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New Jersey lock down lifted. So now what?

| By Peter Planamente |

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that he's lifting the stay at home order, but what does it mean for New Jerseyans who've been inside since March?

June 9 … Remember that date as the day the governor of New Jersey lifted the stay at home order that has been in place since March 21. 80 days since all non-essential retail closed, with people locking themselves in their homes and supermarkets, gas stations and liquor stores remaining open under limited hours.

So, does that mean our lives will go back to normal again? Will movie theaters, malls and restaurants re-open? Not exactly. This is just the beginning of the “new normal” we're hearing so many times.

During Governor Phil Murphy’s press conference on June 9, he signed an Executive Order that allowed the stay at home order to be lifted. There is speculation that the governor did this because of the recent George Floyd protests as was Murphy being seen shoulder-to-shoulder with protestors on June 7.

“With more and more of our businesses reopening, we are no longer requiring you to stay at home, but we are asking you to continue to be responsible and safe,” said Murphy, during the press briefing.

People that do go out will still be required to wear a face mask/covering and stay six feet apart from people.

Restaurants continue pick-up and delivery options but will now allow for socially distanced outdoor dining. Churches, pools, day care centers and summer camps will re-open with new requirements and graduation ceremonies will be allowed starting in July.

Gatherings have also been raised to 100 people and indoor gatherings can be 50 people or 25% of the building’s capacity.

Though, there will still be many places remaining closed, including malls, amusement and water parks, movie theaters, and arcades. The governor has not made any statements of those re-openings.

But, is lifting the stay at home order a good idea when the virus is still infecting people? As of June 10, there were a total of over 165,000 cases throughout the state with over 12,000 deaths. Though, daily cases and hospitalizations have been steadily decreasing.

I created a poll on my Twitter page asking people if they thought lifting the stay at home order was done too fast, at the right time or too slow. Out of 28 voters, a majority thought Governor Murphy was moving too fast.

In recent weeks, many states around the country have reopened and loosened restrictions. Now, cases and hospitalizations have risen after Memorial Day Weekend. With some saying the spikes are because of increased testing, while others blame it on the lessening restrictions and the recent protests.

Since March, 1.2 million people filed for unemployment in New Jersey.

For more on this article, contact Peter Planamente on Twitter @plana_journ

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