TRENTON, NJ — In the latest tightening of restrictions on New Jerseyans to squelch the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy is now requiring all shoppers to wear face coverings when going into stores — or be faced with being asked to leave.

Stores must also limit shoppers to 50 percent of the store’s capacity, provide special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, erect physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers where practicable, and regularly sanitized areas used by their employees, he said during his April 8 press briefing.

READ MORE: How to Make Your Own Face Covering

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Since the governor's order, the Belmar/Lake Como Office of Emergency Management has offered its own directive, stating that customers refusing to wear a cloth mask must be denied entry to the business. While cloth face masks are the minimum requirement, customers and employees may also wear other types of masks or coverings if available, it said.

To further push Murphy's “aggressive efforts to enforce social distancing,” his executive order also calls for the stoppage of all nonessential construction as of 8 p.m. on Friday, April 10, except for school, hospital and affordable housing projects.

Murphy also announced two additional executive orders — moving primary election day from June 2 to July 7 and increasing the weight limits on trucks carrying COVID relief supplies from 40 tons to 46 tons when traveling interstate highways and toll roads.

In the daily rundown of the numbers, another 3,088 new positive cases were added to New Jersey’s total, which now stands at 47,437 —the second-highest statewide number of COVID-19 in the nation after New York with nearly 149,428 new cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.  

With 94,529 tests performed, yielding 47,437 positive results, the New Jersey has a 44 percent positivity rate, the state reported.

There are now 7,026 people hospitalized who have tested positive for the disease or are under investigation, including 1,617 who are in critical care units. Of those, 1,576 are on ventilators, said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

The state’s health care systems health systems and independent acute care hospitals have already increased potential bed capacity by 60 percent, according to state officials.

In addition, 231 of 575 long-term care facilities, assisted living and other housing settings in the state have at least one resident testing positive for the coronavirus.

With 275 new deaths reported, COVID-19 has been associated in claiming 1,504 lives, with the following breakdown:

  • 59 percent were male and 41 percent female.
  • 44 percent were over age of 80.
  • 33 percent were between age 65 and 79.
  • 44 percent had underlying conditions.
  • 48 deaths were associated with long-term care facilities. 

In Monmouth County, the disease has claimed 86 lives in Monmouth after another 15 were added to the total, including Jerry Lynch of Wall, who was active in the Belmar community for many years, and Diana Tennant, 51, of Bradley Beach, who was a longtime employee at Fulfill in Neptune.

READ MORE:

Jerry Lynch, Patriarch of Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Dies of Coronavirus Complications

Fulfill Food Bank Mourns Loss of Employee Diana Tennant of Bradley Beach

There were 272 new positive coronavirus cases in Monmouth for a total of 3,042, according to county data. While Belmar’s total stands at four cases, Lake Como has now reported six cases. The following is the breakdown of the 52 of Monmouth’s 53 municipalities that have at least one reported case of COVID-19. Interlaken remains the only town without a reported case.

  • Aberdeen: 80
  • Allenhurst: 1
  • Allentown: 2
  • Asbury Park: 60
  • Atlantic Highlands: 10
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 9
  • Belmar: 4
  • Bradley Beach: 13
  • Brielle: 18
  • Colts Neck: 41
  • Deal: 20
  • Eatontown: 82
  • Englishtown: 9
  • Fair Haven: 15
  • Farmingdale: 10
  • Freehold Borough: 78
  • Freehold Township: 226
  • Hazlet: 115
  • Highlands: 11
  • Holmdel: 100
  • Howell: 274
  • Keansburg: 44
  • Keyport: 34
  • Lake Como: 6
  • Little Silver: 24
  • Loch Arbour: 1
  • Long Branch: 152
  • Manalapan: 252
  • Manasquan: 21
  • Marlboro: 239
  • Matawan: 73
  • Middletown: 254
  • Millstone: 35
  • Monmouth Beach: 12
  • Neptune City: 16
  • Neptune Township: 156
  • Ocean: 140
  • Oceanport: 32
  • Red Bank: 60
  • Roosevelt: 2
  • Rumson: 23
  • Sea Bright: 8
  • Sea Girt: 8
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 21
  • Shrewsbury Township: 4
  • Spring Lake: 6
  • Spring Lake Heights: 11
  • Tinton Falls: 51
  • Union Beach: 15
  • Upper Freehold: 23
  • Wall: 102
  • West Long Branch: 35
  • Unknown: 4

While the county total includes four more cases than state's latest count, officials note that agencies report COVID-19 information at different times every day, and verification can also result in discrepancies in the reported numbers.

CORONAVIRUS: STAYING ‘IN THE KNOW’

The  COVID-19 Information Hub has been created by the N.J. Office of Innovation, providing live updates, resources and other vital information on the coronavirus.

For more information on novel coronavirus, click here to access the N.J. Department of Health website and click here for the latest details from CDC. 

Anyone with questions can call the N.J. Poison Control Center hot line at 1-800-222-1222  or email ncov@dohnj.gov.

NJ 211 has been activated to help handle COVID-19 related calls from residents. Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed. To receive live text assistance, residents can text their zip code to 898-211.