TRENTON, NJ—New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy imposed further restrictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 that mandated the indefinite closure of all indoor portions of retail shopping malls and all indoor and outdoor places of public amusement across New Jersey that include casino gaming floors, racetracks, gyms and entertainment centers.
The governor’s order took effect at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Restaurants and other stores located within shopping malls that have their own external entrances open to the public, separate from the general mall entrance, may remain open as long as they comply with prior directives on operating hours and takeout or food delivery services.
The order also applies to all places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions. The administrative order does not apply to public parks and open recreation areas.
“Today is day one of life in New Jersey under the measures we’ve put in place to ensure social distancing, help ‘flatten the curve,’ and slow the spread of coronavirus,” says Gov. Murphy. “During these extraordinary times, we all have of a role to play to protect public health and emerge stronger as one New Jersey family.”
On Tuesday, Gov. Murphy in a letter to President Trump requested the support of the United States military and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist New Jersey’s efforts to expand hospital and intensive care unit capacity in preparation for the continued spread of COVID-19.
The New Jersey National Guard and the Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, are currently working on efforts to expand New Jersey’s hospital capacity. Commissioner Persichilli is working closely with hospitals in the state to examine the feasibility of reopening shuttered hospital wings and hospitals. The letter cites estimates from the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers-Camden that New Jersey could be facing a peak shortfall of anywhere from 123,000 to 313,000 hospital beds, sometime between May and October. It also notes that New Jersey may need an additional 2,000 critical care beds in the next two weeks.
Gov. Murphy also noted in his letter to the President, also reiterated his call for additional supplies to support health care workers on the front lines of statewide response efforts.