The number of known coronavirus cases in New Jersey now total 742, including nine deaths.
Gov. Phil Murphy said in his daily briefing Thursday that there are 318 new cases and four additional deaths. COVID-19 patients’ ages range between 3 and 95 years old.
“The numbers are going up, and they’re going up meaningfully,” said Murphy, who attributed the rise to partial community spread and increased testing capacity.
Murphy ordered the 8 p.m. closure of businesses that cannot maintain personal distance — barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, and social clubs.
Also due for changes are New Jersey elections scheduled for March and April. A March 21 special fire district election in Old Bridge, March 31 elections in Atlantic City and West Amwell, and all April 21 school elections will be moved to Tuesday, May 12 — the same day as nonpartisan municipal elections. All voting will be done by mail only.
So far, there are only two changes to the June 2 primary elections, though Murphy said he would consider changes should the situation dictate.
In-person submission of candidate petitions will move entirely online. In-person signature collection will also move online. The deadline for people to submit signatures, however, remains March 30.
Murphy, who has recommended that residents stay home between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., continued to encourage people to practice social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, Murphy ordered nonessential businesses such as casinos, racetracks, and gyms to close. Restaurants in the state have also been ordered to halt dine-in service and stick to takeout. Murphy has said the measures are key in slowing the spread of the virus.
Still, he anticipates that the region including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut will take a $100 billion economic hit and will require federal help.