28, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 171,182 with 534 new cases and 30 new deaths, bringing that total to 13,121. The state is reporting an additional 1,854 deaths as probably, bringing the overall total to 14,914.

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,778, followed by Bergen at 1,720, Hudson with 1,279, Passaic at 1,033, Morris at 649, Sussex at 155 and Warren with 145.

In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 263, Essex has 237, Hudson has 171, Passaic has 148, Morris has 146, Sussex has 37 and Warren has 11.

State Testing 

Officials reported 1,014 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus while 124 patients were discharged. The north tier had 477 patients hospitalized, the central 310 and the south 227.

Of those hospitalized, 223 are in intensive care units and 187 on ventilators. 

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 19,354, followed by Hudson at 18,834, Essex at 18,716, Passaic at 16,867, Middlesex at 16,764, Union at 16,368, Ocean at 9,570, Monmouth at 9,108, Mercer at 7,626, Camden at 7,284, Morris at 6,730, Burlington at 5,136, Somerset at 4,857, Cumberland at 2,942, Atlantic at 2,839, Gloucester at 2,557, Warren at 1,228, Sussex at 1,189, Hunterdon at 1,074, Salem at 756 and Cape May at 732.

Another 651 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. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli has stated most cases have multiple underlying conditions which would push the percentage of 100%.

A census of ages for 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 5% under the age of 49. 

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 557 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 36,296 of the cases, broken down between 24,093 residents and 12,203 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 6,380 on June 28. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,495 residents deaths and 117 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3274 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1730 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 923  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 11  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2192 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1046 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 568  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 20  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1414 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 708 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 477  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1278 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 767 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 384  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 15  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1003 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 538 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 249  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 8  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 259 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 148 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 108  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 408 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 135 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 119  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
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