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March 19, 2020

New Jersey orders all personal care businesses to shut down

Gov. Murphy also enacts moratorium to prevent evictions, foreclosures

All personal care businesses in New Jersey that cannot implement social distancing requirements must close their doors by 8 p.m. Thursday until further notice, Gov. Phil Murphy announced. 

With coronavirus cases continuing a rapid ascent, Murphy also enacted a moratorium to indefinitely prevent evictions or foreclosures. 

Murphy’s shutdown mandate includes barber shops, hair salons, spas, nail and eyelash salons, tattoo parlors and social clubs.  

He signed the moratorium after the state Senate passed legislation handing him the authority to halt evictions and foreclosures via executive order. 

There currently are not any plans to cancel or postpone the New Jersey's primary elections, scheduled for June 2, Murphy said. But he added that state officials "will not hesitate to act if the emergency requires us to do so. We want to make sure everyone is safe in voting."

The measures are his latest aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. New Jersey had 742 COVID-19 cases, including nine deaths through Thursday afternoon. Another 74 people were under investigation. 

Gov. Murphy previously urged residents to stay home between 8 p.m and 5 a.m. until further notice. He also instructed all gyms, movie theaters, race tracks, casinos, shopping malls and amusements parks to close. 

Some non-essential businesses, including restaurants, are permitted to remain open between 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., but their occupancies need to be kept to less than 50 people. They also need to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Restaurants and bars must close dining services after 8 p.m. but can remain open for takeout and delivery. Essential businesses, like supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and medical offices, may remain open after the 8 p.m. curfew. 

New Jersey, along with Pennsylvania, also has banned gatherings of 50 people or more in order to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19. That follows guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has advised prohibiting such gatherings until mid-May.

There were 34 positive cases of coronavirus in South Jersey as of Thursday afternoon. Burlington County had 14 cases, Camden County had 13 cases, Atlantic County had three cases, Gloucester County had three cases and Cape May County had one case

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