The Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, announced a STAY HOME ORDER for all citizens of my home state, New Jersey, effective at 9:00 PM eastern US time today, Saturday, March 21, 2020 . . . . UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered residents to stay home, banned all gatherings and told nonessential retail businesses to close by 9 p.m. Saturday in order to slow the spread of the coronovirus.

“I take personal responsibility for the public health and safety of New Jersey,” he tweeted. “If you are unhappy about our aggressive social distancing measures, I’m sorry. But your safety is my highest priority.”

Murphy said he guessed that restrictions would have to remain for “weeks to months."

The governor announced Saturday that there had been five more deaths from the virus, for a total of 16 in the state. There were more than 440 new positive tests for a total of more than 1,300, something he attributed to testing in the state that had been “ahead of the curve."

But he ordered all residents to stay at home with some exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities. Gatherings such as weddings, in-person services and parties are banned, he said.

“It pains me that important life moments cannot be celebrated the way they are supposed to,” Murphy said. “Any place where people congregate is a place where coronavirus can be spread."

Murphy also argued people not to go to second homes at the Jersey Shore, saying the shore towns aren't prepared for the influx.

The governor's executive order also orders closure of nonessential retail businesses and tells businesses to make arrangements for employees to work from home where possible.

Businesses that can remain open include grocery stores, pharmacies, medical marijuana dispensaries, medical supply stores, gas station, convenience stores, home improvement stores, banks, laundromats, pet stores, liquor stores, auto repair shops, office supply stores, mail and delivery stores.

“Life in New Jersey does not have to come to a complete standstill," Murphy said. “Residents can still go for a walk or go for a run outside. ... If you do go outside for these activities, or head to the grocery store, we're urging ... no, we're ordering everyone to practice social distancing and keep a safe, six-foot difference between you and others.”

Asked how long he expected the restrictions to last, Murphy said he guessed it would be “somewhere measured in weeks to months.”


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