North Jersey News Roundup for Nov. 6, 2020

As the coronavirus numbers begin to resemble those seen in the Spring, Gov. Phil Murphy revealed restrictions New Jerseyans faced earlier this year will be returning in the coming days. “How close are we to doing something? Close,” said Murphy at a press briefing Nov. 5. “We will clearly be taking action.” The governor was not specific on what would be done as the surge of cases has resulted in eight counties reporting over 100 news cases in the last day and the current 7-day rolling average of new cases is up 26% in the last week and 239% in the last month.

Joe Biden has pulled ahead of President Donald Trump in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two of the five states where the race is still too close to call in the presidential election. Biden leads in Arizona and Nevada, while the President is ahead in North Carolina. The New York Times

Speaking for the first time since Election Night, President Donald Trump made numerous unfounded claims about the election process. The President painted the election results as a broad conspiracy to deprive him of winning a second term by Democrats, election officials in various cities and the media. “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” alleged President Trump. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.” Conversely, Joe Biden urged Americans to be patient as votes were counted and said he and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), had “no doubt” that they would ultimately prevail. The Wall Street Journal

New Jersey voter turnout surpassed the level of votes cast in the 2016 election. As of 9 a.m. Nov. 5, 4,060,751 mail-in ballots were received by county election officials, compared with the 3,957,303 votes in 2016, according to Division of Elections officials.

Gov. Phil Murphy reiterated New Jersey law enforcement can arrest people for possession of marijuana despite a ballot measure winning approval to legalize its use. “Until we enact that enabling legislation, recreational marijuana remains illegal under our state law, as Attorney General Gurbir Grewal noted yesterday…until lawmakers pass a bill to implement legalization as well as another bill to decriminalize marijuana possession and replace arrests with fines, police can continue to enforce marijuana prohibition,” said Murphy.

New Jersey became the latest state to ban single-use plastic bags, joining a growing movement across the country aimed at promoting sustainability and reducing litter. The bill, signed Nov. 4 by Gov. Phil Murphy, prohibits stores and foodservice businesses from distributing paper bags, disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam, starting in May 2022.

New Jersey small businesses can now purchase discounted personal protective equipment (PPE) through the PPE Access Program recently launched by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The program is a way for small businesses in New Jersey to access significant volumes of PPE through an online platform and receive a 10% small business discount.

Clifton is returning all grades to remote learning starting on Nov. 9. Within the last seven days, the Clifton district says 12 students and four staffers tested positive for COVID-19, and a total of 155 students and 33 staffers have had to quarantine. News12 New Jersey

More North Jersey nursing homes are seeing fresh cases of COVID-19. The number of COVID-19 positive residents who have died during an active outbreak at the Dellridge Health & Rehabilitation Center in Wayne jumped from two last month to seven this week. Meanwhile, the Regency Gardens Nursing and Post-Acute Rehabilitation Center now has 18 residents and six staff diagnosed with COVID-19 in a new outbreak. The Record

Jersey City announced a plan to hand out more than 600,000 masks to residents. The city will distribute five city-branded, three-play masks to all 120,000 households through the mail. Additionally, the city will provide 2,000 storefront window stickers to businesses that read “MASK UP to Enter” in an effort to remind residents to remain vigilant and all city employees will receive cloth masks in addition to the personal protective equipment that has been distributed throughout the pandemic. The Jersey Journal

The Hoboken City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance allowing fines of up to $1,000 for indoor gatherings of more than 25 people as long as the gatherings violate other regulations. The measure is part of the city’s recent plans to mitigate a recent spike in coronavirus cases, which included an executive order to impose a midnight curfew.

The NJ Transit Board of Directors adopted a fiscal year 2021 operating budget that does not raise fares and approved a Five-Year Capital Plan, which focuses on infrastructure investments throughout the state. The $2.6 billion fiscal year 2021 operating budget does not include a fare increase for a third straight year.

Towns in Warren County are taking a fresh look at how to curb heavy truck traffic on rural roads after a county study found the development of proposed warehouses at 15 sites would worsen congestion. Community leaders in Phillipsburg, Lopatcong, Alpha, Pohatcong and White are supporting the idea of a coordinated zoning change to make it harder to build major warehouse developments not only in individual towns but throughout the county. NJ Spotlight News

New Jersey has awarded a $750,000 historic preservation grant to a city nonprofit group planning to convert the former First Presbyterian Church of Paterson into a youth performing arts center. The Paterson-based New Jersey Community Development Corporation estimates the project will cost about $8.2 million, with the largest portion of the funding—$5.2 million—slated to come from the $130 million worth of state economic redevelopment and growth (ERG) tax credits earmarked for Paterson. The Record

And finally…NBA players vote to approve Dec. 22 start date for 2020-21 season. The Record

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