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Gov. Murphy announces extensive measures for NJ amid coronavirus outbreak; 80 new cases reported

Posted at 10:53 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 18:58:36-04

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced extensive social distancing measures in the state to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Murphy announces extensive social distancing measures to mitigate further spread of COVID-19. Click here to view or watch in video below.

"Life as we know it has changed," said NJ Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

Persichilli also reminded everyone that "aggressive social-distancing steps are not designed to scare you, but they’re made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19."

There are 178 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Monday afternoon, according to Murphy. The state's total jumped after 80 new cases were reported Monday. Two deaths have also been reported in the state.

Of the total cases in the state, patients range in age from five years old to 93 years old, Persichilli said.

“All non-essential and non-emergency travel in Jersey is strongly discouraged beginning tonight at 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. each day. This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. We want everybody to be home, not out,” Murphy said.

Deliveries after this time will be OK, according to Murphy.

When asked what would happen if a non-essential business stayed open past 8 p.m., Murphy said a warning will be issued, "but we probably won't give you two" warnings.

During the daytime hours, businesses may remain open if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 people and if they adhere to the CDC's guidelines of social distancing, according to Murphy. Bars and restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery only.

"Everyone needs to stay in and be safe," Murphy said. "The last thing anyone can be thinking about is going out and potentially spreading the disease."

Murphy also announced he wil be mobilizing the state's National Guard to assist in any way needed to help curb the spread of the virus.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have joined together to institute bans on gatherings of more than 50 people in an effort to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Casinos, movie theaters and gyms will be closed. Online gaming, however, will continue, according to Murphy.

Gyms, movie theaters and casinos will close at 8 p.m. Monday and remain closed until further notice, according to the governors. Bars and restaurants will also close at 8 p.m. but will be allowed to offer take-out services.

Click here to learn tips on how to protect yourself amid COVID-19 concerns.