Friday, February 12th
NJ Weekly Newsletter
New Jersey Update
This afternoon, Governor Murphy held a press conference and reported an additional 3,285 new positive PCR tests, increasing the statewide total to 660,067. An additional 64 deaths were announced, increasing the statewide total to 20,147. The positivity rate is at 7.19% for tests taken on Monday. The rate of transmission is 0.81. 5 new cases of COVID UK variant have been reported - 2 in Ocean County, 1 in Passaic, 1 in Morris, 1 in Hudson - with a statewide total of 38. There have been 1,244,224 total vaccinations in NJ, with 933,160 first doses and 310,529 second doses.

The Governor signed an Executive Order allowing a limited number of parents and guardians to attend indoor/outdoor high school and other youth sporting events, effective immediately. School districts and other operators may choose to allow up to two parents/guardians per participating athlete under the age of 21 to attend practices, competitions as long as attendance does not cause indoor events to exceed 35% of the room’s capacity or 150 people total. The Executive Order can be found here.

The Governor also announced that the State will be launching community-based vaccine sites in 10 cities. This program will be operated by five teams and will serve ten cities, starting next week with Franklin Township in Somerset County, Trenton, and Elizabeth, with Vineland and Paterson in line to quickly follow.

The April 20th school and fire district elections and May 11th municipal elections will be in-person. Mail-in ballots can also be requested. There has not been a decision made on the June primary elections, but the Governor is optimistic that they will be in-person as well.

As reported from the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) the initial open enrollment period for NJ closed on January 31st with 269,500 policies purchased and more than 75,000 new customers since November 1st. The average plan costs $121/month after financial assistance. Governor Murphy is holding a special enrollment period through May 15th for anyone who still needs health insurance. Visit for details.

The Department of Health Commissioner, Judy Persichilli announced that the vaccination call center has taken over 50,000 calls, registered more than 6,000 residents and has scheduled more than 600 appointments. She highlighted answers to some frequently asked questions as well:
  • there is no cost for the vaccination, but you must live, work or study in NJ
  • pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider and assess risks before getting vaccinated
  • once vaccinated, you will still need to wear a mask
  • both doses of the vaccination should be with the same product brand
  • visitation at longterm care facilities is still paused as these facilities are still experiencing outbreaks. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a reopening plan for visitation. More information here.
  • it is unknown at this time how often a vaccination is needed.

On Wednesday, Governor Phil Murphy cancelled all in-person events and will be holding press briefings virtually until further notice due to a family member having tested positive for COVID-19, he hopes to resume travel and public appearances on Tuesday of next week. The Governor and First Lady Tammy Murphy tested negative in subsequent tests.

CVS and Rite-Aid will be received direct shipments of vaccines from the federal government this week and are in the process of scheduling appointments. Rite-Aid will only be accepting appointments through NJ's vaccine scheduling system, locations can be found here. To view CVS's appointment scheduling system, click here.

The Biden Administration also will be providing additional vaccine supply directly to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which are community-based health care centers that provide primary care services in underserved areas. NJ wasn't selected in the first phase, but Governor Murphy mentioned that this will be an important tool for equity and fairness in the vaccination rollout plan once NJ is selected.

Governor Murphy announced that all loans received as part of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will not be subject to state taxes and all expenses paid through these funds will be tax deductible, which is welcomed news for NJ's small business owners.

Applications for the NJEDA small and micro business PPE access program will reopen on Tuesday, February 16th. Businesses and organizations with under 100 employees will be eligible to apply for a 65% discount on PPE products. Businesses that were already approved in November or December won't need to reapply. To learn more or apply, click here.

The Governor provided an update for the digital divide in New Jersey schools. In the beginning of the pandemic, there were 231,000 students needing either hardware, internet connectivity, or both. As of Wednesday, the digital divide gap has decreased to 195 students - 85 of which are in Essex County with unsteady internet access.
Vaccine Distribution Information and Notices from NJ DOH

General Information

EUA Fact Sheet for COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients and Caregivers [Pfizer/BioNTech] [Moderna]

Healthcare Provider Toolkit

Information for Long-Term Care Facilities

Policy, Guidance, and Directives

NJ News Quick Links

Governor's Notices

Department and Agency Notices

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Department of Health

Department of Human Services

New Jersey Economic Development Authority
Legislative Update

Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee (2/9/2021)

S319 (Rice) - Establishes requirements for conducting health impact assessments of pending legislation; makes an appropriation. Passed

S690 (Ruiz / Vitale) - Provides that New Jersey residents have access to one cost-free postpartum home visit. Held

S1078 / A2281 (Greenstein / Turner / Armato / Mazzeo / Vainieri Huttle) - Requires Commissioner of Human Services to streamline SNAP application process for senior citizens and conduct outreach regarding senior SNAP participation. Passed

S1144 (Vitale) - Prohibits sale of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices at pharmacies and certain businesses with on-site pharmacies. Passed

S1220 (Turner) - Requires Medicaid cover emergency contraception without requiring prescription or other authorization. Passed

S1673 (Greenstein / Pou) - Requires DOH to establish Alzheimer's disease public awareness campaign. Passed

S2035 / A277 (Singleton / Armato / Karabinchak) - Requires public members of Drug Utilization Review Board to disclose financial interests and benefits received from and investment interests held in pharmaceutical manufacturers. Passed

*S2397 (Scutari / Cryan) - Establishes COVID-19 Transitional Assistance Local Grant Program in DHS. Passed

S2682 (Gopal / Kean) - Establishes the New Jersey Rare Disease Advisory Council. Passed

S2796 (Vitale / Codey) - Establishes "Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Long-Term Planning Commission" in DHS. Passed

S2943 (Codey) - Requires tobacco product retailers to carry and offer for sale certain tobacco use cessation products. Held

S3153 / A4484 (Pou / Vitale / McKnight / Kennedy / Mukherji) - Requires State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to establish long-term care advocacy and educational training program. Passed

*S3160 (Scutari / Pou) - Establishes COVID-19 Local Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program in DHS; appropriates $4 million. Passed

S3323 (Sweeney / Singleton) - Makes FY 2021 supplemental appropriation of $180 million to DCF and DHS for increased rates for social service providers in financial distress due to coronavirus disease 2019 public health crisis. Passed

SCR134 (Lagana / Scutari) - Honors the life and work of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Passed

SJR82 (Gopal / Bucco) - Designates March 9 of each year "COVID-19 Heroes Day" in New Jersey. Passed

Senate Community and Urban Affairs (2/9/2021)

S399 (Weinberg / Turner / Cunningham) - Requires residential landlords to equip steam radiators with protective covers. Passed

S724 (Bucco) - Authorizes municipality to deliver property tax bills, construction permits, and receipts for payment via e-mail. Passed

S829 (Lagana / Singleton) - Requires property condition disclosure statement to indicate presence of lead plumbing in residential property. Passed

S955 (Connors) - Authorizes counties to reduce greenhead fly populations; appropriates $50,000. Passed

S1255 (Singleton / Pou) - Requires that certain motor vehicle surcharge revenues be dedicated to the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. Passed

S1645 (Lagana / Stack) - Requires residential landlords to install protective covers on steam radiators. Combined with S399

S3174 (Gopal) - Allows certificates of registration of one to two rental dwelling units for inclusion in current DCA databases. Passed

S3343 (Rice) - Enhances protections against fraudulent deed recordings. Passed

S3373 (Singleton) - Protects homeowner in foreclosure from excessively low intervening offer. Passed

S3387 (Rice) - Establishes confidentiality of landlord-tenant court records. Passed

Senate Military and Veterans' Affairs (2/11/2021)

S1871 (Lagana) - Upgrades certain crimes of misrepresenting oneself as member or veteran of US Armed Forces or organized militia. Passed

S3028 (Bucco) - Permits dogs as service and emotional support animals at State veterans' residential facilities. Held

SR96 (Cryan / Singleton) - Honors life of Tuskegee Airman James A. Cotten. Passed

*SR109 (Singleton / Gopal) - Recognizes service of New Jersey Army and Air National Guard who were mobilized to Washington D.C. after attack on United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Passed

**SR110 (Cryan / Scutari) - Honors life of Tuskegee Airman Malcolm Nettingham. Passed


S3275 (Corrado / Pou) - Establishes Office of Inspector General for Veterans' Facilities.

S3380 (Gopal) - Creates Veterans' Memorial Homes Oversight Board.

Senate Labor (2/11/2021)

S2919 (Madden) - Establishes "Remote Work Study Commission." Passed

S3054 (Kean / Corrado) - Exempts poll worker wages from affecting unemployment compensation. Passed

S3115 / A4804 (Gopal / Pou / Downey / Houghtaling / Speight) - Modifies process for obtaining working certificates for minors. Passed

S3258 (Singleton / Pou) - Establishes Water Apprenticeship, Training, and Resources Pilot Program in DOLWD. Passed

S3414 (Sweeney) - Promotes workforce diversity in public works projects; revises "public works projects" definition to permit project labor agreements for more projects. Passed

Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation (2/11/2021)

S2891 (Pou) - Requires State registrar to provide and facilitate county surrogate access to vital statistics records in order to conduct business with county surrogate's court. Passed

S3203 (Gill / Greenstein / Turner) - Requires in person early voting period for certain elections; makes appropriation. Passed

S3264 (Pou) - Requires State agency to redact person's handwritten signature prior to publishing documents on agency's Internet website. Passed

S3322 (Beach) - Allows county boards of elections to determine location of ballot drop boxes by majority vote of its members. Passed

Senate Budget and Appropriations (2/11/2021)

S1 (Sweeney / Gopal) - Encourages sharing of services; makes appropriations. Passed

*S758 (Gopal / Scutari) - Requires workers' compensation judges to be enrolled in PERS; requires JRS rights and benefits be applied to such judges enrolled in PERS. Passed

S914 (Rice / Cunningham) - Establishes program allowing certain applicants to perform community service in lieu of paying motor vehicle surcharges. Passed

S989 (Weinberg / Greenstein) - "Healthy Terminals Act"; requires certain airport and train station workers to be paid certain wage rates and benefits. Passed

S2508 / A4250 (Gopal / Greenstein / Downey / Mukherji / Murphy) - Revises law concerning notaries and notarial acts; authorizes electronic signatures. Held

S2886 (Ruiz / Pou) - Revises law concerning standby guardianship for minor child or ward. Passed

S3033 (Sweeney / Singleton) - Establishes School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program in BPU. Passed

S3044 / A4788 (Ruiz / Pintor Marin) - Permits transfer of escheated civil forfeiture funds from Unclaimed Personal Property Trust Fund to General Fund for appropriation to Essex County Prosecutor's Office. Passed

S3233 / A4253 (Cryan / Conaway / Pinkin / Jimenez) - Requires certain electronic medical programs to include demographic data entry feature; requires certain laboratories to record patients' demographic information; requires certain hospitals and laboratories to implement cultural competency training program. Passed

S3244 / A5130 (Singleton / Jasey / Reynolds-Jackson / Wimberly) - Establishes "New Jersey Foreclosure Prevention Act." Passed

*S3357 (Stack / Singleton) - Addresses certain landlord expenses in response to COVID-19 pandemic; appropriates $300 million. Passed

S3364 (Sweeney) - Permits certain licensees to acquire alcoholic beverage license from retail food store that is bankruptcy asset. Passed
Federal and National Update
Administration and Department Information
The New Jersey Governor's Office
The Governor's Office has been updating their website with the latest information on the COVID-19 response.

The New Jersey Legislature
The New Jersey Legislature has passed legislation allowing them to virtually conduct committee meetings and voting sessions online. If you would like to view live Hearings and Voting Sessions, you may do so here.
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