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New Jersey Governor Issues Stay at Home Order Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

March 21, 2020


Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed a “Stay at Home Order” with New Jersey now having over 1300 people who have tested positive for COVID-19. The Governor stressed that nearly all 9 million residents in New Jersey need to stay at home in order to “flatten the curve.” Pursuant to Executive Order 107, all non-essential retail businesses must close to the public by 9:00 PM tonight. Essential retail businesses may stay open and should provide pickup services, if possible.

Examples of essential retail businesses include:

  • Grocery stores and farmer’s markets
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Medical supply stores
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
  • Hardware and home improvement stores
  • Banks
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
  • Stores that sell supplies to children under five years old
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Car dealerships
  • Printing and office supply shops
  • Mail and delivery services

The Executive Order forces closure for non-essential “retail” businesses only, but directs that all businesses must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for work-from-home arrangements. For those businesses that have employees that cannot perform their functions via “telework,” the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.

Examples of employees who need to be physically present at their work site include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and other first responders, cashiers, construction workers, utility workers, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, information technology maintenance workers, janitorial and custodial staff, and certain administrative staff.

A complete copy of the Executive Order can be found here. Additional information can also be found here. Please contact Georgette Castner if you have any questions regarding Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order. Montgomery McCracken’s COVID-19 Resource Center is available here.

March 25, 2020 – UPDATE: On March 24, 2020, Governor Murphy announced the following additions to the list of essential retail businesses that are permitted to remain open:

  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair
  • Livestock feed stores
  • Nurseries and garden centers
  • Farming equipment stores

The Governor reaffirmed that those businesses that remain operational must comply with social distancing. The Administrative Order also clarified that municipalities may impose additional restrictions on beaches and boardwalks.

A copy of the Administrative Order can be found here.