Friday, January 22nd
NJ Weekly Newsletter
New Jersey Update
This afternoon, New Jersey reported an additional 3,694 positive COVID-19 tests increasing the statewide total to 584,291. An additional 118 confirmed deaths were announced, increasing the statewide total to 18,754. The positivity rate is at 10.1% as of Friday and the rate of transmission is at 1.04.

The Governor emphasized that there are currently two separate vaccination categories: the first is a federally administered vaccination program which delivers vaccines to long term care (LTC) facility individuals and residents and other populations under federal provision, of which NJ has one of the highest vaccination rates of the nation. This category is administered by CVS and Walgreens.

The second category of vaccine doses go to NJ's six mega sites and 133 sites currently online; as of now 50-70% of the daily available vaccine supplies are being distributed from this category; at a higher rate than that of the aforementioned category. 500,222 doses have been distributed so far, with over 65,000 LTC residents and staff.

On Monday morning, a call-in hotline will be available to help individuals schedule vaccination appointments 855-568-0545, particularly for the State's elderly residents.

Two U.K. COVID-19 variant cases have been identified in New Jersey. One of the individuals did not reflect travel history or contact with anyone with COVID-19. The other, a child, was asymptomatic but did show travel history in recent weeks. The current vaccines are effective against this new variant. The variant is assumed to be more transmittable but not seen as more lethal at this point in time.

Governor Phil Murphy announced that Paul R. Rodríguez, Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, will be replaced by Kaitlin Caruso as Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Attorney General's Office. Former Director Rodriguez will be leaving the Murphy Administration to join the Biden-Harris Administration effective immediately. Please find the link to the release here. This appointment followed last week's announcements that Carol Johnson, former Department of Human Services Commissioner and Justin Dews, former counsel to the Governor also joined the Biden Harris Administration. Additionally it was announced that Chief Policy Advisor, Vinn White, will be leaving the NJ Department of Transportation to join the federal Department of Transportation.

The Department of Labor announced that the number of initial unemployment claims has gone down this past week, and the $300 extra in unemployment claims has began to be distributed.

On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy held a press briefing and emphasized that NJ is in need of additional vaccine doses and is hopeful that with a new administration, they can ramp up in-state capabilities. The Governor extended the public health emergency for the 11th time. The public health emergency must be extended every 30 days to remain in effect.

The following categorizes where NJ is at in vaccinating certain vulnerable populations:
  • Nursing homes: 90% scheduled for vaccination clinics
  • Intellectual or developmental disability centers and homes: 90% scheduled
  • Residential care facilities: 74% scheduled
  • Assisted-care facilities: 64% scheduled

Governor Murphy also provided an updated on NJ schools:
  • 80 are open for in-person instruction
  • 360 are offering hybrid or in-person and remote instruction
  • 325 are offering fully remote instruction
  • 46 districts implementing a mix of all remote, in-person, and hybrid learning
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 Notices


Department of Labor and Workforce Development


Department of Health

Federal and National Update
NJ Legislative Update

Senate Commerce Committee (1/21/2021)
  • S1559 (Scutari) - "New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act." Passed with amendments

  • S1726 (Lagana / Pou) - Prohibits sale of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals. Passed with amendments

  • S2728 (Sweeney) - Adds two members to State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Contractors. Passed

  • S3066 (Pou) - Permits use of alternate names by limited liability partnerships. Passed

  • S3093 (Gopal / Sweeney) - Establishes county-based mitigation plan to allow businesses to operate during pandemic. Passed with amendments

  • S3145 (Greenstein / Pou) - Concerns names required on applications for professional and occupational licensure. Passed with amendments

  • S3175 / A4246 (Pou / Verrelli / Benson / Vainieri Huttle) - Permits expedited licensure in mental health professions for certain out-of-State individuals during state of emergency or public health emergency. Passed with amendments

  • S3238 (Ruiz / Pou) - Establishes New Jersey Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program. Passed with amendments

  • *S3171 / *A3384 (Pou / McKeon) - Makes various revisions to "Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act"; renames act to "Uniform Voidable Transactions Act." Passed with amendments

  • SR101 (Pou / Gopal) - Urges New Jersey residents to patronize small businesses to support them through COVID-19 pandemic. Passed

Senate Environment and Energy Committee (1/21/2021)
  • S83 (Bateman / Codey) - Establishes "Jersey Native Plants Program." Passed

  • S329 (Smith) - Establishes "Solar Roof Installation Warranty Program" in EDA and transfers $2 million from societal benefits charge to initially fund program. Passed with amendments

  • S2605 (Smith / Bateman) - Directs BPU to establish utility-scale solar energy development program; modifies State's renewable energy portfolio standards. HELD

  • S2846 / A740 (Gopal / Johnson / Conaway / DeCroce) - Requires State agencies in awarding contracts for purchase of items that require power source to consider items powered by fuel cells. Passed with amendments

  • S3184 (Greenstein) - Provides corporation business tax credit and allows gross income tax deduction for purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations. Passed with amendments

FOR DISCUSSION ONLY:
  • S2679 (Beach) - Requires paint producers to implement or participate in paint stewardship program.

Senate Higher Education Committee (1/21/2021)
  • The committee received testimony from invited representatives of institutions of higher education on the challenges their institutions face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Transportation Committee (1/21/2021)
  • S1882 (Turner) - Clarifies extension of driver's license, identification card, and motor vehicle registration expiration dates for certain military personnel. Passed with amendments

  • S3190 / A5057 (Smith / Bateman / Danielsen / Speight / Taliaferro) - Authorizes NJ Infrastructure Bank to finance aviation and marine infrastructure projects; makes various other changes to bank's enabling act. Passed

  • S3330 (Diegnan / Bucco) - Extends timeframe for receiving certain documents issued by MVC under certain circumstances. Passed

  • SJR17 (Madden) - Establishes "Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizen Transportation Services Task Force" to study and make recommendations concerning ways to improve transportation services for persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Passed

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee (1/21/2021)
  • S1 (Sweeney / Gopal) - Encourages sharing of services; makes appropriations. HELD

  • S854 / S237 (Turner / Singleton / Ruiz / Singleton / Greenstein) - "Laura Wooten's Law"; Requires civics instruction in middle school; authorizes New Jersey Center for Civic Education to provide curricula, professional development and technical assistance for middle and high school civics. Passed

  • S887 (Sweeney / Greenstein) - "Medicaid Prescription Drug Quality, Cost, and Transparency Act."; establishes requirements for single entity to administer prescription drug benefits under Medicaid program. Passed with amendments

  • S975 (Kean) - Establishes trunk fighting as animal cruelty offense and crime of the third degree. Passed

  • S1740 (Oroho / Greenstein) - Requires MVC to place notation on vehicle's registration certificate indicating registrant is deaf. Passed with amendments

  • S2503 (Ruiz / Cryan / Cunningham) - Increases strangulation assault to crime of second degree. Passed

  • S2759 (Vitale / Madden) - Establishes additional requirements for DOH to assess sanctions and impose penalties on long-term care facilities; revises reporting requirements for facilities. Passed with amendments

  • S2789 (Vitale / Weinberg) - Revises licensure, operational, and reporting requirements for long-term care facilities. Passed with amendments

  • S3091 (Addiego / Bateman) - Requires developers to offer unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology as option in new construction; establishes tax incentives, and State and local purchasing preferences, for unit concrete products that utilize carbon foot-print reducing technology. Passed with amendments

  • S3234 (Singleton / Bucco) - Allows deduction from tax of certain expenses when taxpayer's federal paycheck protection program loan is forgiven and excludes those forgiven loans from gross income tax. Passed with amendments

  • S3274 (Stack / Sacco) - "Palisades Cliffs Protection Act," limits height of new construction in area below cliffs east of Palisades. HELD

  • S3305 (Smith / Oroho) - Allows gross income tax credit for nonresidential building improvements to reduce spread of COVID-19. Passed with amendments

  • A4478 (Vainieri Huttle / Speight / Schepisi) - Establishes additional requirements for DOH to assess sanctions and impose penalties on nursing homes; revises reporting requirements for nursing homes. Passed with amendments
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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