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Scharfenberger: Follow ‘common sense’ protocols to reopen New Jersey

New Jersey Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) has composed a set
of what he is calling common sense protocols small businesses could implement to start down the road to safe economic recovery as the 2020 coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the state.

Scharfenberger, of Middletown, represents District 13, which serves Aberdeen Township, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright and Union Beach.

In a May 7 press release, he said, “Without a doubt, the impact which COVID-19 has had on New Jersey’s health and economic well-being has been overwhelming.

“However, by Trenton failing to offer residents a detailed reopening plan and delays continuing with unemployment claims, it only grows their heavy concerns; they deserve to have clarity in a strategy for the future.

“That is why today I, along with several of my colleagues in the Assembly, have authored a set of common sense recommendations for virtually every business in New Jersey that will allow them to begin operating safely, while protecting those most vulnerable among us,” Scharfenberger said.

“People are in danger of losing their homes, their livelihood and their way of life. This has to end, we need to show them there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

Scharfenberger, who said he was cognizant of the hardships already facing New Jersey’s small businesses and residents, said the economic burdens would continue to increase with each day officials delay.

“New Jersyans have endured unprecedented job losses, business closings and mandatory lockdowns, and have nobly sacrificed freedoms in the name of public health.

“We owe it to them to offer a plan that seeks to reopen the economy and allow them to get back to work for their own financial health.

“When owners and employees are dependent upon a business for their livelihood and to put food on the table for their families, there is no such thing as a ‘non-essential’ business.

“As such, it is imperative that we begin the steady process of reopening New Jersey’s economy,” Scharfenberger said.

On May 6, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 138 which extends the public health emergency that was declared on March 9 and extended on April 7. The latest executive order keeps the public health emergency in place through at least June 5.

“Extending this declaration ensures we can continue using every resource at our disposal to mitigate the spread of (the coronavirus).

“But I want to ensure this extension is not interpreted to mean we are reconsidering our path forward or changing course on the principles I laid out last week in the ‘Road Back’ plan.

“We will continue to stand by these principles and protect public health as we responsibly take steps to get the economy moving again,” Murphy said in a press release.

The coronavirus pandemic had claimed the lives of more than 8,800 New Jersey residents as of May 8.

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