Gov Murphy Plans The Road Back: How We Will Safely Reopen New Jersey

by The Village Green
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From Governor Phil Murphy:

The past few months have been a time of great personal sacrifice for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every single New Jerseyan — whether you or a loved one have had to confront the illness directly, or you are facing financial challenges, or you have simply had to adjust to a new normal of living under quarantine. But thanks to the inspiring work of our frontline medical professionals, our first responders and the millions of residents who are following social distancing orders, we have reached a point where we can begin to look at reopening our state in a safe, responsible way.

Today I announced “The Road Back” — a vision for restarting New Jersey and putting our state on the road to recovery. You can read the full plan here.

The plan includes six key principles, and it is guided by one fundamental truth — public health creates economic health, and it can only work in that order. Our priority is to use science, data, and facts to put New Jersey on the road to recovery. Restarting New Jersey’s economy and returning people to work will be done methodically and strategically, with common sense and Jersey values.

It’s important to note that our stay-at-home Executive Order, which has been in effect since March 21st, will remain in effect in its entirety until further notice. The following six principles and key metrics will guide the process for lifting these restrictions and restoring New Jersey’s economic health through public health.

Principle 1: Demonstrate Sustained Reductions in New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations

14-day trend lines showing appreciable and sustained drop in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and other metrics reflecting decreasing burden of disease;

Hospitals stepping down from functioning under crisis standards of care.

Principle 2: Expand Testing Capacity

At least double current diagnostic testing capacity;

Prioritize testing for health care workers, essential personnel, and vulnerable populations;

Create a flexible testing plan accessible to all residents;

Expand partnerships with institutions of higher education, private-sector labs, and the federal government;

Ensure that those who test positive are linked to a health care provider.

Principle 3: Implement Robust Contact Tracing

Recruit and deploy an army of personnel who will identify and follow-up with contacts;

Leverage technological data and innovative solutions to increase efficiency;

Coordinate the approach of local and state health officials, which will have a coordinated county/regional component.

Principle 4: Secure Safe Places and Resources for Isolation and Quarantine

To the greatest extent possible, provide individuals who do test positive in the future with a safe and free place to isolate and protect others from COVID-19;

Ensure that quarantined contacts are provided supportive services, if needed.

Principle 5: Execute a Responsible Economic Restart

Create the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission to advise on the process and recommend responsible and equitable decisions;

Plan for a methodical and strategic return to work based on level of disease transmission risk and essential classification;

Continuation of social distancing measures, requirements for face coverings, and work-from-home directions where feasible and appropriate;

Leverage any available federal funds and programs to support health care, individual, and small business recoveries.

Principle 6: Ensure New Jersey’s Resiliency

Learn from the lessons of COVID-19 and prepare for the possibility of a resurgence;

Ensure hospitals, health care systems, and other health delivery facilities have inventories of personal protective equipment and ventilators;

Build our own state personal protective equipment and ventilator stockpile;

Create a playbook for future administrations for the next pandemic.

We are not out of the woods yet, and we have to remain vigilant in following social distancing orders. But I believe that these guidelines will allow us to get to where we need to be, which is a reality where we can responsibly begin to turn the page on this crisis and restore a sense of normalcy to our state.

We can’t get there unless we keep doing what we’re doing. Remember, you can visit our COVID-19 Information Hub and follow our social media feeds for up to date information on the current situation.

The last thing I’ll say is this — thank you. Without the sacrifices millions of New Jerseyans are making, we would not be in a position to even begin planning for our recovery. We can only get through this crisis together, and I have never been more proud to lead this great state.

Governor Phil Murphy

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