TRENTON, NJ — Lawmakers representing Belmar and Lake Como are urging Gov. Phil Murphy to reopen businesses and services as the Jersey Shore begins its summer season.

In light of declining trends related to the spread of the coronavirus, Sen. Robert Singer, and Assemblymen Sean Kean and Edward “Ned” Thomson (R-Monmouth/Ocean) said they are imploring the governor to reopen nonessential businesses to foot traffic, service professions such as salons and barber shops, and other industries that can implement health precautions.

“The numbers of deaths, new cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 are thankfully decreasing. However, many people and businesses are financially at the breaking point,” they said on May 22 in a joint statement. We are hearing heartbreaking stories from families and businesses who cannot pay rent, are waiting for unemployment or are facing other dire financial circumstances.”

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The 30th District legislators specifically referenced New Jersey’s 15.3 percent unemployment — the highest level since the state first started recording the monthly number in 1976.

READ MORE: NJ's Unemployment Rate Soars to Record-Breaking High of 15.3%

On May 22, New Jersey officials reported the fifth straight day that there were less than 200 additional coronavirus-related deaths, and the 16th consecutive day with fewer than 2,000 additional positive cases.

The state now reports a total of 152,719 cases, 10,985 lab-confirmed deaths and 555,314 total tests performed. Its current positivity rate stands at 14 percent.

The latest data, including discharges and hospital census, is updated on the New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard.


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