North Jersey News Roundup for Dec. 1, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy announced more surgical restrictions to sports, outdoor gathering and long-term care facilities in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus in New Jersey. All indoor youth and adult team sports are being placed on a full pause, from Dec. 5 through Jan. 2, 2021. Exceptions are being made for collegiate-level and professional teams. Outdoor gatherings are now limited to a group of 25. Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Health is implementing an enhanced program of testing for all long-term care facility staff, visitors, and residents. The new testing regimen is set to last for two weeks or whenever the 366,000 BinaxNow rapid tests distributed have all been used.

Bergen County plans to approve an emergency $28 million borrowing plan to overcome a loss of revenue related to the coronavirus pandemic. County officials said revenues are down across the board, citing reductions in the county’s share of municipal parking and traffic tickets, visitors fees to amenities like the zoo and golf courses, and a hold on foreclosure auctions by the Sheriff’s Office. The county expects to pay off the debt in the coming year. The Record

About 31.2% of New Jersey’s small businesses are closed compared to January, according to a Harvard University data project tracking the economic impact of the pandemic. Broken down by industry in New Jersey, 45.6% of leisure and hospitality businesses, 29.5% of health and education services, 23.5% of retail and transportation businesses, 20.8% of professional and business services were closed compared to the beginning of the year. Small business revenue in New Jersey was down 34% compared to January.

An Oakland restaurant will lose some of its outdoor dining privileges after a photo of patrons packed in its outdoor bar area the night before Thanksgiving was shared on social media. The council supported a motion to shut down Portobello’s outdoor dining license at 4 p.m. every day for a period of 30 days. The restaurant’s owner will be required to meet with the council during its Dec. 9 or 21 meeting before the restriction can be removed from the license. News12 New Jersey

Restaurants with outdoor dining bubbles or igloos who want to extend outdoor dining may have to apply for new permits. The state’s Department of Community Affairs said restaurants and other establishments with tents or other “outdoor domes” that are more than 120-sq.-ft. need to apply for a Uniform Construction Codes permit to make sure the domes and canopies will be able to handle snow and other winter conditions between Dec. 1 and March 30.

Bloomingdale closed its three borough schools after being open to instruction for a few weeks. School officials cited staffing issues and the current transmission rate of the COVID-19 virus as reported by the New Jersey Department of Health for the return to remote learning. Their closure is expected to last at least one month, with district officials set to reevaluate the full-remote education program on or about Jan. 4, 2021. The Record

Moderna asked U.S. and European health regulators to authorize use of its COVID-19 vaccine after it was shown to be 94.1% effective in a full analysis of a pivotal study. The timing keeps the vaccine on track to become possibly the second to go into use in the U.S. by year’s end—after one already under regulatory review from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE—with inoculation available to the general public likely in Spring or Summer. The Wall Street Journal

A Monmouth University Poll found President Donald Trump with his highest approval rate since taking office despite Americans believing the country has become more divided in the last four years. President Trump’s current job rating stands at 46% approval and 51% disapproval in a Monmouth national poll. The approval number matches his prior high recorded in March this year. The poll found 76% of Americans believe that we are greatly divided when it comes to the nation’s most important values—with just 21% feel the country is in agreement on what these values are.

Wisconsin and Arizona certified election results Nov. 30, handing narrow victories to President-elect Joe Biden and further cementing his win over President Donald Trump. With Arizona and Wisconsin’s vote counts finalized, the six most hotly contested battleground states—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada—have all certified their results for President-elect Biden. President Donald Trump hasn’t conceded the race and has contested the outcome in those states. The Wall Street Journal

A Paterson City Council election will face a recount after two candidates finished nine votes apart out of more than 9,000 cast. A Superior Court Judge scheduled a recount for Dec. 15 in the election where Alex Mendez leads incumbent Bill McKoy, 3,769 to 3,760. The election was held after where allegations of voter fraud triggered criminal charges and a do-over of the original contest  New Jersey Globe

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s gubernatorial campaign still owes $1 million in debt stemming from the Bridgegate scandal. According to its latest filing, Christie’s 2013 campaign owes $651,305 to the law firm of Squire Patton Boggs and $364,103 to the digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg, both hired in early 2014 to respond to federal subpoenas looking into the suspicious closing of entrance lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. PoliticoNJ

New Jersey politicians expressed concern about a newly-released report recommending fixing a train tunnel under the Hudson River on nights and weekends. Completed by British consulting firm London Bridge Associates and backed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the analysis rejects the idea that a new $9.5 billion tunnel between New Jersey and New York must be built before the damaged North River Tunnel can be closed for repairs. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, along with Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, are advocating for the project to move forward as planned—constructing a new tunnel and then shutting down the old one for repairs.

And finally…Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live Dec. 12. New Jersey Herald

Leave a Reply

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