TRENTON, NJ — Shoppers now must wear a face covering when going into a store, according to one of three new executive orders Gov. Phil Murphy signed today, along with his pleas for families to “stay away from each other” on the first night of Passover.

During his daily briefing Wednesday, the governor said shoppers entering supermarkets and pharmacies, some of the few stores currently allowed open during the coronavirus statewide shutdown must wear a facial covering or they could be asked to leave.

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“I hope customers are asked to leave if they are not wearing a covering,” he said, adding hewould look into a legal remedy.

A Murphy staff member at the press conference added that stores could allow a shopper to enter but limit the individual’s time in the store. Stores would be required to limit shoppers to 50% of their capacity, as well.

That order included the stoppage of all non-essential construction by 8 p.m. Friday, April 10. Schools, hospitals and affordable housing are some of the construction exceptions the governor mentioned.

Another executive order moved the state’s primary from June 2 to July 7 in order to allow a greater number of in-person voting.

“Democracy cannot be a casualty of COVID-19,” he said, although the state is gearing up for a possible all mail-in ballot, if necessary.
The third executive order increases weight limits for trucking from 40 tons to 46 tons, which can increase cargo for deliveries.

“We’re not running out of food or supplies,” Murphy said. “We’re strained, yes.”

The governor talked throughout the press conference about social distancing during the first day of Passover, suggesting those who celebrate needed to “get creative.”

“We need to continue to stay vigilant, if not more vigilant,” he said. “We need to tighten social distancing, not loosen it. I take no joy in this.”

He gave a “shout-out” to Jewish families on the eve of Passover, saying they should celebrate with their “immediate family only. You can’t gather in any numbers.”

Calling it a paradox, Murphy said that although the curve of total cases could begin to flatten, fatalities will continue to rise.

Murphy announced 275 more deaths since yesterday’s announcement, with a total of 1,504 deaths statewide due to COVID-19.

There is a running count of 3,088 new cases of the virus and a total of 47,437 cases in the state announced today, April 8.

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