North Jersey News Roundup for Aug. 11, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy characterized the executive orders President Donald Trump signed for unemployment benefits and a payroll tax holiday as doing little to help the economy and the immediate needs of those out of a job. “A payroll tax holiday means nothing to the unemployed when there’s not a paycheck coming in— a fact made worse since the $600 enhanced weekly unemployment benefit expired at the end of July,” stated Murphy at a press briefing Aug. 10. “States are going broke and millions of Americans are unemployed. Yet the President’s solution called for states to create a new program we cannot afford and don’t know how to administer because of this uncertainty.”

President Donald Trump’s guests at his Bedminster golf club this past weekend engaged in behavior that should “concern us all,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. Photos of the President’s press conference showed Bedminster golf club members congregating in the back of the ballroom to watch the event, many not wearing masks. “You see people inside on top of each other…That’s where the flare ups are coming from,” stated Murphy.

A Newark man was arrested and charged for his role in organizing the outdoor party in Alpine that was singled out by state officials for guests not wearing face masks and not practicing social distancing. Tashay Knight, 45, was charged with recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage and was issued multiple summonses, including one for allegedly violating the state’s executive order mandating that hosts of entertainment events require guests to wear face coverings and practice appropriate social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Record

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced a plan to lift New Jersey’s restrictions on long-term care facilities, by first permitting a designated caregiver inside a resident’s room and by expanding the reasons why a family member may be allowed to visit. To start, essential caregiver visits in the first phase will be limited to once per week for a maximum of two hours if the resident is COVID-19 negative, asymptomatic, or recovered from the disease. The Daily Record

U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. and Josh Gottheimer called for New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus CEO Matthew Schottlander to step down before an expected second wave of COVID-19 emerges this fall and winter. Ther congressman said Schottlander should no longer lead the state-run Paramus Veterans Home veterans home as mismanagement and a lack of transparency resulted in needless death and preventable tragedy.

New Jersey has spent more than $573 million to handle the COVID-19 pandemic as of July 20. At least $97 of every $100 spent came from federal emergency aid or stimulus funding to help the state deal with the novel coronavirus outbreak. About $109 million was paid for personal protective equipment, including gowns, masks, gloves, goggles, glasses, face shields, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes and hospital beds. NJ Spotlight 

Gov. Phil Murphy said it remains too risky to permit indoor dining at bars and restaurants, citing a study of a restaurant outbreak in China as evidence. “Allowing diners to sit maskless for an extended period of time in a restaurant where the air-conditioning unit could silently spread coronavirus is a risk we cannot yet take,” the governor said.

At least 97,000 children in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus the last two weeks of July alone, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. The report says that at least 338,000 children have tested positive since the pandemic began, meaning more than a quarter have tested positive in just those two weeks. The New York Times

A total of 1,466,366 voters cast ballots in the mostly all vote-by-mail 2020 New Jersey primary election, the second-highest in the state’s history. The statewide turnout of eligible voters was 26%, with 42% of all Democrats voting in the July 7 primary and 33% of all Republicans. New Jersey Globe

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a criminal defendant can be compelled to reveal his cell phone passcode to investigators, rejecting the argument that such a move violates the right against self-incrimination guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The state’s top court ruled 4-3 to allow prosecutors to seek access to the phone data of a former Essex County Sheriff’s officer accused of secretly working with the Crips street gang. New Jersey Herald

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop introduced a $658 million municipal budget for 2020 that will increase spending as the city copes with the heavy economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The municipal budget increased by 7% from the $612 million spending plan that was proposed in January and includes cuts to the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Youth Development and Recreation. The Jersey Journal

Hoboken will begin the installation of new, state-of-the-art parking technology in municipal parking garages. License plate recognition cameras will allow license plates to serve as a driver’s permit and garage access device. A parking guidance system will track garage use and real-time parking space occupancy to let drivers know how many parking spaces are available in a given garage. The upgrades include a new online account portal so permit holders can make monthly payments by credit or debit card, set up autopay, and update account information online. Hudson Reporter

And finally…Teaneck High School suspended fall sports activities, the first North Jersey high school to do so. The Record

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