North Jersey News Roundup for July 8, 2020

North Jersey congressional incumbents were victorious in the state’s primary elections held July 7. While final results will not be determined for at least a week due to vote-by-mail ballots still to be counted, Democrats Sen. Cory Booker, Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Mikie Sherrill, Donald Payne, Albio Sires and Bill Pascrell will all defend their seats against a Republican challenger in November.

The latest Monmouth University Poll found former Vice President Joe Biden holding a 12 point lead over President Donald Trump in the presidential race slated for November. Biden held a significant advantage among the one in five who did not have a favorable opinion of either candidate.

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission locations statewide experienced “extraordinarily high customer volumes” on the first day locations opened July 7, according to Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. Locations had long delays and had to cut off lines due to the high volume despite additional staff being sent to the busiest spots by 6 a.m., two hours before the scheduled opening. New Jersey Herald

Several national movie theater chains sued Gov. Phil Murphy over his decision to keep theaters closed during the state’s gradual reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The suit filed in federal court in Trenton alleges the failure to allow theaters to reopen while houses of worship and other public entities can, constitutes a violation of the theaters’ rights to free speech, equal protection and due process. News12 New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed state officials are considering mandating face coverings in New Jersey. “We’re looking at outside masking as we speak,” said Murphy during his press briefing July 6. “There’s more mask wearing anecdotally than there was two weeks ago. But there’s still not remotely enough outdoors, and that’s something that we are looking at.”

President Donald Trump pressed state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, arguing some are keeping schools closed not because of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic but for political reasons. At a White House round-table gathering, health and education leaders from across the nation reported schools and colleges are ready to open this fall and can do so safely, arguing the risks of keeping students at home outweigh any tied to the coronavirus.

Firms linked to more than a dozen New Jersey lawmakers borrowed at least $18.5 million in forgivable loans from the federal government in order to stave off pandemic-related losses, according to records released by the federal government. Almost 22,000 New Jersey businesses received loans in excess of $150,000 through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which was created by Congress in March to ward off failure for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. PoliticoNJ

New Jersey is now calling for travelers from three more states to help prevent the coronavirus from spreading by self-quarantining for 14 days after arriving. Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma were added to the list, bringing the number of states on the travel advisory list to 19.

North Jersey hospitals are preparing for a rise of COVID-19 cases by restocking their warehouses with personal protection equipment such as N95 masks, protective gowns and surgical gloves. Supply managers report a shortage of hand-sanitizer refills and the chemicals used in coronavirus tests. New Jersey Herald

Presumptive Presidential Democratic nominee Joe Biden is promising to shift production of medical equipment and other key pandemic-fighting products back to U.S. soil. Biden released a plan to reinforce stockpiles of a range of critical products on which the U.S. is dependent on foreign suppliers in places like China and Russia, including medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, energy and grid resilience technologies, semiconductors and key electronics. News12 New Jersey

A proposed ballot question would ask Ridgewood voters to approve moving school board elections and council election to the November general election date. School board elections are currently held annually in April and bi-annual Village Council elections in May. A group called One Village, One Vote submitted 570 petitions for the ballot question to municipal clerks and notified Bergen County, triggering a process that will be decided in the coming months. The Record

And finally…The third annual Bergen County Film Festival has moved online. The Record

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