TRENTON – As part of the state’s coordinated response to address the novel coronavirus outbreak, Governor Phil Murphy today declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency, effective immediately, to ramp up New Jersey’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order No. 103 declares a state of emergency and public health emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.

“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” said Governor Murphy. “My Administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19.”

The declaration tasks the State Director of Emergency Management and Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, Colonel Patrick Callahan, in conjunction with New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner, Judith Persichilli, to oversee the implementation of the State Emergency Operations plan and generally direct the State’s emergency response.

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Additionally, the declaration triggers other executive powers and safeguards, such as prohibiting excessive price increases pursuant to New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and the ability to waive certain procurement procedures to expedite the delivery of goods and services necessary for coronavirus preparedness and response efforts.

Governor Murphy’s emergency declaration also empowers all State agencies, specifically the Departments of Banking and Insurance, Health, Human Services, and the Civil Service Commission to take all appropriate steps to address the public health hazard of COVID-19.

For a copy of Executive Order No. 103 click here. For the latest information on novel coronavirus, please visit www.nj.gov/health or call 1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-962-1253 (if using out-of-state phone line).

Locally, the Maplewood Public Health Department has issued the following statement:

We want to provide you with the most up to date information on the coronavirus as news and updates are changing constantly. 

1. There are currently 6 positive cases of coronavirus in New Jersey. 

2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that those over 60 and those with underlying health conditions should practice social distancing and avoid large crowds in public spaces and large gatherings. 

3. What is a PUBLIC SPACE? A public space is any place where groups of people can freely gather. Examples are the mall, the grocery store, the movie theatre, a concert hall, a library, a gym or community center. 

4. Reconsider travel plans by plane and continually follow the travel advisories by the CDC.

5. To prevent the spread of any respiratory disease, please practice RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE. That means:

a. Cover your cough (or your sneeze) with the elbow of your sleeve or with a tissue and throw it away. 
b. Wash your hands for 20 seconds and use a paper towel to open the door if you are in a public space or use hand sanitizer
c. Wash your hands every time, after being in a public space
d. Stay home if you are sick. 
e. Get a flu shot. While the flu shot does not prevent coronavirus, it can help protect your immune system and keep you healthy during this time. 

6. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that those who have travelled to a Level 3 Travel advisory area, to self-monitor or self-quarantine at home and practice social distancing for 14 days from the time you left that country. 

a. When you are self-quarantining/ self- monitoring, you may not have any symptoms. 
b. If you are self-monitoring, please practice social distancing. Social distancing is staying away from public spaces, and not attending social events. 

7. If you have traveled, or have come in contact with a positive case of coronavirus and are exhibiting signs and symptoms of cough, fever and shortness of breath, please call your health care provider. Inform them by phone of your travel or exposure history and your symptoms BEFORE you go to the doctor’s office, or to the emergency room. 

8. Starting this week, your health care provider can write a prescription for you to get a CoV lab test at a commercial lab such as Quest or LabCorp. However they will not test you unless you meet the symptom criteria of coughing, fever and shortness of breath and have had exposure to a positive CoV case or a recent travel history. 

9. If you have any questions about self- monitoring during this time, please call the 24 hour state hotline for CoV: (800) 222-1222.