Friday, October 8th
Weekly Newsletter
New Jersey Update
Today, an additional 1,661 positive COVID-19 cases were announced, increasing the statewide total to 1,014,968. An additional 19 deaths were announced, increasing the statewide total to 24,773. There have been 12,310,130 doses of vaccinations administered in NJ, with 5,914,102 individuals who live, work, or study in NJ fully vaccinated. The positivity rate is at 5.25% and the rate of transmission is 0.9.

Governor Murphy reiterated Wednesday that all school staff must be either fully vaccinated by October 18th or face regular COVID-19 testing, this Executive Order includes school bus drivers. Today the NJ Department of Health issued a directive requiring all schools to report data to them on a weekly basis. This reporting is intended to give the state a more complete picture of the cases and vaccination rates among students and staff. The Governor also provided an update on COVID-19 cases in schools as of this school year. There have been 62 school districts reporting cases of in-school transmission, 69 outbreaks reported, 319 student cases reported, and 60 staff cases reported.

The Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli, announced the CDC has released new data for vaccinations among pregnant women showing 31% have been vaccinated. Pregnant women who are not vaccinated and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are twice as likely to be admitted to intensive care, be put on a ventilator, and have a 70% increase risk of death. There is no data that the COVID-19 vaccine causes fertility problems if you are planning to become pregnant. BioNTech has submitted initial data to the FDA for vaccination for children ages 5-11. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order to increase the pay for poll workers to $300 for Election Day and a commensurate hourly increase during Early Voting.

An additional $10.2 million in CARES Act funding has been allocated to the Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP). The additional funding will be used to provide grants up to $10,000 to businesses currently in the pipeline for the program. The program will continue to assist small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which also assists landlords, many of whom are also small businesses. This new allocation of funding will support those businesses that did not receive funding in Round 2 of this initiative. The program will be targeted to businesses with 5,000 square feet of leased space or less, and is requiring standard debarment and legal qualifications from applying businesses.

Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday to share crime gun data in an effort to prevent gun violence and enhance public safety. The agreement allows law enforcement agencies from the above states to share crime gun data across state lines in order to detect, deter, and investigate gun crime, as well as identify and apprehend straw purchasers, suspect dealers, firearms traffickers, and other criminals.
Legislative Updates

The following bills were signed into law this week:

  • S1322 - Prohibits law enforcement agencies from considering number of arrests made and citations issued when evaluating police officer's professional performance.
  • A681 - Expands scope of law prohibiting age discrimination.
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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