Here’s What You Can Do In Coronavirus Crisis

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NEW JERSEY – Get ready to party like it’s …. February. Monday promises to be New Jersey’s biggest reopening day since Gov. Phil Murphy issued a stay-at-home order and closed nonessential businesses on March 21. (see the list of what you can and can’t do below). As part of New […]

NEW JERSEY – Get ready to party like it’s …. February.

Monday promises to be New Jersey’s biggest reopening day since Gov. Phil Murphy issued a stay-at-home order and closed nonessential businesses on March 21. (see the list of what you can and can’t do below).

As part of New Jersey’s “stage-two” reopening, outdoor dining and indoor retail were allowed to resume on Monday, largely because of New Jersey’s progress in containing the coronavirus and slowing the growth rate of the disease.

Murphy talked to NBC’s “Today” show about the thought process that went into reopening parts of New Jersey on Monday, even as he dealt with a heckler who called him a “traitor.”

Indeed, New Jersey and New York now have the lowest growth rates in the nation.

New Jersey has also seen dramatic drop in new daily coronavirus cases since businesses were either shut or restricted to pickup and delivery services, sliding from a high of 4,427 on April 23 to 305 on Sunday. Read more: NJ Coronavirus, Reopen Updates: Here’s What You Need To Know

Murphy will address the public on Monday at 1 p.m. and he’s expected to announce more reopenings. Patch will cover it live. Read more: WATCH LIVE: Gov. Phil Murphy Issues NJ Coronavirus, Reopen Update

And more businesses will be allowed to resume next week, on June 22, and even more reopenings are planned after that. Read more: Gov. Murphy: ‘Hard Dates’ In NJ Coronavirus Reopening Blueprint

A number of communities found it difficult to adjust to the new rules of outdoor dining and indoor retail, which includes: wearing masks; staying 6 feet apart; erecting physical barriers; and other measures.

Creating space for outdoor dining has been perhaps the biggest challenge. Some communities, such as Manasquan, plan to shut down some streets on some days so restaurants and bars can extend their service.

Here is what Patch communities are doing:

As some towns have risen to the challenge, a number of businesses are still getting antsy about waiting to reopen some facets of the economy that Murphy hasn’t addressed: namely, indoor dining and gyms.

Indeed, Asbury Park even challenged Murphy by planning to reopen indoor dining on Monday before they were stopped by a court order. Read more: Asbury Park Reverses Reopen Plan After Gov. Murphy’s Court Order

The New Jersey Business Coalition even released a joint statement over the weekend urging the faster reopening of businesses that can currently meet safety protocols.

“We are at a pivotal time regarding the livelihoods of New Jerseyans and their ability to provide for themselves and their families,” the statement said. “Thousands of our businesses are struggling to survive, and are clinging to every last resource they have attempting to make it to their prescribed reopening date, with many not having one yet. And even then, they’ll face great challenges due to smaller capacities in which they will be required to operate.”

Murphy, however, has continually repeated the same mantra, that “data determines dates,” and that New Jersey will do whatever it can to continue to the progress that’s been made to contain the virus. And that means, he says, a slow reopening of businesses

Here is what you’ll be able to do do – or not do – as outdoor dining and indoor retail resume:

For outdoor dining, restaurants and food places must:

  • Notify and cooperate with local public health departments, while maintaining confidentiality, if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among employees

  • Obtain all required municipal approvals and permits before offering food and/or beverage consumption at outdoor areas.

  • Prohibit smoking in any outdoor areas designated for the consumption of food and/or beverages.

  • Prevent customers entering the indoor premises of a food or beverage establishment except to walk through in order to access the outdoor area, or to use the restroom

  • Post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 should enter the food or beverage establishment

  • Limit seating to a maximum of eight customers per table and arrange seating to achieve a minimum distance of 6 feet between parties

  • Rope off or otherwise mark tables, chairs and bar stools that are not to be used.

  • Demarcate 6 feet of spacing in patron waiting areas

  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors, sidewalks, and signage on walls to ensure that customers remain at least 6 feet apart in line for the restroom or waiting for seating

  • Eliminate self-service food or drink options such as buffets, salad bars, and self-service drink stations

  • Disinfect all tables, chairs and any other shared items (menus, condiments, pens) after each use

  • Install physical barriers and partitions at cash registers, bars, host stands and other area where maintaining physical distance of 6 feet is difficult

  • Ensure 6 feet of physical distancing between workers and customers, except at the moment of payment and/or when employees are servicing the table

  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal

  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like credit card machines, keypads, and counters to which the public and workers have access

  • Place conspicuous signage at entrance alerting staff and customers to the required 6 feet of physical distance

  • Require all food or beverage establishments to have an inclement weather policy that, if triggered, would require the food or beverage establishment to offer takeout or delivery service only.

  • Require employees to wash and/or sanitize their hands when entering the food or beverage establishment

  • Conduct daily health checks (such as temperature screening and/or symptom checking) of employees safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations

  • Require employees with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) be sent home

  • Require all employees to wear face coverings, except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, and require employees to wear gloves when in contact with customers and when handing prepared foods or serving food, utensils, and other items to customers

  • Provide all employees with face coverings and gloves

  • Provide employees break time for repeated hand washing throughout the workday

  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to staff.

  • Inform customers of the safety measures, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings, when they are away from their table and unable to social distance

  • Inform customers of the safety measures when they are inside the indoor portion of the premises of the food or beverage establishment (unless the customer has a medical reason for not doing so or is a child under two years of age)

  • Adhere to hygiene practices while in the food or beverage establishment

  • Encourage reservations for greater control of customer traffic/volume

  • Require customers to provide a phone number, if they’re making a reservation, to facilitate contact tracing

  • Recommend customers wait in their cars or away from the food or beverage establishment while waiting for a table if outdoor wait areas cannot accommodate social distancing

  • Alert customers via calls/texts to limit touching and use of shared objects such as pagers/buzzers

  • Encourage the use of digital menus

  • Decline entry to the indoor portion of the establishment to a customer who is not wearing a face covering, unless the customer has a medical reason for not doing so or is a child under two years of age

  • Provide a hand sanitizer station for customers.

Indoor retail rules:

  • Stores must regularly sanitize areas used by employees

  • Stores must set special shopping hours for high-risk individuals wherever and whenever possible

  • Stores must erect physical barriers between customers and baggers

  • Stores in malls cannot reopen unless they have an outside entrance

Here’s what can be done with indoor gatherings:

  • The number of individuals at the gathering shall be limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room or 50 people.

  • All attendees at the gathering must wear face coverings at all times unless it inhibits the individual’s health or the individual is under 2 years of age;

  • If there are individuals organizing or maintaining the gathering, those people must wear face coverings whenever feasible, and must wear face coverings whenever they are within 6 feet of another individual

  • All attendees at the gathering are required to be 6 feet apart from other attendees at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

  • There may be no contact between attendees, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

  • When the number of individuals is 10 persons or fewer, the gathering is not required to stay 6 feet apart but they must wear face coverings.

  • If there are individuals organizing or maintaining the gathering, they should, where applicable, demarcate 6 feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing, such as through the placement of cones, flags, or other markings.

  • Any physical items, including equipment, may not be shared by multiple attendees of the same gathering except for immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners

  • Contactless options for pre-payment or donation, such as online or by telephone, must be offered wherever feasible.

This article originally appeared on the Toms River Patch

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