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April 08, 2020

New Jersey halts non-essential construction until coronavirus crisis eases

Gov. Phil Murphy's order takes effect at 8 p.m. Friday

Construction Coronavirus
New Jersey non-essential construction coronavirus covid-19 Pixabay/Pexels

New Jersey has placed all non-essential construction on hold indefinitely as state officials seek to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

All non-essential construction projects in New Jersey must shut down by 8 p.m. Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday.

The order, which will remain in place indefinitely, is the state's latest attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. 

Construction involving hospitals, schools, affordable housing, transportation and public utilities are exempt. So are individual projects that enact limits on the necessary number of onsite workers. 

“This executive order will also put greater protections in place for workers at our warehouses, and in manufacturing,” Murphy said. “No one should be working where social distancing isn’t being practiced to its fullest extent.”

The action also requires all New Jersey residents and essential workers to wear masks while in retail stores. Essential stores must implement strict social distancing guidelines to "mitigate overcrowding."

Those measures include limiting the number of customers allowed in the store to no more than 50% capacity, providing special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, placing physical barriers between customers and employees where necessary and regularly sanitizing areas used by employees. 

New Jersey has 47,437 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 1,504 deaths due to COVID-19, as of Wednesday afternoon. Most cases are in North Jersey. But South Jersey has recorded 2,363 positive cases, including 58 deaths.

Pennsylvania also has halted all non-essential construction sites.

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