May 21, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

 5/21/2020 12:31 PM

Seeking liability protection for employers. A guide to reopening workplaces. New Jersey has paid $3.4 billion in unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

Liability Protection for Employers – The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has joined a coalition of chambers asking Congress to pass timely, temporary and targeted liability relief legislation. It would provide businesses a safe harbor from unwarranted lawsuits that, left unchecked, will endanger the fight against the pandemic and undermine the safe and orderly return to work for millions of Americans. 
 
New Jersey Unemployment Payouts – The state Labor Department has paid out $3.4 billion in unemployment benefits as the global pandemic ended its ninth week of wreaking havoc on the workforce and economy, the state Labor Department reported this morning. More than 1.1 million new unemployment claims have been received since March 15, the Department said. More than 42,000 new applications for unemployment were received last week.
 
A Guide to Re-opening Workplaces – A report on reopening and preparing workplaces for COVID-19 was released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It contains recommendations as well as mandatory safety and health standards.  
 
A Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness – A guide to applying for loan forgiveness under the federal Paycheck Protection Program was released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  
 
You Can Get Anything at Walmart, Including a COVID-19 Test – Seven Walmart stores in New Jersey will offer coronavirus testing through Quest Diagnostics, beginning Friday, Gov. Murphy said. Residents will administer the tests themselves at drive-thru sites outside the stores. (nj.com) 
 
Online Grocery Shopping – New Jerseyans enrolled in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online starting next week. Online shopping will be available through Amazon and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers. 
 
Contact Tracer Scams – Beware of coronavirus contact tracing scams, New Jersey officials warn. Never give personal information like Social Security numbers and bank information to somebody claiming to be a contact tracer, they said. Tracers don’t need that information. (nj.com)
 
Get Counted – New Jersey residents can respond to the 2020 Census to ensure the state gets its fair share of federal funding. The Census provides valuable data for businesses, including population trends, growth projections and demographic information. Spread the word! Respond to the Census.
 
N.J. Coronavirus Cases - New Jersey Residents
 
Total Deaths Reported: 10,747, up from 10,586 yesterday.
Total Positive COVID-19 Tests Reported: 150,399, up from 149,013 yesterday.
For data on hospitalizations and discharges, click here.
 
* Resources from NJ Chamber of Commerce