New COVID requirements in place for NJ businesses

Gov. Phil Murphy has announced new COVID requirements for New Jersey businesses in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The new workplace standards are for both the public and private sectors with a focus on low-wage earners. The rules are the first in the country at a state level and require businesses to provide masks at no cost, temperature checks at job sites, social distancing when possible, and notifying employees of known exposure. 

The Garden State reported its 11th straight day of more than 1,000 new positive cases Wednesday, while the state's COVID hospitalizations surpassed 1,000 patients for the first time since July. 

Michele Siekerka, President and CEO of New Jersey Business and Industry Association, worries these new guidelines will just create more bureaucracy for business owners as they try to recover from the crisis. 

“They need liability and protection when they've done everything that the government has told them to do in order to keep the workplace safe," said Siekerka. "And and that needs to check the boxes so that you are immune from frivolous lawsuits against you.”

Paterson and Hoboken now require all bars and restaurants to close at midnight. Hoboken has also issued an emergency ordinance that allows the city to fine people up to $1,000 if caught hosting a party of more than 25 people. Earlier this week, Newark ordered all non-essential businesses to close by 8 P.M., including indoor dining. 

But Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is assuring people he does not plan on adding restrictions.

"We have more info today and I don’t see how a quick curfew because of a spike will help as it isn’t as if you can only get COVID at night," he wrote in a tweet. 

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