In the ever-changing scenario that is this worldwide pandemic, the Governor continues to be active in responding;
Executive Order 159 signed on 06/30 extends certain statutory deadlines across state government; the deadlines themselves are set forth in an Appendix. E.O. 159 can be found here and the Appendix, here.
On July 2, noting that flags had been flown at half-staff for 3 months in commemoration of all who have lost their lives to the disease, and that despite the death toll in NJ exceeding that of New Jerseyans who died in WWII, many encouraging signs of recovery have been seen and the Governor in Executive Order 160 ordered U.S. and New Jersey flags to fly at full staff starting July 3. E.O. 160 can be found here.
Also on July 2, the Governor signed E.O’s 161 & 162, seemingly contradictory, the one increasing the outdoor gathering capacity limit to 500 while the other extended the public health emergency for yet another month.
On July 8, the Governor signed Executive Order 163, requiring individuals to wear masks in outdoor public spaces when they cannot social distance. The E.O. recognized places with a fixed roof but two open sides as having sufficient air space to allow gatherings, and also allowed low-risk sports activities as defined by the Department of Health to resume both indoors and out, and higher risk sports to resume outdoor activities. E.O. 163 can be found here.
On July 13, Governor Murphy announced the postponement of annual municipal and county party committee reorganization meetings. Deadlines for such meetings were suspended and all elections scheduled between July 7 and November 3 were postponed to November 3, 2020. E.O. 164 can be found here. This E.O. was clarified by E.O. 169 on July 20, stating that it was meant to allow postponements for, applied only to, those counties whose memberships were up for election in the July primaries. E.O. 169 can be found here.
The same day, the Governor also signed Executive Order 165, lifting 50 percent capacity limits on NJ Transit and private-carrier vehicles. This allowed NJ Transit and private carriers to resume carrying its maximum capacity. Infection control is required to continue and contactless pay wherever feasible. Physical shields and barriers should be used where possible and where not, buses should allow entry through the rear door and disable seats near the driver to permit social distancing. Workers and customers must wear face coverings. E.O. 165 can be found here.
On July 17, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 166 creating greater oversight and accountability for federal Covid-19 resources. The “Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office” (“GDRO”) was created with an Executive Director who will work full time on the State’s Covid-19 recovery. The GRDO will publish an annual report summarizing the State’s use of federal
funds. Likewise, State agencies receiving funds must set up similar accountability and monitoring by the State Comptroller where procurements exceed $150,000. E.O. 166 can be found here.
On July 18, in a rare non-Covid-19 Executive Order 167, the Governor directing U.S. and New Jersey flags to fly at half-staff in honor of recently deceased U.S. Representative John Lewis. E.O. 167 can be found here.
Finally, on July 20, the Governor signed Executive Order 168 allowing the resumption of contact practices and competitions for certain organized sports in outdoor settings. The determinations of low, medium, and high risk in each case are per the NJ Department of Health. At the time of this writing, July 27, 2020, Major League Baseball just postponed three (3) scheduled games in the wake of a Coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins squad. It will be interesting to see how the Governor follows up with respect to New Jersey’s athletic activities. E.O. 168 can be found here.