New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will sign an executive order limiting the number of people in stores to 50% of a store's usual capacity. In addition, employees and customers must wear face coverings in stores and must allow special shopping hours for at-risk groups, Murphy said.
Murphy also announced Wednesday he'll sign an executive order that will move the state's election back to July 7.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
Finally, Wednesday night Murphy signed an executive order ceasing all non-essential construction projects in the state and imposing additional mitigation requirements on essential retail businesses and essential industries.
The announcements were made as New Jersey continues to reel from the novel coronavirus. On Wednesday officials announced another 275 people died and another 3,088 people were infected. The death toll in the state now stands at 1,504 with 47,437 infections.
New Jersey is also set to open its second, but largest yet, field hospital as part of the effort to confront the COVID-19 outbreak.
Murphy and other state and military officials were set Wednesday to tour the 500-bed facility in Edison at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center.
Another field hospital opened recently in Secaucus and has 250 beds.
The field hospitals are expected to serve only non-coronavirus patients, taking pressure off other facilities so they can address those with COVID-19, according to the governor.
Another facility is expected to open in Atlantic City, though it’s not clear when.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
A look at other developments:
NJ TRANSIT DEATH
New Jersey Transit has reported its first death from COVID-19.
Conductor Joe Hansen was 62 and had worked for the agency for more than 20 years, most recently on the Raritan Valley Line.
Eighty-seven NJ Transit employees had tested positive for the coronavirus, including 57 who work operating trains or buses or cleaning stations, the agency said Tuesday.
More than 500 employees were quarantining as they awaited test results, President and CEO Kevin Corbett said. NJ Transit has approximately 12,000 employees.
NURSING HOME DEATHS
At least a dozen deaths at an Elizabeth nursing home were attributed to the virus, Mayor Chris Bollwage told NJ.com .
The facility has been closed to new admissions.
Coronavirus is hitting New Jersey’s nursing homes hard. Half of the state’s 375 facilities have at least one positive case of the virus, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli has said.
OCEAN CITY OUTSIDERS
The mayor of a New Jersey Shore town says residents have been begging him to close the bridges into town to keep outsiders away during the virus outbreak.
Jay Gillian wrote in a message to residents Tuesday night that he does not have that authority.
But even if he did, the mayor wrote, that would set a bad precedent. “Now is not the time to point fingers and to blame others,” he wrote. “It’s a time to work together. If we spend our energy scorning our neighbors, we will leave scars that will last much longer than coronavirus.”
Ocean City is one of many resort towns around the nation where a contentious online debate has raged — pitting year-round residents against visitors or summer residents — over whether it is appropriate for part-timers to go there during the virus outbreak, potentially spreading contagion and overwhelming local resources.