New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced a statewide “stay at home” order on Saturday in an effort to curb the spread of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.
Murphy signed an executive order (pdf) directing all residents to stay at home until further notice and the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public. The order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events. It also requires individuals to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakes, household members, or romantic partners.
The order will take effect Saturday at 9 p.m. and will remain in effect until revoked or modified by the governor.
“From day one, we’ve made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey’s nine million residents,” Murphy said in a statement.
“We know the virus spreads through person-to-person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes. This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow–and eventually halt–the spread of coronavirus,” he said.
This comes after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a similar order on Friday afternoon, which will take effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will expire on April 7. Similarly, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all state residents to stay home on Thursday, while New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that all nonessential workers should stay at home.
The New Jersey order exempts people who work in many essential services, including grocery stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, gas stations, convenience stores, banks, and laundromats.
The order also does not affect anyone working in health care or medical services, operations of the media, access to essential services for low-income residents, law enforcement agencies, or the operations of the federal government.
Businesses or non-profits are also ordered to accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements.
Meanwhile, the order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, the requirement that restaurants can only operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education are required to cease in-person instruction, according to the statement.
There are approximately 8.8 million New Jersey residents, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
As of Saturday afternoon, there were over 24,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States and 285 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Mimi Nguyen-Ly contributed to this report.