May 26, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

 5/26/2020 12:06 PM

Small business success is the key to reopening New Jersey's economy. Creating a safe harbor from lawsuits. A return-to-work playbook for all sectors. Graduation ceremonies and pro sports get the green light from Gov. Murphy.

Support for Small Businesses in N.J. - Local chambers of commerce are hoping the N.J. Chamber’s ‘Buy NJ’ campaign provides a boost for downtowns and small businesses. “For the reopening of New Jersey’s economy to succeed, small businesses must succeed,” said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the N.J. Chamber of Commerce. ( 
Support the Campaign - To promote the ‘Buy NJ’ campaign, put this 'postcard' on your website and share it on social media with the hashtags #BuyNJ and #BuyLocalNJ.
As Businesses Reopen, Liability is a Lingering Question - If you are infected by the coronavirus after returning to work, could you sue your employer? What if you get sick after eating out or going to a store? The N.J. Chamber is pushing for federal liability safeguards for businesses. “A lot of businesses have a choice: Stay closed and risk bankruptcy, or open and face a possible multitude of debilitating lawsuits,” said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. (
A Safe Harbor from Lawsuits - See our coalition's letter asking Congress for liability relief legislation to provide businesses a safe harbor from unwarranted lawsuits.
A Return-to-Work Playbook for Employers - Here you can find sector-specific guidance, small business advice, and other resources to help employers and employees return to work safely and successfully. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Breaking News: Outdoor Graduations are Allowed, But in What Form? - Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state will allow outdoor graduation ceremonies, beginning July 6, provided they comply with all social distancing regulations. Murphy announced the news in a tweet this morning. He was expected to provide more information at his daily briefing at 11 a.m. In his tweet, he said graduations could happen as long as schools ensure “the health and safety of all in attendance.” (ROI-NJ)
Breaking News: Pro Sports Get the Green Light in New Jersey - Gov. Murphy also announced that professional sports teams in New Jersey may return to training and competition. "We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel," Murphy wrote in a tweet this morning.
Hospitalizations Seem to Be Plummeting - COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Jersey continue to drop. The number of patients was down to 2,755, Gov. Murphy reported on Sunday. That's a 34% drop from two weeks ago. (ROI-NJ) 
How New Jersey Plans to Find People Who Were Exposed to the Virus - New Jersey is hiring an ‘army’ to find and contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in an effort to stop the coronavirus. Here’s how it works. ( 
More Checks to Americans? - U.S. House Democrats want to send another $1,200 stimulus check per person. The Trump administration is willing to consider it. ( 
The State Budget in the Coronavirus Age - Gov. Murphy warned Sunday that New Jersey will have to lay off front-line workers amid the pandemic if the federal government does not approve additional funding for states. “We announced a budget on Friday for the next four months and we had it cut or defer over $5 billion of expenditures, and this includes potentially laying off educators, firefighters, police, EMS, health-care workers,” Murphy said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” (The Hill) 
Budget Deadline - Gov. Murphy and legislators must adopt a three-month supplemental budget plan by the end of June. (NJ Spotlight) 
Tell the State What You Think - The state is requesting your input to better understand how to help businesses get back to work safely and productively. By filling out this online survey, you will help guide the state’s reopening strategy and upcoming business assistance opportunities. 
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: 11,144, up from 10,843 on Friday.
Total Positive COVID-19 Tests Reported: 155,092, up from 151,472 on Friday.
For data on hospitalizations and discharges, click here.
* Resources from NJ Chamber of Commerce