TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy announced during his daily COVID-19 press conference today that indoor portions of retail shopping malls may reopen on Monday, June 29.

It won't be business as usual, however. He is requiring masks to be worn, and all stores will be limited to 50% capacity. Restaurants still will be limited to take-out or outdoor dining, and food court seating and common seating areas remain closed until further notice. Movie theaters and arcades will also remain closed.

"Malls are part of New Jersey culture and lure," Murphy said. "We want these businesses to get back up and running responsibly and safely. If you head out to the mall, please comply with the requirements in place."

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"Let's keep this restart going," the governor said.

Also in business-related news, the governor announced that  26,392 initial unemployment claims were filed with the New Jersey Dept. of Labor last week.

"The Department of Labor’s staff continues working diligently to see claims resolved in a timely manner and that benefits flow as quickly as possible," he said. "If you are frustrated, I don't blame you... Hang in there, you will get every single penny that is coming to you," 

"The onslaught of unemployment claims over the past three months is unprecedented. The Department of Labor continues to do all it can to resolve issues and get benefits flowing," Murphy added. "The overwhelming number of claims have been cleared, and we will not rest until every penny is properly disbursed."

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 trends continue in the right direction.

"We’ve received 442 new positive COVID19 test results, bringing our statewide cumulative total since March 4th to 168,107," Murphy said. "The spot positivity rate for COVID19 tests from June 14th was 2.94%. Our rate of transmission is 0.75. These are two of the best measures for tracking COVID-19’s spread. Today’s numbers tell us that our work to crush the curves has been working – we need to keep at it."

The governor announced that another 38 New Jersey residents have succumbed to the coronavirus, which brings the statewide total to 12,800 deaths.

"Let’s always remember those we’ve lost and the impact they had on their families, their communities, and our state," the governor said.

DACA Decision

Gov. Phil Murphy started his daily COVID-19 press conference today by applauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision allowing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) to stay in place.

"Our DREAMers are every bit as American as my four kids," Murphy said. "I’m proud the Supreme Court saw the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle DACA as the unlawful step it was. Next step for Congress: A path to full citizenship. We will be there to help."

"We applaud the Court’s ruling to protect the more than 16,000 Dreamers who call New Jersey home, and who are among the more than 800,000 Dreamers across our country who are just as American as any child born here," Murphy said in a press release.

"As our state continues to face unprecedented challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Dreamers are directly contributing to our communities  -- as students, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, employees, job creators, and front line workers. We celebrate their contributions and remain committed to supporting them and their families," the governor added.

To view the full press conference, click here:

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