Governor Murphy: Large Indoor Parties Must Stop!

Jul 30, 2020

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, once again, implored young people to not gather for large parties. especially inside.  

"Having that notion." I get it; we get it. We've all had our routines turned upside down for the past four months and we want to blow off some steam with friends. I can't fault -- none of us can fault anyone for having that notion" 

At the same time, Governor Murphy says crowded house parties just can't happen right now.  

"Around more efficiently." They are not safe, period. They are how coronavirus gets passed around more efficiently."

Cristina Spano for NPR

The rate of coronavirus transmission in New Jersey is continuing to creep up and now stands at 1.14. That means each person who catches the disease is spreading it to more than one other person.

Governor Phil Murphy is urging caution.

“When you look at the raw numbers, it’s a mixed bag at best. We’re not out of the woods yet, and we need everybody to remain vigilant.”

New Jersey is doling out another 15 million dollars in small business grants to bolster the state’s economic recovery.  

The latest infusion of cash comes from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. Governor Murphy says small businesses are the backbone of the state’s economy.

“Seeing both businesses and employees emerge from this pandemic strong and ready for the times ahead is critical to the success of our overall restart and recovery.”

The Governor made the announcement outside the A-List Hair Studio in North Brunswick.

Fall Sports

A collegiate athletic conference in New Jersey has suspended fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The New Jersey Athletic Conference says ALL Fall 2020 sports competition and league championships will be suspended. Ten of the Garden State's higher learning institutions are full members of the N-J-A-C including the Camden and Newark campuses of Rutgers, Montclair State University and The College of New Jersey. T-C-N-J, particularly, cancelled so-called high risk sports like football, hockey and soccer last month [June].

 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warns there could be layoffs soon if Republicans get their way with the next stimulus bill.  He calls the senate bill a nonstarter.  The Senate bill does not allocate money for states hit hard by coronavirus.  Mayor de Blasio says healthcare workers, teachers and first responders don’t know if they will be out of a job.

Nobody likes a toll hike, and people in New Jersey are no different.

A poll taken by Fairleigh Dickinson University shows almost half, 49%, are opposed to the hikes that will take effect after September 13. But the surprise is how many people were in favor of the increase.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is making an effort to get the courts fully operational in a move to try and lower the uptick in violence in New York City.  Right now courts are operating remotely because of coronavirus but Mayor de Blasio wrote a letter to the district attorneys and chief judge asking them to work with his office to reopen.  He understands the coronavirus severally disrupted the courts.

“Now is the time to overcome that and start to rebuild so we can really address the violence issue.”

Bloomfield College
Doug Doyle for WBGO News

Over the next few weeks on the WBGO Journal, WBGO News intern and Bloomfield College student Tyra Brooks will be interviewing representatives of area universities and colleges, focusing on their plans for the fall semester.

This week Brooks chats with the President of Bloomfield College Dr. Marcheta Evans.

Click above to hear the entire conversation.

New Jersey reported another 488 cases of coronavirus Friday, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 178,345 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Another 36 residents died from complications of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of probable and lab-confirmed deaths to 15,765.

According to Gov. Phil Murphy, the state’s daily positivity rate was 2.36% and its rate of transmission was 0.84.

Remote learning an option for all N.J. students

NY Post

New York City is clamping down on coronavirus related rule breaking at restaurants and bars this weekend.  Mayor de Blasio admits the city has what he calls troubled areas when it comes to crowds and face covering violations at bars and restaurants.

“Your right about that part of Astoria, your right about the Lower East Side. We gotta do better there.”

With a warm summer weekend on tap, de Blasio says there will be stepped up enforcement

About 40% of renter households in New Jersey — some 450,000 households across the state — will be unable to afford rent for August due to the financial stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.

That number is even higher if you only look at communities of color, which are already feeling a disproportionate impact from the outbreak. The report found that nearly half of Black renters will be unable to pay rent next month.

NYC Parks

More pools are opening up in New York City as the summer heat continues.  There’s been only a limited number of large pools open because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio is now allowing eight more pools to open for this weekend covering all five boroughs and seven more will open next Friday.

“This is going to be wonderful for neighborhood residents, particularly young people, especially as it’s gotten so hot.”

There will be strict coronavirus related rules in place.

NY Bars and Restaurants May Have to Close, Cuomo Says

Jul 20, 2020
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Governor Cuomo is threatening to roll back the reopening of bars and restaurants in New York City.

Cuomo showed photos taken over the weekend of massive crowds in Astoria, Queens and on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

“We cannot allow those congregations to continue," he said. "If it happens, I’ll tell ya what’s going to happen. We’re going to have to roll back the opening plan and we’re going to have to close bars and restaurants.”

And he’s calling out the NYPD.

“The police department has to enforce the law and they are not doing it,” said Cuomo.


WBGO's Doug Doyle has the latest on how New York City and New Jersey are handling the coronavirus pandemic when so many other states are seeing a surge in cases.

TYra Brooks
Doug Doyle for WBGO News

Bloomfield College student-athlete Tyra Brooks began her internship in the WBGO News Department this month and like a big part of her most recent semester she'll be doing most of her work online.

Brooks talks about the challenges the coronavirus pandemic presented her as a student and a member of the track team at Bloomfield College in her commentary.

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Governor Cuomo is cracking down on New York City bars and restaurants that aren’t doing their part to stop COVID-19.

Cuomo announced a new policy that will cost establishments big time for not enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing.

“We’re going to enact a 3-strikes and you’re closed,” he said. “Any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business. Egregious violations can still result in an immediate loss of a liquor license.”

Cuomo said the state has gotten thousands of complaints about this.

"Mask Up, Newark!"

Jul 17, 2020
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They’re calling it Mask Up, Newark.

If you don’t wear a mask in an outdoor public space in Newark, police will give you a summons. 

It’s part of the "Mask up, Newark!" promotion from the mayor and public safety director, and it comes after an executive order from Governor Murphy. The governor's executive order on masks excludes children younger than 2-years-old, those partaking in some sports activities, people who are eating and drinking, as well as those with underlying health conditions. 

On this month's edition of Newark Today host Michael Hill is  joined via Zoom by guests Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Dr. Mark Wade, Director of Newark's Department of Health and Community Wellness to discuss all the latest developments in the city's fight against the coronavirus and ongoing efforts to reopen New Jersey's largest city. Schools Superintendent Roger Léon also joins the discussion to talk about what education in the district may look like in September. 

Judy Persichilli

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichelli announced at the public awareness campaign will be launched next week, with youg adults among the targeted audience.

She reiterated during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing that young adults in the Garden State are the fastest-growing group testing positive for the coronavirus because of parties being held among the 18-29 age group. “I want to especially emphasize to our young people that they are not invincible or immune to COVID-19,” she said.

NJ Transit
Edwin J. Torres/Office of Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy signed Monday an executive order that lifts the 50% capacity limit on NJ Transit, along with private-carrier buses, trains, light rail, and AccessLink vehicles. The limit will be lifted at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

As people are starting to return to work, Murphy said, officials are seeing vehicle capacities reach the current 50% limit. “We want to ensure that people are able to get to their jobs, and that the system continues operating as efficiently as possible,” the governor said.

New York City has reached a milestone in its battle with the coronavirus. Mayor de Blasio, at his briefing today, reported that for the first time since the pandemic began there was a 24-hour period with no deaths from COVID-19.

“That is so striking and so moving, and it’s a statement again about how this city fights back,”

Roy Nathanson
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

A Brooklyn jazz musician put together a band that played one song every day for more than two months during the coronavirus pandemic. The musicians gathered outside the home of saxophonist Roy Nathanson and performed for people in the neighborhood.

The daily ritual ended on Father’s Day but the project lives on with now weekly jam sessions and instrument lessons for kids in the area.

You can check out the website here.

Click above to hear Jon Kalish's feature.

NYC Opens Cooling Centers

Jul 9, 2020
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Officials are trying to keep New Yorkers cool in this intense heat and humidity while keeping coronavirus protocols in place.

Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell says there will be cooling centers opened in all five boroughs where folks are expected to wear masks and socially distance.

“Our cooling options have been adapted this year as a result of COVID 19 and our goal is to ensure that all New Yorkers that live in heat-burdened areas, heat-burdened communities are within a quarter mile of any outdoor cooling element,” said Criswell.

NYC Reveals Hybrid Plan for School in September

Jul 8, 2020
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New York City officials are revealing a hybrid learning plan for the start of the school year in September to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Mayor de Blasio says the vast majority of children will head to the classroom two to three days a week. The other days will be remote learning.

“This blended model, this kinda split schedule model is what we can do under current conditions,” the mayor said.

On Wednesday, New Jersey officials reported 335 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 174,039.

The toll of confirmed deaths increased by 53 to 13,476 confirmed and 1,947 probable deaths.

The rate of transmission remains above 1.0, meaning for each patient positive with coronavirus, it is being spread to one other person.

Murphy to sign executive order mandating masks outside

Gov. Phil Murphy went live on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to announce an executive order requiring masks in outdoor public areas.

NYC to Reopen Daycare Centers Monday

Jul 7, 2020
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New York City’s Board of Health voted to allow child care centers to reopen on Monday.

Mayor de Blasio said it’s been a struggle for parents with only a small percentage of daycares open during the pandemic and those were only for children of essential workers.

He said strict coronavirus related protocols will be in place once roughly 3000 city regulated and school based day cares reopen.

“No more than 15 kids in a room," he said. "All kids, all staff will be required to wear face coverings. There will be daily health screenings, regular cleanings.”

New Jersey officials on Monday reported 216 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 173,611.

The toll of confirmed deaths increased by 20 to 13,773, with 1,856 probable deaths.

Uptick in infection rate concerns officials

Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that New Jersey’s rate of infection has gone above 1.0 for the first time in ten weeks.

As of July 4, the rate was at 1.03; meaning for every one person infected, it leads to at least one person getting infected.


WBGO commenator Mildred Antenor noticed the divorce rate has soared in several countries during the coronavirus pandemic.

It prompted the professor and author of The Gladioli Are Invisible: A Memoir to give her thoughts on divorce.


New Jersey and New York City residents head into the Fourth of July weekend with several restrictions still in place.

WBGO's Doug Doyle has the rundown.