Coronavirus New Jersey updates from May 2020

Coronavirus breaking news, updates and information for New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Gov. Murphy lifts NJ stay-at-home order, urges social distancing
Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday issued an executive order to lift New Jersey's "Stay-at-Home" order. He urged residents to continue to practice social distancing.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Eyewitness News coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey from May and early June 2020. For continuing updates, please visit

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JUNE 9, 2020

Executive Order lifts "Stay-at-Home" order

Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday issued an executive order to lift New Jersey's "Stay-at-Home" order. He urged residents to continue to practice social distancing.

Large Gatherings

Effective immediately, indoor gatherings will be permitted for which ever number is lower - 25% of a building's capacity or 50 people. Also, outdoor gatherings will be permitted up to 100 people.

Governor Murphy said that he anticipated large gatherings of 250 people being permitted on June 22, and gatherings of 500 being allowed beginning July 3. School districts planning graduations should prepare for a 500-person limit to be in place for the time when graduations can resume on July 6.

JUNE 8, 2020

Day camps update

Governor Murphy announced at the end of May day camps can reopen as of July 6.

Murphy urges protesters to get tested

Murphy said he encourages those who attended protests to get tested and he himself plans on getting tested.

Pools set to reopen

Governor Murphy says municipal and private-club swimming pools can REOPEN on Monday, June 22nd. The New Jersey Department of Health said it will release full guidance Tuesday relating to the procedures and protocols that will need to be followed.

JUNE 5, 2020

Public Health Emergency

Governor Phil Murphy on Friday extended the public health emergency another 30 days as the state preps to enter Phase 2 of reopening on June 15. The extension does not pause the path to reopening, but it maintains the authority to remain vigilant should there be another outbreak of COVID-19. Murphy also announced that the state Motor Vehicle Commission is beginning a phased-in reopening, with in person customer service to resume on June 15 and road tests and issuing licenses and permits tentatively resume on June 29. Social distancing will be implemented in all offices, and customers and employees will wear masks. The state reported 79 new deaths -- bringing the death toll to 12,049 -- and 864 new positive test results for a state total of 163,336.

JUNE 4, 2020

Regulations for retailers in Phase 2

On June 15, retailers in New Jersey can welcome people into their stores, operating the same way essential stores currently operate.

- 50% of approved capacity

- Customers and employees must wear face coverings

- Special shopping hours for high risk individuals whenever possible

- Barriers between cashiers and customers

- Sanitize areas of common use

Unemployment in NJ

26,000 more New Jerseyans filed for unemployment this past week for a total of 1.2 million since the pandemic started. The state has paid out $5.2 billion in benefits.

JUNE 3, 2020

Face coverings required in all Port Authority facilities

As the Port Authority's airports, bridges, tunnels, and terminals, PATH system, seaports, and World Trade Center transportation hub remain open and operational, the agency reminds the traveling public that face coverings are required in its facilities. The requirement for face coverings is a key part of agency's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been instituted as a result of the New York and New Jersey emergency orders.

Guidance for restaurants in Phase 2

New guidance by the state says restaurants and bars need seating 6 feet apart, they must abide by sanitizing protocols, expand service footprint on their property and shared property like sidewalks and parks when allowed, and some may obtain a special liquor license permit to expand service, need municipal approval. It will last until mid-November.

Improving Long-term Care Facilities

Governor Murphy unveiled recommendations to improve New Jersey's long-term health care facilities as the state continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Among those recommendations: strengthening the emergency response capacity, stabilizing facilities and bolstering the workforce, increasing transparency and accountability, and building a more resilient and higher quality system.

JUNE 2, 2020

Rate of Transmission Cut Dramatically

The coronavirus' rate of transmission was at more than 5 at the start of the outbreak. Now it's less than 1 at .88. That's approximately six times less than it would have been had people not stayed at home. Governor Murphy said it took significant stress off of the hospital system.

JUNE 1, 2020

NJ to move to Stage 2 reopening

New Jersey is moving to Stage 2 of reopening on June 15, Governor Murphy announced Monday.

MAY 31, 2020

Stage 2 announcement

An announcement is expected Monday on the details of Stage 2 of reopening. This could involve expanding retail, outdoor dining with reduced capacity and opening libraries and museums again.

Casinos reopening

Gov. Murphy hopes casinos in Atlantic City will be open by July 4th with safety parameters in place such as employees given temperature checks and required to wear masks.

MAY 30, 2020

Six Flags Wild Safari reopens

Six Flags Great Adventure's Wild Safari drive-thru experience will open to the public Saturday with new safety precautions.

Hoboken open streets

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and the City of Hoboken announced that more streets would open to pedestrian traffic.

MAY 29, 2020

Paterson schools 1 million meals

Governor Phil Murphy highlighted the work of Paterson Public Schools employees at his daily coronavirus briefing Friday. Governor Murphy said in addition to conducting their classes remotely, PPS employees have been volunteering their time and recently distributed their one-millionth student meal since schools closed on March 17.

NJ coronavirus by the numbers

Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that the state received 1,117 new positive COVID-19 test results on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 158,844. There were 131 new deaths related to COVID-19 reported on Thursday. New Jersey's death toll is now 11,531. New Jersey hospitals reported 2,707 patients being treated for COVID-19 Thursday, a decrease of 90 from Wednesday. Field Medical Stations reported 21 patients. The number of patients reported in either critical or intensive care dropped to 720. Ventilator use remained steady at 544. There were 183 new COVID-19 hospitalizations on Thursday while 231 patients were discharged.

New short-term rental assistance program

Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that his administration will be applying at least $100 million to stand-up a short-term rental assistance program for low- and moderate-income families.

Indoor gathering limits to be increased

Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that he anticipates being able to raise the limit on indoor gatherings in a way that will allow for greater indoor religious services for the weekend of June 12th.

Horse racing to resume

Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that horse racing will be allowed to resume with the first competitive races as early as next weekend. Fans will not be allowed, however online gaming remains open and capable of taking wagers.

Child-care services, organized sports practices, day camps to resume

Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that childcare services, organized sports practices and day camps will be allowed to resume over the next several weeks. Child care centers will be allowed to reopen starting June 15. Non-contact organized sports activities can restart on June 22. Youth day camps, including municipal summer recreation programs will be allowed to begin July 6. Organizers must follow health and safety safeguards.

Point Pleasant Beach reopening boardwalk

Point Pleasant Beach will take another step forward on the road to reopening Friday by opening its boardwalk. The shore community will also open more of its beaches.

This comes after a successful and safe Memorial Day weekend.

MAY 28, 2020

Hoboken gyms allowed to hold outdoor workout classes next week

Gyms aren't cleared to open yet in New Jersey, but starting next week, Hoboken gyms are allowed to hold outdoor workout classes.

At Hudson River Athletics, they are trying to figure out what the gym will look like when they can finally reopen again.

NJ schools gear up to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies in July

The class of 2020 in New Jersey got some good news earlier this week when Governor Phil Murphy said outdoor graduation ceremonies would be permitted starting July 6, but many school administrators are anxiously awaiting further guidance. While a lot of the specifics have yet to be ironed out, schools are preparing all they can.

Unemployment in NJ

1.17 million New Jerseyans have filed for unemployment. As of Saturday, 911,000 claims have been fulfilled and residents are receiving their benefits. The governor thanked everyone for their patience as they wait for claims to be processed.

Paterson unveils COVID Task Force

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh on Thursday unveiled the city's COVID Task Force, created to ensure consistent and saturation-level communication of the path forward and standardized health protocols. The task force consists of various leaders who will guide the city back onto its feet while making sure the citizens of Paterson are safe and confident that they can remain healthy in the era of COVID-19.

No summer reopening for one of Morey's Piers

There is some unwelcome news for a community on the Jersey shore. One of the popular Morey's Piers in Wildwood will be closed for the summer.

Reports say it is also likely Ocean Oasis Water Park and Beach Club will remain closed for the 2020 season.

Owners of NJ gym that reopened early sue state

The South Jersey gym that defied lockdown orders repeatedly is now suing the state in federal court.

The owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr say New Jersey officials, including the governor and attorney general, violated their constitutional rights by forcing them to close for three months.

Religious Gathering Guidance

Governor Phil Murphy has suggested that churches are easier to open than small businesses. In Newark, the archdiocese says they're waiting to learn more on some soon to come guidelines for resuming services.

MAY 27, 2020

Governor Phil Murphy has suggested that churches are easier to open than small businesses. In Newark, the archdiocese says they're waiting to learn more on some soon to come guidelines for resuming services. In New Jersey, you can currently have indoor services of 10 or less and outdoor services with 25 or less.

Boardwalk opening

Another Jersey Shore town is planning to reopen its boardwalk.

Point Pleasant Beach plans to make the move Friday and will also start lifting parking restrictions. But the rides, amusements and games along the boardwalk will remain closed, and restaurants will be open for takeout only.

Care home testing

Most of the more than 500 care homes in the state have reported testing data as required this month by the governor, Persichilli said.

Of those homes, 86% sent the state reports from tests of staffers and residents, she said. All such homes in the state have submitted paperwork saying they've updated their testing and outbreak response plans.

Hoboken outdoor workouts

Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla signed an executive order permitting fitness clubs to utilize certain city fields and parks in order to facilitate safe, socially distanced outdoor workouts. The executive order was signed in anticipation of a reduction in capacity and limitations within certain gymnasiums and fitness centers during a gradual re-opening as determined by Governor Murphy, and difficulties of social distancing in certain indoor locations. Hoboken encourages fitness clubs to utilize outdoor space as much as practically possible for workouts given recommendations from the CDC. Owners or managers of fitness centers with a license to operate in the Hoboken can now apply to host outdoor classes of up to 15 people, with strict social distancing guidelines of at least six feet between each participant at all times.

Applications to reopen non-essential businesses in Newark now available

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday issued comprehensive requirements that must be met by non-essential retail businesses seeking to reopen after closure due to COVID-19. He also announced that applications to reopen are now available and can be submitted immediately, either online or via a printed form.

24,400 tests Tuesday

Governor Phil Murphy announced that a total of 24,400 tests occurred on Tuesday, up from 16,000 on Monday and surpassing the governor's goal of reaching 20,000 tests per day. Governor Murphy encouraged people to get tested, noting that there are 164 test sites throughout the state. On Saturday more than 30,000 tests took place and just 7% came back positive.

970 new cases, 148 new deaths

Governor Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that 970 new positive COVID-19 test results were reported to the state on Tuesday. That brings the statewide total to 156,628. Additionally, 148 new deaths occurred Tuesday. New Jersey's death toll stands at 11,339. There was an uptick in total hospitalizations as there were 241 COVID-19 patients admitted while just 164 were discharged. Meanwhile, the number of patients reported in either critical or intensive care dropped to 768. Ventilator use remained steady at 583.

Newark opens 7th testing site

A 7th testing center has opened in Newark for anyone who wants to get checked for coronavirus. In addition, they are doing the antibody tests. The mayor said more testing is the key to reopening the city.

MAY 26, 2020

Pharmacist, used car salesman charged with COVID-19 fraud

A pharmacist and a used car salesman were arrested Tuesday on charges that they designed frauds to capitalize on the search for masks and other protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tips to enjoy summer rentals amid COVID-19 pandemic

With summer vacations taking a radical turn away from the conventional kinds of trips -- fewer plane rides but more car trips -- one vacation business is picking up: summer rentals.

But as with everything else during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are big changes for landlords and tenants.

Family celebrates 88-year-old surviving COVID-19

Celebrating her mother's 88th birthday was a day Roz Jordan didn't think she'd get to experience, fearing she would be planning something much worse just a month ago.

Queenie Blount was sent into COVID confinement, and it was difficult to get updates on her condition. Now, weeks later, the Jordan family threw a surprise birthday celebration outside of the nursing home.

NJ city had infectious disease plan that helped mitigate crisis, mayor says

The city of Paterson in New Jersey is bouncing back from the pandemic that at one point included the mayor, who is lauding a robust strategy in place before the novel coronavirus that he says helped mitigate the crisis.

Several MIS-C cases in NJ

23 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) have been reported in New Jersey, the Department of Health announced, reminding parents to watch for symptoms of this rare illness that may be associated with COVID-19. The 23 children range in age from 1 to 18. All have been hospitalized; 15 have been discharged, five remain hospitalized and the hospitalization status of three is unknown at this time. Ten of the children are male, nine are female and the sex of four is unknown as this time. All children have tested positive for COVID-19 on a PCR or serology test.

Pro sports training, competition may resume

Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition - if their leagues choose to move in that direction, Gov. Murphy announced.

NJ to allow outdoor graduations beginning July 6

State officials announced Tuesday that schools will be allowed to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies that adhere to social distancing guidelines starting on July 6.

Elective Surgeries Resume

Elective surgeries and invasive procedures can resume in New Jersey Tuesday. The state's Department of Health released guidelines on the conditions that hospitals and centers must follow.

MAY 25, 2020

Individual tributes for Memorial Day

The Memorial Day parade in Berkeley Heights was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the community wanted to make sure its veterans know how much they are recognized and appreciated.

Members of the police department drove to the homes of veterans -- one by one -- and held brief ceremonies outside each home.

Boy Scout plays Taps nightly outside NJ veterans home where scores have died

A 13-year-old Boy Scout has been playing Taps every night outside a New Jersey nursing home where more than 100 veterans have died amid the coronavirus pandemic, and over the holiday weekend, he concluded a special Memorial Day ceremony.

'Freedom March of NJ' protest being held at Jersey Shore

A Reopen New Jersey protest and march was held at the Jersey Shore Monday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, featuring lawmakers from both parties. The "Freedom March of NJ" is being held in Point Pleasant Beach, where the boardwalk remains closed.

MAY 24, 2020

Reopening of New Jersey beaches 'going well so far,' Murphy says

Beaches at the Jersey Shore officially opened on Friday, and the governor says things are going well so far.

Hoboken opens more streets

City leaders in Hoboken are expanding the Open Streets program citing positive feedback from people. Starting Sunday, the city will close parts of Park Avenue and 10th Street to cars.

MAY 23, 2020

NJ deaths associated with coronavirus now top 11,000

New Jersey health officials say the number of deaths associated with the coronavirus in the state now tops 11,000. The state health department posted information Saturday indicating that there were more than 153,100 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 11,081 deaths were associated with the virus. Gov. Phil Murphy said Saturday the state had 443 new confirmed positive cases but had lost 96 more New Jersey residents. But the governor said in a Twitter post that "a significant amount" of electronic laboratory reports haven't yet been processed "and may be affecting today's number of new cases."

Record-low Memorial Day travel expected despite low prices

Analysts expect travel numbers for this year's Memorial Day weekend are likely to set a record low despite the cheapest prices in the pump in nearly two decades.AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey on Friday was $2.01, up a penny from a week ago.The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.94, an increase of 8 cents in the last week. Analysts say not since 2003 has the national gas price average leading into the Memorial Day holiday been under $2. VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW JERSEY Memorial Day picnic plans? Keep it to 25 people, Murphy says

MAY 22, 2020

Hoboken to expand Open Streets program, citing positive feedback

City leaders in Hoboken decided to expand the 'Open Streets' program, citing positive feedback from people.

Starting Sunday, the city will close parts of Park Avenue and 10th Street to cars. The purpose is to link local parks for pedestrians and cyclists.

CARES ACT funds for schools

New Jersey's public colleges and universities will be dividing up a total of $68.8 million in federal CARES Act funds to help cover COVID19-related expenses.

Outdoor gatherings limit update

Gov. Murphy signs executive order lifting limit on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 individuals. Capacity will also be raised to 25 individuals for fishing boats, outdoor batting cages, driving ranges and other outdoor recreational businesses.

Paterson reopens 2 parks with social distancing rules

Some parks in Paterson, New Jersey are now reopened. The first parks to open were Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and Eastside Park. All visitors must adhere to strict social distancing precautions.

Jersey shore reopens for Memorial Day weekend

The Jersey Shore is back open for business, but there are changes in place. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be encouraged on beaches, restaurants will be takeout only and amusements are closed.

MAY 21, 2020

Paterson parks reopening

City parks in Paterson will begin to reopen on Friday. The city's mayor announced that Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park and Eastside Park will be the first parks to open. All visitors must adhere to strict social distancing precautions and no groups, cookouts or ball playing will be allowed

Puppy scammers on the prowl amid COVID-19 pandemic

Getting a puppy during the coronavirus pandemic is on more and more people's to-do list, but there's a new deception that could be costly.

MIS-C Cases Increase

There are now 19 total cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. The patients are ages 1 to 18. 14 of the 19 tested positive for COVID-19. Six children remain hospitalized.

Census Responses

The governor is asking residents to fill out their census. NJ is 21st in the country for response rate and the governor says that there's no excuse for that. Right now there is a 61.7% response rate. You can take the census at

NJ barber develops 'Shields on Wheels' to keep salon owners, clients safe

A New Jersey barber who is also a carpenter is innovating to help keep salon owners and customers safe amid an uncertain future after the coronavirus pandemic wanes. Edwin Ramirez has owned 201 Stylez on Park Avenue in Union City for 15 years, and though he won't reopen until he gets the green light from the state, he is taking steps to prepare. He has rolled out "Shields on Wheels," which contain a cutout large enough for the barber to fit their hands and tools through and is mobile so the barber can work around a client's head.

Newark's reopen plan

In Newark, where the coronavirus spread has been especially bad, Mayor Ras Baraka will announce plans on how the city will reopen.

NJ shuts down defiant gym in Bellmawr

The state health department has shut down the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr Thursday morning. The gym had been open for the past three days with summonses issued against the owner each day.

Retail slowly returning

Garden State Plaza will begin allowing more than 20 stores to offer curbside pick-up on Thursday.

MAY 20, 2020

Beware of scams

Residents should be wary of anyone texting or calling claiming to be a COVID-19 contact tracer asking for social security numbers, health commissioner Judy Persichilli said. The department is hearing of a rising number of scams, she said.

Contact tracers don't ask for social security numbers or any bank account or credit card information, said Dr. Christina Tan, the state epidemiologist. She says the tracers will identify themselves in calls as an employee with whichever local or county health department the person works for.

Balloon festival

A summer hot air balloon festival is getting bumped to the fall because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The 38th annual New Jersey balloon festival in Readington is moving from July 24-26 to Oct. 16-18.

The festival features colorful hot air balloons and music. The rock band Styx was slated to perform, but has canceled and won't be performing in October, according to the festival's website.

Mask Up! campaign

New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection unveiled a publicity campaign Wednesday to urge people to wear face coverings outdoors in public places including beaches and parks.

The "Mask Up!" campaign includes posters to be placed at entrances to sate and local beaches and parks, urging people to wear a mask to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

New Jersey doctor taking hydroxychloroquine as preventative measure

Many medical experts have criticized President Donald Trump for ignoring guidance and prophylactically taking the drug hydroxychloroquine," which he has long touted in the fight against the coronavirus.

There is presently no evidence it works to treat or prevent COVID-19, and some evidence that it could do harm. Dr. Stavros Christoudias, who practices in Teaneck, New Jersey, is out of pills now. But he has been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive tool off and on for two months after it was recommended by an ER doctor and others who stayed healthy.

What beaches are open in NY, NJ and CT?

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but during the coronavirus pandemic, life at the beach in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be somewhat different this year.

Self-testing at Walmarts

Beginning Friday, self-administered COVID-19 tests will be available at specific locations from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. by appointment only. You can visit to schedule a test. There will be no testing inside of Walmart stores to help keep shoppers and employees safe.

Locations include:

- 174 Passaic St, Garfield, NJ 07026

- 2100 88th St, North Bergen, NJ 07047

- 150 Harrison Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032

- 152 NJ-31 N, Flemington, NJ 08822

- 2106 Mt Holly Rd, Burlington Township, NJ 08016

- 4900 U.S. Hwy #9, Howell Township, NJ 07731

- 934 NJ-73, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054

Local New Jersey farms adjust and thrive amid global pandemic

As businesses across the country adjust to stay afloat, New Jersey farms are not the exception, transforming their local shops to provide customers and employees with a safe and socially distant environment.

MAY 19, 2020

7 On Your Side helps widow left with late husband's car lease after COVID-19 death

A retired cop whose second career was nursing died of COVID-19 on his first wedding anniversary.

His widow was left grieving the loss of her husband, but to make matters worse, she was left frustrated over what to do with his truck lease that was draining her finances.

Gym defies shutdown order, given second citation

One of the owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, has vowed to unlock the doors to his business for patrons every day unless he is jailed and thereby unable to do so.

For the second day in a row, members and supporters gathered in the parking lot to cheer as the doors opened for business, despite the current shutdown order in New Jersey.

Restaurant turns into a market to avoid laying off employees

Jackie & Son, a breakfast and brunch spot in New Jersey, has managed to stay in business without any layoffs.

Wasting no time after businesses were forced to close, Jackie Podhurst, owner of Jackie & Son, adjusted her business model to ensure her community and employees were not affected as a result of the closures caused by the global pandemic.

In-person sales to resume at auto and motorcycle dealerships

In-person sales at automobile and motorcycle dealerships will be allowed to resume Wednesday at 6 a.m., Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

The state has also issued guidance regarding the resumption of elective and non-urgent medical procedures. And New Jersey's 18,000 pharmacists are now officially authorized to administer COVID-19 tests. The moves are the latest steps New Jersey is taking toward reopening its economy.

Nursing home death statistics revised downward

The number of nursing-home deaths from the virus is being revised downward by about 1,400 to 4,295, Gov. Murphy said Tuesday. That's because the older figures included deaths of people whose COVID-19 tests had not been lab-confirmed.

Murphy said the change stemmed from making the nursing home death toll comparable to the overall fatality figure he reports every day, which he said includes only lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths.

CVS stores to offer self-swab coronavirus tests

CVS stores are set to begin offering self-swab COVID-19 tests across New Jersey by the end of this month, Gov. Murphy announced Tuesday. The tests will be available at "a minimum of 50 stores." The exact locations have yet to be announced.

"This is another important step forward as we continue to build testing capacity in our state," the governor said. "We thank CVS for their partnership in and support of our effort to get ourselves on the road back. We are working with a number of partners to bring more sites up throughout the state, more announcements will be forthcoming on that front."

Despite backlog, NY outperforming many states processing unemployment claims

Over eight weeks from late March to early May, data from the U.S. Department of Labor indicated more than 33 million people had filed unemployment claims -- and of those people, more than 12 million had not received benefits. In the Tri-State region, more than 3.6 million people had filed claims, more than 2 million of them in New York, and more than 700,000 were still waiting for benefits, with more than 150,000 of them in New York. In New York and New Jersey, just over one-fifth of the state workforce was reporting job loss, and in Connecticut, closer to one-third of the state workforce had reported the loss of a job.

MAY 18, 2020

Disaster recovery company disinfects vehicles of frontline workers

A local disaster recovery company in New Jersey is broadening its battle against the coronavirus by donating its services to disinfect the vehicles of frontline workers. Crews from National Restoration came to Community Memorial Hospital in Toms River on Monday afternoon to clean heath care workers' cars for free.

7OYS helps boutique get PPP loan

The second round of the Payroll Protection Program, or PPP stimulus money, to help businesses is rolling out much more smoothly than the first round when it ran out of money within two weeks.

Over the weekend, the application and instructions on how to have the loan forgiven were released. More than $500 billion has been given out so far and 7 On Your Side helped a small retailer and her bank see eye-to-eye and get her loan going.

Audible donates $1.5 million to Newark restaurants to feed elderly and poor

The app company, Audible, gave over a million dollars to Newark restaurants so they could help feed the community.

To date 100,000 meals, at $10 per meal, has been churned out by 18 restaurants in Newark. All of it has been funded by $1.5 million from Audible, the huge app company known for podcasts and audio books, to help feed the elderly and poor in Newark.

Gym reopens despite order

A gym in New Jersey reopened for business early Monday, defying a state order that shut down nonessential businesses to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

People began gathering outside the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr several hours before it reopened at 8 a.m. The owners have said the decision to resume operations at the members-only facility was not about financial gain, but rather a question of constitutional rights.

Decent weekend

Murphy said it was "generally OK" at the state's beaches over the weekend, the first since he said they would be open for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. He attributed that to the cool weather and did not indicate he would revoke approval for towns along the coast to open up.

Casino grocery giveaway

Atlantic City's Hard Rock casino is planning another round of grocery card giveaways to its employees who are out of work due to the pandemic. When the second round of distribution is completed on Thursday, the casino will have spent $600,000 on groceries for its workers. The $100 cards will go to all hourly workers who make less than $50,000 a year. No date has yet been set for Atlantic City's casinos to reopen.

New COVID-19 tests arriving in Tri-State area

Hundreds of thousands of new COVID-19 tests will now be available in New York and New Jersey.

Reopening some outdoor recreational areas, businesses

Gov. Murphy signed an executive order allowing some additional outdoor recreational areas and businesses to restart their operations effective May 22. This includes batting cages, golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs and community gardens.

Monday marked a big turning point in the plan to slowly reopen New Jersey

Non-essential retail stores are now reopened for curbside pickup, if they follow certain requirements. Non-essential construction also restarted. This comes as chartered boat services resumed in the state on Sunday.

MAY 17, 2020

Non-essential retail stores reopened for curbside pickup

Non-essential retail stores are now reopened for curbside pickup, if they follow certain requirements.

MAY 16, 2020

Beach badge sale draws large crowd to NJ shore town

Hundreds of New Jerseyans, feeling cooped up because of restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, flocked to Belmar Saturday morning to purchase beach badges for the season. For the most part, people appeared to be adhering to social distancing guidelines as they lined up in droves outside Taylor Pavilion, the line stretching several blocks along the boardwalk.

1,239 new COVID cases, 115 additional deaths

Governor Phil Murphy announced Saturday that 115 COVID-19 associated deaths occurred in New Jersey on Friday. The state's death toll is now 10,249. Meanwhile, the state recorded 1,239 new positive cases. New Jersey has now seen 145,089 confirmed coronavirus cases. The governor said hospitalizations, intensive care counts and ventilator use are all down dramatically from six weeks ago.

Boat charters, watercraft rentals to resume

Governor Phil Murphy announced Saturday that he will sign an executive order allowing fishing charters and other chartered-boat services and watercraft rentals to resume. The order will take effect Sunday, May 17 at 6 a.m. The governor said specific social distancing and sanitation measures will be required.

Cash tolls returning to NJ Turnpike and Garden State Pkwy.

Cash tolls - and the workers who collect them - will return Tuesday to the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Toll booths on both roads have been empty since March 24th.

Newark Archdiocese moves to first phase of reopening

The Archdiocese of Newark has announced it will open its doors Sunday for private prayer and confession. There is no timeline yet for Phase Two, but that next step in its reopening process will include weekday Masses as long as worshipers adhere to social distancing.

MAY 15, 2020

Primary Election by mail (mostly)

The July 7th primary will be a primarily vote-by-mail election. All registered Democratic and Republican voters will receive a postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot. Unaffiliated and inactive voters will receive a postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot application.

Elective surgeries to resume

Governor Murphy announced he is signing an executive order that will allow elective surgical and other invasive procedures to resume on effective May 26th.

NJ Transit receives federal funding

President Donald Trump announced NJ Transit will receive $1.4 billion in CARES Act funding.

NJ beaches prepare for Memorial Day weekend

Seabright Beach has been open, but the major headline from Governor Murphy is that all New Jersey beaches will be allowed to remain open in time for Memorial Day weekend. Point Pleasant and Seaside Heights beaches will also reopen on Friday. Many others plan to reopen on May 22.

Hoboken expands Open Streets pilot program

Hoboken residents will have more space to enjoy this weekend's nice weather as the city expands its Open Streets pilot program. Adams Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 3rd to 9th streets to give pedestrians and cyclists more space to spread out.

MAY 14, 2020

Six Flags Safari park will return with drive-through experience

Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is returning to an old practice to adjust to limitations created by the coronavirus pandemic. The Safari park is going back to a 'self-drive-through' experience.

Multiple families report missing items of dying COVID-19 patients

More people are coming forward saying that hospitals have lost their dying loved one's possessions amid the coronavirus pandemic, after 7 On Your Side Investigates reported on a case in New Jersey earlier this month.

Baby girl goes home after mom's COVID-19 battle in Hackensack

A baby in New Jersey born prematurely in April from a mother battling COVID-19 is finally home.

Baby Harley was delivered by emergency cesarean section about six weeks early. Her mother Donna Molina was desperately ill from the virus and the two were separated for the first few weeks.

Jersey Shore open by Memorial Day weekend

Governor Phil Murphy announced that Jersey Shore beaches would be open by Memorial Day weekend. But there would still be restrictions in place. The number of people allowed on the beach would be restricted to allow for social distancing. Restaurants on boardwalks will also be open for takeaway. The governor said wearing masks would be recommended but not required.

Permanent Morgue Space

New Jersey state lawmakers are considering new legislation to establish permanent morgue space in long-term care facilities struggling through this pandemic.

MAY 13, 2020

Hoboken to open antibody testing to residents

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla announced that the City of Hoboken will open an antibody testing site to Hoboken residents starting on Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

More coming?

Decisions on beaches reopening, elective surgeries returning and the July 7 primary possibly becoming mail-only are likely to come this week as well, Murphy said.

Murphy said he's been talking to officials in beach towns and counties up and own the state's coast and expects an announcement this week. Elective surgeries have also been barred during the outbreak, and their return could be addressed this week, he added.

Revenue down

The state treasury said revenue collections in April were down 60% compared with April 2019. Total tax collections were $2.3 billion, down an "unprecedented" $3.5 billion, the treasury said in a statement.

For the year, total collections are down about 8%. That's because before the COVID-19 outbreak, collections were running ahead of last year, the treasury said.

Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome

18 children between ages 3-18 that have shown signs of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in New Jersey. So far, four have tested positive for COVID-19, others are under review.

NJ to restart economy Monday

Governor Murphy said that he would sign an executive order to restart the economy in the state. Non-essential construction and curbside pickup at non-essential businesses will start at 6 a.m. Monday. However, drive-through and drive-in events will be permitted under social distancing guidelines immediately. The governor promised to reopen more as soon as the metrics allow.

Jersey Shore Social Distancing

Some Jersey Shore beaches will have a new kind of lifeguard this summer with social distancing ambassadors making sure everyone stays safe.

It's part of Cape May County's "Six Feet Saves Lives" campaign.

MAY 12, 2020

Health commissioner orders testing in all long-term care facilities

To limit exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19, Heath Commissioner Judith Persichilli signed an Executive Directive requiring all long-term care facilities in the state to implement testing of staff and residents for the virus by May 26.

In addition, the Executive Directive provides for retesting of individuals who test negative within 3-7 days to detect those with newly developed infection, and further retesting in according with CDC guidance.

NJ doctor treats COVID patient who helped him after heart attack

A doctor treating COVID-19 patients in New Jersey received a rare chance to repay kindness, as a man whose life he was fighting to save turned out to be someone who had taken care of him after a heart attack years earlier.

Dr. Rick Pitera, an anesthesiologist at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, didn't quite make the connection when he began treating Danny Radice in his fight against the novel coronavirus. He knew he was treating a colleague from the physical therapy unit, but it took three days for it to register to Dr. Pitera exactly who was underneath the ventilator mask.

CityMD mistakenly told 15,000 patients with antibodies in New York, New Jersey they have immunity

CityMD said they mistakenly told 15,000 patients in New York and New Jersey that positive results on their COVID-19 antibody test meant they had immunity.

How to get a job as a contact tracer in NJ

New Jersey will hire at least 1,000 people, creating a Community Contact Tracing Corps and supplementing the roughly 800 to 900 mostly county health officials who are currently tracing contacts among coronavirus-positive residents.

Boosting test production at Rutgers

Gov. Murphy announced the state is directing $6 million in federal funding to Rutgers University to boost their test production capabilities from 10,000 tests per day to 50,000 within the next six-to-eight weeks.

Mobile testing units

Gov. Murphy announced New Jersey's testing plan will also utilize mobile testing units, which will go right into their communities. Testing sites will be open within institutions of faith, including at churches and mosques.

Expanding testing for residents without access to primary care

New Jersey Department of Health will be issuing a standing order expanding access to testing without a prescription for residents with possible exposure who fall in priority categories and lack access to a primary care practitioner.

Long-term care testing

New Jersey Department of Health will issue a directive requiring all residents and staff at state long-term care facilities be tested no later than May 26 -- with follow-up testing not more than one week later. All long-term care facilities must confirm to the Department of Health that they have updated their outbreak prevention plans to meet the directive no later than May 19.

Drug store testing

Gov. Murphy announced 11 Rite Aid testing locations recently went online, while CVS Pharmacy will have swab-and-send testing capabilities in place at 50 of its stores across the state by the end of the month.

National Guard flyover

New Jersey Air National Guard saluted frontline COVID-19 workers with a flyover starting at 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday. The planes did a lap around the state over key locations.

MAY 11, 2020

Glen Ridge police officer dies

Glen Ridge Police Officer and PBA Local 58 member Charles "Rob" Roberts died from COVID-19. Roberts is being remembered as a staple in his community who was known for his smile.

NJ middle school converts 'Little Free Libraries' into food Pantries

Soehl Middle School in Linden, New Jersey, has converted its "Little Free Libraries" into "Little Free Pantries" to help those who cannot get food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of books, the boxes will contain non-perishable food items for those who need it most. In addition to the pantries, Linden Public Schools continue to distribute grab-and-go lunches every weekday to any student in the district who needs one.

Corrections officer released

Corrections Sgt. Andrew Crooks was greeted with a big celebration in Essex County as he was discharged two months after entering the hospital with COVID-19.

Medical staff, correction and police officers from throughout the state came to celebrate his recovery.

Newark homeless testing

Newark continues to test its homeless for COVID-19 exposure. The citywide initiative is designed to get residents without permanent addresses into safe quarters if they test positive to help slow the spread of the virus among the general population.

NJ officials press case for direct state assistance from US government

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez joined New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Monday to press the case for direct state assistance from the federal government to successfully defeat COVID-19 and move the economy forward.

"We're asking for the ability to prevent this public health emergency from turning into a second Great Depression," Murphy said. "We're asking for help to keep first responders, front-line workers, and educators from having to fear for their jobs."

Sen. Menendez is sponsoring legislation with U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana that would deliver $500 billion to state and local governments across the nation to ensure the delivery of essential services, like police and educators.

Murphy: Promising trends mean reopen dates could come soon

New Jersey's coronavirus data is promising, and Gov. Phil Murphy might give specific dates soon on when the state could begin reopening, he said Monday.

The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 is about 26% of those being tested, down from a high near 50% last month, Murphy said. Hospitalizations from the virus are also down, as are the number of people in intensive care and on ventilators, Murphy said.

'Wave party' clarification

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said he was clarifying guidance that may have suggested residents were barred from so-called wave parties, which aren't actual gatherings, but rather people driving by in a car to wave at whoever is being celebrated.

Such drive-by events are OK, he said. What's not allowed under the governor's COVID-19 stay-at-home order are gatherings at a particular location, like a school.

Plasma donation sites

New Jersey is opening two plasma donation sites Monday, one in Fairfield and the other at University Hospital in Newark. You do not have to be a New Jersey resident to donate.

This program is run by the Red Cross, each person will have to test negative or wait 28 days without symptoms to donate. Individuals are encouraged to register to donate at

MAY 10, 2020

27-year veteran of Newark Police Department dies of COVID-19

The coronavirus claimed the life of a 27-year-veteran of the Newark Police Department. Sergeant Michael Clegg passed away at Overlook Hospital on Sunday. The 53-year-old joined the department in 1993.

NJ parks filled to capacity

Officials announced at least two parks were closed after they were filled to capacity on Sunday: Ramapo Mountain State Forest and Norvin Green State Forest.

Death toll increases

New Jersey officials reported a 140 new fatalities related to COVID-19 on Sunday. Positive cases increased by 1,503 for a total of 138,532.

Testing for asymptomatic residents in New Jersey gets underway

A new effort gets underway in New Jersey on Sunday that is designed to test as many people as possible for COVID-19 -- even if they haven't shown any symptoms.

The site in Paramus opened at 8 a.m. and is specifically for New Jersey residents who have not shown any symptoms during the pandemic.

MAY 9, 2020

COVID-19 response-related expenses

The New Jersey Department of Education will launch an online application process for eligible districts to receive their shares of $280 million to help cover COVID-19 response-related expenses, such as purchasing educational technology and sanitizing buildings, on Monday, Gov. Murphy said Saturday.

New plasma collection sites

Gov. Murphy announced the American Red Cross will be opening two new convalescent plasma collection sites in northern New Jersey. Convalescent plasma collection will begin at the American Red Cross blood center in Fairfield and University Hospital in Newark on Monday, May 11.

Bergen expanding testing

Officials announced that the County of Bergen and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center will partner to bring mobile testing to communities across the county starting next Tuesday, May 12. The community mobile testing program will offer walk-up Saliva COVID-19 tests and COVID-19 Antibody tests to county and municipal residents as well as first responders, healthcare workers and municipal or county employees who works in Bergen County with proof of employment.

Asymptomatic testing

New Jersey residents can get tested for free at Bergen Community College and the PNC Art Center -- even if they're asymptomatic -- starting Sunday.

Hoboken parks opening

Hoboken began the gradual reopening of its parks, including along the waterfront.

MAY 8, 2020

NJ child dies of COVID-19 complications

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli announced Friday the death of a child who had an underlying medical condition. Governor Phil Murphy said the child was 4 years old.

"That precious 4-year-old, it's unfathomable, is the first fatality of anyone in the state from COVID-19 related complications under the age of 18," Murphy said.

2 sites to provide tests to asymptomatic residents, field medical station to close

Governor Phil Murphy said Friday that the COVID-19 testing sites at Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center will now provide tests to asympomatic New Jersey residents. Testing will be prioritized for health care workers and first responders, personnel in congregate living settings and residents who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Residents are asked to contact a health care provider before seeking testing. The governor also said the Field Medical Station at the Meadowlands Expo Center will close over the weekend. Its operations will transfer to East Orange General Hospital.

Governor's Restart and Recovery Advisory Council

Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday he signed an executive order to create the governor's Restart and Recovery Advisory Council which he says will bring together leaders from various industry, community, and faith-based groups and institutions across the state to work in conjunction with the Restart and Recovery Commission.

National Guard headed to NJ nursing homes, Andover facility fined

New Jersey is sending 120 members of the National Guard this weekend to nursing homes hit hard by the coronavirus to help staff members, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday, though their exact role remains unclear.

The troops will first go to the state's biggest home, in Andover, that became so overwhelmed by COVID-19 deaths at one point that it began using what Murphy called a "makeshift morgue." The development came the same day federal health authorities fined the facility $220,000.

New vehicles pile up at Port Newark

NewsCopter 7 was over Port Newark in New Jersey, one of the biggest ports in the U.S. for imported vehicles. The Port Authority says deliveries from the facility are down 25 percent from this time last year.

Parks in Hoboken and some Jersey shore beaches reopen

Several parks will reopen to the public in Hoboken Friday, and plans are in the works to reopen some Jersey shore beaches. The parks opening in Hoboken include the waterfront park along Sinatra Drive facing New York City.

Passaic firefighter remembered

On this First Responder Friday, meteorologist Amy Freeze honors the memory of Passaic Firefighter Israel Tolentino, Jr., who lost his life about a month ago in the fight against COVID-19.

Hoboken antibody testing

Hoboken will begin offering antibody testing for first responders and frontline workers Friday.

MAY 7, 2020

'Best Mother's Day ever': Mom meets daughter after coming out of coma from COVID-19

A woman in New Jersey met her baby for the very first time Thursday after going into a coma while battling COVID-19.

Donna Molina first met her baby girl more than a month after she was born. Harley was born April 2 and Thursday was their first meeting face to face because Molina had to battle and overcome coronavirus first.

NJ yoga instructor donates food for frontline workers fighting COVID-19

A New Jersey yoga instructor is doing her part to help local merchants stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurses from around the country have found a home away from home at a Bergen County hotel. For the last month and a half, the staff at the Courtyard by Marriot in Montvale, and the local community have made sure frontline workers wouldn't have to worry about getting a hot meal.

Key indicators continue to slowly improve

Governor Phil Murphy said there were 252 new deaths for a total of 8,801 and 1,827 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 133,635.

Hospitalizations and ICU patients have both continued to decrease, Murphy said. Hospitalizations dropped to 4,996 - below 5,000 for the first time in several weeks - as the rate of spread continues to slow across the state.

Murphy said cases of the virus continue to migrate south, to central and southern New Jersey, while the situation in the north continues to slowly improve.

NJ Unemployment

The Department of Labor has received more than 1 million claims. They have paid more than $1.9 billion in unemployment assistance. Residents that need to apply for unemployment or look for work can visit:

NJ National Guard

The New Jersey National Guard is sending 120 soldiers to long-term care facilities beginning this weekend. They are guard members that are not currently assigned to a job.

Newark details COVID-19 contact tracing program

Newark on Thursday detailed its new contact tracing program as New Jersey's largest city looks to stop the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Nearly 300 volunteers have been trained by Mayor Ras Baraka's Contact Tracing Task Force to telephone residents suffering from the virus and their families to investigate with whom they had contact, both before and after becoming infected.

MAY 6, 2020

Hoboken launches Open Street pilot program

Hoboken is launching its own "Open Street" pilot program this weekend to allow for better social distancing.

Jefferson Street will be closed to traffic between 3rd Street and 11th Street from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

NJ artist makes art to raise money for COVID relief

SeekOneArt is known for his street art and he's using his talents to give back to the community.

Fake letter warning

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security is warning of a false letter/press release with joint seals of federal and State agencies stating New York residents cannot enter New Jersey starting May 10 due to coronavirus. No such order exists.

Long-term care facility review team

The numbers of positive cases and deaths connected to long term care facilities continues to grow. Governor Murphy said that he is bringing on a nationally experienced team of experts to help the state tackle the challenges at those facilities to help protect staff and residents. Leading this team are Cindy Mann, a 30-year expert in health policy and former Deputy Administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama; and Carole Raphael, the Former Chief Executive Officer & President of Visiting Nurse Service of NY, and former AARP Board Chair.

Murphy announces more testing

There are 122 COVID-19 testing sites across the state of New Jersey. Governor Murphy said 31 sites which are either publicly run or open to the general public can be located at He urged people to reach out to their doctors to find the testing site closest to them.

Newark opens testing site for residents

Newark is now offering coronavirus testing to city residents at the Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Rink. The site, which opened Wednesday, will see residents from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the rink, located at 7th and Clifton avenues.

5,000th patient goes home

Hackensack Meridian Health celebrated the 5,000th COVID-19 discharge across its hospitals.

MAY 5, 2020

Hoboken to reopen select parks beginning Friday

The city of Hoboken is moving forward with a plan to gradually reopen select city parks beginning on Friday. On Tuesday, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the Office of Emergency Management announced the first phase of a gradual reopening of Hoboken municipal and county parks which will take effect on Friday, May 8.

The mayor said he based the decision on the recent data demonstrating a downward trend in new, confirmed cases, and the important benefits of outdoor activities on mental health.

Cemetery guidelines

The Archdiocese of Newark is issuing new guidelines for its Catholic cemeteries. Starting Sunday, and every Sunday thereafter, the cemeteries will be open for visitation from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Starting next Monday a maximum of 10 family members will be permitted to attend burial services. Currently, only two are allowed. Masks will be required to enter the cemeteries and people are asked to practice social distancing.

Emergency food distribution

An emergency food distribution site opened in East Rutherford on Tuesday. The food drive attracted a long line of people who have found themselves struggling financially during the COVIED-19 crisis.

Path stations closing overnight

PATH announced they will be closing the 9th Street and 23rd Street stations overnight from midnight to 5 a.m. starting Wednesday, May 6. The temporary station closures will remain in effect through the duration of the emergency orders. PATH riders on the Journal Square - 33rd Street line can access PATH via the Christopher Street, 14th Street, or 33rd Street stations, which will continue to operate 24 hours a day unless otherwise noted.

Paterson principal death

Gov. Murphy paid his respects Tuesday to the principal of Paterson's Eastside High School Dr. Gerald Glisson, who died of COVID-19.

Temporary medical emergency licenses program

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs will begin standing up a program to grant temporary emergency licenses to recent graduates of nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy and respiratory care therapy programs who have not yet been able to take and pass their licensing exams, Gov. Murphy said Tuesday.

School aid payment

Gov. Murphy announced the state will be able to make the next school aid payment of $467 million -- which will go out on Friday -- because of the new federal flexibility from the CARES Act.

MAY 4, 2020

9/11 hero who helped pilot NJ ferries passes away from COVID-19

Luis Fernando Marulanda came to the United States from Colombia when he was 22 years old. He was a longtime employee of NJ Transit and NY Waterway. He helped pilot the ferries that shuttled residents back home across the Hudson River on 9/11.

Newark police officer loses battle with coronavirus

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted "Michael Conners Sr. had three loves: family, cars, and work. He proudly served the people of Newark as a police office for 26 years. On behalf of our state, we thank him for his selfless service and we keep the whole Conners family in our prayers."

Ridgewood 4th of July fireworks canceled

The Ridgewood Fourth of July Committee and the Village of Ridgewood announced that they will cancel the 110th annual Fourth of July Parade and the evening entertainment and fireworks display due to COVID-19 health concerns.

Artist with autism makes balloon creations for essential workers

A balloon artist from New Jersey has been making thank you creations for essential workers in his community.

Eddie Lin, 22, was diagnosed with autism when he was 3, which is why he's known as the 'Ausome Balloon Creator.' The Edison, New Jersey, resident is taking requests from family members of essential workers to create balloon art for their loved ones.

Hackensack teacher hands out groceries to families in need

One New Jersey teacher is working to ensure that families have food in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Schools stay closed

Governor Phil Murphy has announced New Jersey schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year. Schools have been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers have been required to conduct remote instruction since then and that will continue.

Newark begins testing homeless population

Newark began testing its homeless population for COVID-19 Monday and has accommodations ready to quarantine anyone who tests positive. The testing is being conducted at an airport hotel with which the city partnered last month as part of the Mayor Ras Baraka's $1 million investment in rapid, short-term housing for Newark's most vulnerable residents.

Expanded testing

New Jersey will start testing people for coronavirus whether they have symptoms or not on Monday. Appointment based testing will take place at sites in Jersey City and Bergenfield.

Newark Penn Station cleaning

Newark's Penn Station closed overnight for a through deep cleaning of trains and the entire station to ensure the safety or riders and NJ Transit workers.

MAY 3, 2020

Anti-Asian graffiti found spray-painted outside NJ home

Disturbing graffiti was found in New Jersey with hateful words toward Asian people. Police say security cameras caught a bald man in dark-colored clothing writing the graffiti in the driveway.

Teen from NJ creates virtual pen pal program for sick kids

Sarah Schneider's grandmother, Estelle Slon, is full of riddles, and she shares them in emails to sick children forced into isolation as they undergo treatment for cancer, blood disorders and other dire illnesses.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah in Maplewood, New Jersey, thought up the idea in a Zoom session with her school's social justice club after they were sent home for remote learning in the coronavirus crisis.

NJ highway signs draw criticism, praise for referring to some as 'knuckleheads'

Signs reading "Don't be a knucklehead, keep a safe distance" along New Jersey's highways drew both criticism and praise from drivers across the state.

Governor Phil Murphy has regularly used the term "knucklehead" to refer to people disregarding social distancing recommendations, stay at home orders and other restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

7 Northeast states join forces, forming a regional team to purchase PPE

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are launching a regional purchasing consortium to jointly procure PPE, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment. This will increase the market power and help prevent price-gouging, NY Gov. Cuomo said.

Murphy: 53 NJ hospitals to share $1.7 billion in federal aid

Dozens of hospitals in New Jersey that have been treating coronavirus patients will be getting a large cash infusion from the federal government, which is providing billions of dollars to hospitals hardest hit by the pandemic.

Transit station hours

New Jersey transit authorities say Newark Penn Station will be closed for several hours overnight for cleaning to protect customers and employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Sunday until further notice, the station will close from 11 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. "to allow for a daily deeper cleaning and disinfection," officials said. Newark Penn Station will reopen daily at 4:30 a.m., officials said.

MAY 2, 2020

A close eye on reopened parks

Murphy had called this weekend a "huge test" for New Jersey with parks and golf courses reopening.

So far, officials are keeping a close eye: "If we hear minimal reports of knucklehead behavior at our parks, then we know you all have taken to heart your responsibility to help us mitigate this pandemic,"

Murphy said.

He said he would not hesitate to shut parks down again if social distancing violations are widespread.

"If those reports are followed by spikes in the numbers of new cases and increases in the spread of COVID-19 over the next two weeks, then that action would be justified," he said.

Federal support for hospitals

Fifty three hospitals in New Jersey will receive $1.7 billion in direct federal assistance, the governor said Saturday.

NJ parks, golf courses reopen under clear skies

New Jersey reopened its state parks and golf courses at sunrise Saturday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic prompted their closure early last month.

State officials have placed a few conditions placed on the reopening: parking lots at parks and courses must be capped at 50% capacity; playgrounds and restrooms at parks will be closed; picnics and other gatherings will not be permitted.

MAY 1, 2020

Relatives of COVID-19 patients fall into deferment debacle

New Jersey resident Christine Toscano, whose mother is battling COVID-19, tried to take care of the bills piling up with her mother's mail, but getting the debts deferred turned into a battle.

Marriage requirements

Gov. Murphy signed an Executive Order relaxing the in-person requirements for both solemnization of marriage licenses for couples and working papers for minors. Wedding ceremonies will be allowed to be held using video-conferencing technology, with certain safeguards, while municipalities are still permitted to allow in-person ceremonies -- subject to social distancing -- but will not be required to do so.

Warm weather concerns as NJ parks, golf courses reopen

A beautiful spring weekend has some officials on edge as New Jersey prepares to open parks and golf courses at sunrise Saturday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The weather forecast is right up a golfer's alley, perfect timing, those itching to get outside say, and courses have been getting the greens ready -- with the governor's words in mind. There will be a few conditions placed on reopening: parking lots at parks and courses must be capped at 50% capacity; playgrounds and restrooms at parks will be closed; picnics and other gatherings will not be permitted.


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