July 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

 7/30/2020 9:07 AM

U.S. economy shrinks by record amount. As many as one in four workers in New Jersey has applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. How do working parents handle hybrid school schedules? 15 Rutgers football players test positive for COVID-19.

The U.S. Economy Shrunk by Record Amount – The U.S. economy shrunk at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 32.9% during the second quarter of 2020, the Commerce Department reported today. It's the largest one-quarter plunge since the federal government began reporting quarterly GDP data. (The Hill) 


Unemployment Applications Increased Last Week as COVID-19 Has Sidelined As Many As One in Four Workers in New Jersey – The number of new unemployment applications in New Jersey rose last week, with 28,063 initial claims for the week ending July 25, an 8.8 percent jump over the prior week, the state Labor Department reported this morning. That brings the total to 1.4 million new claims since COVID-19 sidelined as many as one in four workers starting in mid-March. (Insider NJ) 


How Do Working Parents Handle Hybrid School Schedules – Working parents face child care issues with hybrid school schedules, and Gov. Phil Murphy is hoping for ‘a big slug of federal cash’ to help offset child care costs for parents who work. (NJTV News) 


Bayonne Says No to School – The Bayonne Board of Education wants to buck state guidelines and keep its 9,600 students on “all-remote” learning so it can keep schools closed when the 2020-2021 school year begins. The district plans to ask for the state's permission. (nj.com) 


Some Teachers in Jersey City Hesitate on Returning – More than 200 teachers (13%) in the Jersey City Public Schools said they may not return to teach in the district in 2020-21 due to personal or family health concerns related to COVID-19, officials said. The prospect of teachers seeking leave or retiring could throw a wrench in the reopening plans. (nj.com) 


A State Bill Proposes Waiting Until at Least November to Open Schools – Three New Jersey lawmakers said yesterday they plan to introduce legislation that would require school districts to keep their buildings closed and offer only remote instruction for the start of the new school year. Under the proposed bill, starting on Oct. 31, reopening schools for in-person classes would be re-evaluated on a monthly basis. (nj.com) 


Gov. Murphy Reiterates He Wants Schools to Open with ‘Flexibility’ – Gov. Murphy reiterated that he wants New Jersey school districts to reopen with in-person classes. “Flexibility is the key watchword here – giving parents, school districts, kids, educators flexibility,” Murphy said at yesterday’s coronavirus press briefing in Trenton. (nj.com) 


Direct Aid to States and Localities May Be Hard to Spend – Congress has doled out trillions in coronavirus relief aid, but a new report from the Treasury Department finds states and localities have used less than 25% of that money. It underscores a common complaint that the money has come with so many restrictions that local leaders can barely use it. It also could complicate the next round of relief. House Democrats want to send an additional $1 trillion in support to states, while the Republican plan contains no additional funding, but changes the flexibility of existing relief rules. (CNN) 


When is the Next Federal Relief Bill Coming out of D.C.? – Those involved in negotiations say that there are deal points that can be reached but neither side is moving towards those points at the moment. The weekly $600 federal unemployment enhancement expires tomorrow, and one of the negotiating points is how Congress would replace it. (CNN) 


Testing, Testing – To eliminate delays in the delivery of test results, New Jersey is developing a statewide model for public and private COVID-19 testing which would, in part, feature 30,000 Rutgers saliva tests per day, with results available in 48 hours. (NJTV News) 


COVID-19 Cases Slowly Rise in New Jersey, and Gov. Murphy Blames House Parties – New COVID-19 cases in New Jersey have crept up to the level they were a month ago. In the past four days, the state clocked roughly 2,000 new cases, and Gov. Murphy said house parties are largely to blame. (NJBIZ) 


Rutgers Football Players Test Positive – 15 Rutgers University football players tested positive for coronavirus, following reports of house parties involving athletes on multiple Rutgers University teams. The football team halted "all in-person team activities" and quarantined its "entire program." (People) 


NJEDA Program Would Help Small Businesses Develop E-Commerce Tools – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is establishing a program to provide e-commerce technology assistance to restaurants, retail stores and personal care businesses in the Garden State to help them develop the tools they need to operate safely during the pandemic. (ROI-NJ) 


Buy From New Jersey Businesses – To promote the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's ‘Buy NJ’ campaign, put this 'postcard' on your website and share it on social media with the hashtags #BuyNJ and #BuyLocalNJ.


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

(Source: N.J. Health Department)


Total Confirmed Deaths Reported: 13,923, up from 13,905 yesterday.

Total Positive COVID-19 Tests Reported: 180,766, up from 180,295 yesterday.

For data on hospitalizations and dischargesclick here.


* Resources from NJ Chamber of Commerce