New Jersey Governor Issues 'Stay at Home' Order Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

|
|
Posted: Mar 21, 2020 4:00 PM
New Jersey Governor Issues 'Stay at Home' Order Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy declared a statewide "stay at home" order that will take effect on Saturday at 9 p.m. EST. New Jersey follows Connecticut, Illinois, New York and California in taking the drastic effort to help slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.  

Gov. Murphy announced that 442 more cases of the COVID-19 virus have been diagnosed in New Jersey, bringing the state total up to 1,327 cases. The governor said the increase in cases is a result of "our aggressive testing posture." As of 12:30 p.m. EST, the governor tweeted that 16 people have died from the virus in New Jersey. 

"I have just signed an executive order directing nearly all residents to stay at home. All gatherings are canceled. This means no weddings, funerals, or birthday parties," the governor said. "I don't take this action lightly but my goal is to make sure you can gather safely with family and friends later."

The governor ordered all non-essential retail businesses to indefinitely close their physical stores to the public, saying places like grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and banks should remain open. He said all businesses must move to "100 percent work-from-home" wherever possible. New Jerseyans may continue to take walks outside and go to the grocery store, get takeout from local restaurants, but the governor said residents must continue to practice safe social distancing.

"This is no time for business as usual," Murphy said. "This is a time for all of us to come together to flatten the curve and slow and eventually halt the spread of coronavirus."