With coronavirus numbers in the state declining, the New Jersey Business Coalition, a collection of more than 100 business and nonprofit groups, submitted a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy today urging him to end the “pause mode” of the reopening of New Jersey’s businesses.
The coalition’s Recovery and Reinvention Framework 2.0, a comprehensive update to the original framework issued in early May, points to improving numbers in reported cases, decreased hospitalizations and better capacity in the state’s healthcare facilities and strongly encourages a broader or regional reopening of New Jersey’s economy.
The letter states: “If ‘data determines dates’ relative to reopening, as Governor Murphy has consistently said, it is appropriate that as our COVID-19 cases continue to go down, New Jersey’s economic numbers should rise. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and we find ourselves and our economy in an unnecessary and extenuated ‘pause mode.’
“With a rate of transmission of .98 and a positivity rate of 1.6%, there is no reason not to proceed to reopen our economy.”
Absent an immediate move to continue the reopening process, the coalition called on Gov. Murphy to immediately present plans for three coronavirus-based scenarios, with triggers driving levels of reopening activity, to allow businesses to properly plan for whatever comes next.
The coalition also called for a regional approach to opening, based on data, if there is not a willingness to fully reopen the state for business.
“Decisive action is needed immediately so businesses will know whether to plan for a further reopening now or a prolonged limit on their business, necessitating greater government support,” the coalition explained.
“As such, a grid of ‘safe’ vs. ‘cautious’ counties can easily be developed. We should continue to reopen in regions of the state where the trend lines indicate the ability to do so.”