Gov. Phil Murphy‘s daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday shared that there were 2,494 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours added to the current statewide total of 130,593, plus more people going into the hospital than being discharged.
“Just remember, if you’re one of the folks out there, as I am by the way, itching to get things back open again: 385 people entered the hospital yesterday in New Jersey with COVID-19,” said Murphy. “I hope all of them get out of there, but sadly the data tells us they will not in their entirety.”
The owners of Nancy and David Fine Jewels in Millburn, N.J., are among the thousands and thousands of small business owners whose livelihoods were upended by the coronavirus lockdowns, reports CBS2’s Nick Caloway.
“We need to be open,” said David Stone. “With the holiday this Sunday, Mother’s Day on the horizon, we’re losing that entire season pretty much.”
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Businesses deemed non-essential were forced to shutter more than a month ago with no end in sight.
“Non-essential, small businesses that are currently not able to open is on our list that we’re looking at very carefully,” said Murphy. “I can’t give you a date but that’s something clearly we’re looking at and doing that right. The consideration of curbside pickup is something that we’re looking at.”
Murphy’s “Road Back” plan calls for a significant and consistent drop in new infections and hospitalizations along with expanded testing capacity and contact tracing before the full reopening can begin.
The governor did loosen restrictions and open parks and golf courses last weekend, but no relaxing on small businesses.
“The answer is quite straightforward: Things that are out of doors, where we can impose then enforce mostly self-enforcement, self-imposing social distancing are far more logical steps for us to take,” he said. “I think would support that indoor activity is more complicated. Now indoor activity with proper social distancing is something that we hope we can get to sooner than later, I can’t marry myself to when.”
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Nancy and David Stone say they have plans to reopen carefully when they are allowed to do so, including making their store available by appointment only.
“We can easily take care of one client at a time, and have social distancing within our shop,” said David Stone.
But first, the governor has to give the OK. Until then, “closed” signs will linger on darkened storefronts a bit longer.
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