by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
This article has been updated with case information current as of Sept. 12, 2021.
Original publication date: Oct. 14, 2020
While epidemiologists are still learning about the intricacies of the coronavirus and it numerous variants, it's become very clear that Covid-19 is highly contagious and can lead to serious illness and death in persons of all ages.
What follows is a representation, over time, of Covid-19 cases reported by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH). During the initial months of the pandemic the information was released sporadically, but starting on August 1, 2020 it has been updated daily by the state's reporting system.
NJ SUMMER 2021 RepOrt
Governor Phil Murphy
Jan. 14, 2021
“President-elect Biden continues to show he understands that this moment calls us to bold leadership. Getting ourselves in front of this pandemic, and staying there, cannot be done piecemeal and it cannot be done through austerity. It requires bold and equitable investment in our people, in our states, and in our common future.
This plan meets every need with a real lifeline to American families, real support for state and local governments and for our vaccination efforts, and a real vision for our post-pandemic economic future. I look forward to working alongside the President-elect in any way I can to see this plan swiftly passed and enacted. New Jersey will help lead our nation into the new day that beckons.
I have said many times that history would not dismiss us for going big and bold but that history would judge us if we fail to ensure that the many needs of our people and our states are adequately met. This is a moment unlike any in American history, and we cannot let it slip away unanswered. President-elect Biden is showing that he wants history to note that at this moment of national uncertainty we answered decisively and we didn’t fail.”
NJ Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill
"Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5.
This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March due to the pandemic. We found these tours so concerning that senior staff questioned the SAA on January 5 about what was taking place."
NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan
“The NJEDA’s COVID-19 relief efforts have prioritized supporting industries and communities that have been the most severely impacted by the pandemic.
We know the restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard, and we are committed to ensuring restaurants have the resources they need to stay in business while keeping their employees and customers safe.
Phase 3 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program committed more than $35 million in targeted funding to restaurants. Now Sustain and Serve NJ builds on that with additional relief for our restaurant sector. This is crucial to ensuring New Jersey’s communities and economy withstand the pandemic and are in a strong position to recover.”
New Jersey Hospital Association
"New Jersey’s hospitals recognize the important role that visits have on patients’ well-being, and continue to prioritize the safety of all patients, patient visitors and support persons, and staff.
NJHA and its members have partnered to create this visitation code system to protect everyone inside the hospitals. This guidance balances that influence with the need to reduce the risk of patients and staff being exposed or infected with the coronavirus."
NJ Governor Phil Murphy
Over the weekend, I spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci. The good news is that a vaccine is on the horizon. We anticipate broad distribution by this spring. We have a plan ready should that timeframe hold. Let’s get through the remainder of this fall and winter together.
We remain in the midst of a global pandemic. Our country is recording more than 100,000 cases per day. We have to snap back into reality – this virus hasn’t gone away, and it is posing its greatest threat to us in months.
The last thing I want to do is shut our economy back down. Thankfully, we’re not at that point. We’re taking steps today to mitigate the current increasing rate of spread. We must shake off pandemic fatigue and get back into the mindset that saw us crush the curve this spring.
We stand ready to work with President-Elect Joe Biden on matters directly related to #COVID19, whether that be in broad-based mitigation efforts or further federal coronavirus relief.
A second wave is here. This is our reality. We must redouble our efforts and recommit to the practices that have gotten us this far – social distancing, washing our hands, and wearing our masks."
President and CEO, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
Nov. 9, 2020
"Clearly, in the current environment, it is not a good idea to host a networking event that packs together hundreds of business and government leaders on a charter train and then in a hotel for a dinner. Our intent is to resume the Walk to Washington in 2022 – conditions permitting – because it is an important event for New Jersey’s business community.”
President and Founder, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
Nov. 9, 2020
“New Jersey is already one of the most diverse states in the nation. The time is now to make it the most economically inclusive state in the nation. No issue is more important to New Jersey’s economic health than creating a system where economic opportunity is available for all.”
President and CEO, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
Nov. 9, 2020
“This will be a critical undertaking and something our two chambers envisioned when we signed our memorandum of understanding in August. We want to make our joint events a rallying call for diversity and equal opportunity. We will challenge businesses in every corner of the state to do their part to change the status quo."
NJ Governor Phil Murphy
“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of garbage, leading to millions of discarded bags that stream annually into our landfills, rivers, and oceans. With today’s historic bill signing, we are addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”
Catherine R. McCabe
Commissioner NJ Department of Environmental Protection
“From our cities to our shores, single-use plastic bags unnecessarily litter New Jersey’s most treasured spaces and pollute our ecosystems. By banning single-use plastic bags, Governor Murphy and our legislature continue to make a New Jersey a national leader in environmental protection and the DEP stands ready to implement these new measures and educate the public.”
NJ State Senator Bob Smith
Chair Senate Environment and Energy Committee
“Environmental activists and supporters of this bill have been waiting years for this moment. Plastic pollution has caused untold damage to the environment and to our public health. Taking action to fight plastic pollution now is key to moving towards a plastic-free future. I want to thank the Governor for being a strong partner on this legislation.”
NJ State Senator Linda Greenstein
Vice-Chair Senate Environment and Energy Committee
“If you go to the shore, you see plastic buried in the sand and floating in the ocean. There are an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastics currently in our oceans and about eight million metric tons are added each year. We have heard from countless activists and residents around the state, and they have made it clear that they are sick of plastics polluting our ecosystem. Now that this bill is signed by the Governor, New Jersey is closer than ever to a cleaner, greener future.”
NJ Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin
“The health and safety of future generations depend on the choices we make today. Single-use plastic products are one of the single greatest threats to our oceans, environment, and health. Many of our municipalities have already taken steps to limit the use of carryout bags and containers; now, it's time for the State to act. This is the strongest law implemented in the nation to curb the use of these products and maintains New Jersey’s stance as a leader in environmental protection.”
NJ Assemblyman James Kennedy
“Single-use carryout products fill up landfills and find their way into our oceans. There are more sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternatives that many are already using in place of these products. This new law aims to encourage all of us to act together to protect New Jersey’s environmental future.”
NJ Assemblyman John McKeon
“Nearly 40 towns in New Jersey have banned plastic bags, and many others have passed ordinances addressing their use. This new law supports community efforts to reduce litter and protect their environments. The reality is: disposable plastics are causing damage to our environment. Anything we can do to curb its effects will help us better protect our oceans, our communities, our health, and to fight climate change.”
NJ State Director, Clean Water Action
“This is an environmental victory that’s been years in the making. Thank you, Governor Murphy, not once but twice - first for vetoing the 2018 bill that would set back efforts to prevent plastic waste, and now for signing the nation's strongest waste reduction law. It was well worth the wait. New Jersey is now leading the paradigm shift away from single use disposables to reusables.”
Executive Director, NJ League of Conservation Voters
“Today is an historic day for New Jersey’s waterways, 130-mile coastline, and open spaces. This nation-leading single-use plastics and paper reduction policy will do exactly what we need it to—reduce the 4.4 billion single-use plastic and 1,300 football fields of trees worth of paper bags that New Jerseyans use every year. As the political voice for the environment in New Jersey, we have even more to celebrate - this is the third of our five bold Common Agenda for the Environment legislative priorities signed into law this session. We are thankful to Governor Murphy, bill sponsors Senator Bob Smith and Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, and our partners at ANJEC, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, and New Jersey Audubon who have helped us lead the charge for this nation-leading legislation.”
Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action
It’s a good day for marine critters and the power of the people. For over 35 years, thousands of COA’s Beach Sweep volunteers have collected over 7.2 million pieces of trash, mostly plastic, off NJ’s beaches. Thanks to Governor Murphy and the NJ Legislature, we’ve successfully drawn a line in the sand and made NJ a world leader in reducing the plastic plague on this marvel of a planet.”
Executive Director, Save Barnegat Bay.
“Kudos to Governor Murphy and Senator Smith for having the guts to do something big to help clean-up our waterways. Barnegat Bay and our beaches will be cleaner for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive. We are grateful for your leadership especially during these challenging times."
Mid Atlantic Regional Manager Surfrider Foundation
“The Surfrider Foundation applauds the Governor’s decision to sign this bill. New Jersey regains some leadership on environmental issues by taking on single-use bags, foamed plastic, and plastic straws all at once with this legislation."
Director NJ Sierra Club
“This is a great day. New Jersey has now become a national leader in going after plastics and protecting our environment. This statewide plastic ban will help protect our rivers and streams from plastic that has been known to kill whales, get into our environment, and into us. This comprehensive plastic ban not only bans plastic bags, but also polystyrene and the offering of plastic straws. This is a critical step forward when it comes to protecting our environment from plastics. There were those who wanted legislation that only put a fee on plastic and fought for a weak bill 2 years ago. We want to thank the Governor for all he did signing this bill and vetoing the weaker bill. Now we have the strongest plastic ban in the nation.”
Executive Director Association of NJ Environmental Commissions (ANJEC)
“This is an historic day for New Jersey. This law marks a monumental step forward in the fight against the fossil fuel industry and their production of disposable plastics, and a win for wildlife, clean rivers, and our ocean. After years of local officials taking steady, incremental steps towards banning single-use plastic by passing 130 local ordinances, we are finally doing away with polluting plastic bags and polystyrene food containers for good. This law is a product of many stakeholders and legislators working together to ensure all voices are heard, and we thank Governor Murphy for signing this bill into law.”
President Beyond Plastics
Former EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator
“Hats off to Governor Murphy for signing this sweeping plastic reduction law. This is exactly the type of law we need to reverse the projection that in the next decade, there will be one pound of plastic in the ocean for every three pounds of fish. This never would have happened without broad public support and local governments first adopting their own plastic reduction laws. Now is a good time for all residents of New Jersey to start using reusable bags and avoid polystyrene and not even wait for the new law to kick in."
Director Environment New Jersey
“Gov. Murphy signed the strongest single-use ban on plastics in the country to prioritize our wildlife and our communities over endless plastic waste polluting our waterways. Plastic and polystyrene items we use for 15 minutes should not end up in our environment and communities for endless generations. Polystyrene cannot be cost-effectively recycled on a mass scale and we need to transition to reusable bags. We are deeply thankful for Gov. Murphy’s leadership vetoing a half-measure plastics bill two years ago and his support for a more comprehensive ban and we are thrilled that New Jersey can be a national leader in reducing single-use waste.”
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