What to Know
- New Jersey auto dealerships and bicycle shops can resume in-person sales Wednesday morning.
- Go. Phil Murphy is noting decreasing cases and hospitalizations as he slowly reopens parts of the economy.
- Pharmacists can now administer COVID-19 tests without a doctor's prescription.
With new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations slowing, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has lifted restrictions put on in-person auto and bicycle sales.
Starting Wednesday at 6 a.m. -- not as of Friday as Murphy first tweeted -- car, boat and motorcycle dealerships could resume sales again, Murphy said Tuesday. Bike shops could also begin selling bicycles in person again.
Social distancing must remain in place and all visits must be by appointment only. Workers must wear face coverings, according to Murphy's administrative order. Businesses must decline entry to customers -- without medical reasons -- not wearing at least a cloth mask and not willing to wear a face covering if supplied.
Rules are in place for test drives, including that only the customer can be in the vehicle or boat or on the bike and that the car, boat or bike must be disinfected afterward.
By Memorial Day weekend, Jersey Shores beaches, batting cages, driving ranges, tennis clubs, shooting clubs and more will also be added to the list of public places that are open again after coronavirus restrictions.
There have been more than 149,000 COVID-19 cases in the Garden State and at least 10,586 deaths related to the coronavirus as of Tuesday.
Among the 162 new deaths reported Tuesday was a 22-year-old, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. There was no further information if that young person had any preexisting conditions. Most COVID-19 deaths (more than 75%) have been people 65 and older.
In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have been slowing throughout the Garden State. Only Cumberland and Hunterdon Counties have seen cases double in the past 30 days.
Two-week trends for hospitalizations, use of ventilators and intensive care units for patients are down across the state, Murphy said — factors leading to the phasing in of certain parts of the economy. As of Monday night, COVID-19 patients in ICUs had dropped below 1,000 for the first time in weeks.
"The curve continues to move in the right direction overall," Murphy said.
Murphy urged people to cover their faces in public, remain socially distant from each other and practice proper hygiene to avoid contracting the virus.
Pharmacists Permitted to Test for COVID-19
New Jersey's 18,000 or so pharmacists can now administer tests for the novel coronavirus without a prescription needed, Murphy announced Tuesday.
The tests must be FDA approved, the Democratic governor said.
"These tests can be given without a prescription," Murphy said.
By the end of the month, about 50 CVS locations will be offering self-swab COVID-19 tests, Murphy said.
Changing How Long-Term Care Facility Deaths Are Counted
Deaths in New Jersey's hard-hit long-term care facilities are now only being counted if they are lab confirmed. As of Tuesday, that number was at 4,295.
Previously, the death total in long-term care facilities was about 1,400 deaths higher as they were counted differently.
"We were not reporting these as it turns out apples to apples," Murphy said.
The previous death total included deaths presumed to be due to COVID-19, but that weren't lab confirmed.