New Jersey, Policy

View of Jersey City, photo by Gautam Krishnan on Unsplash

With infection rates throughout the Garden State continuing to climb, Governor Phil Murphy has been hinting for the past week at new restrictions, and today they came. Aside from prohibiting all indoor interstate games for youth and high school sports, the rules focus on indoor dining, including stopping restaurants, bars, and casinos from serving food or drink between 10pm and 5am and prohibiting barside seating. Murphy’s announcement came as New Jersey saw its fifth-straight day of 2,000+ cases, with 3,207 cases reported on Saturday, the highest since the height of the pandemic on April 27.

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City Living, Features, More Top Stories, Policy

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Even before he was officially declared President-elect, Joe Biden began briefings about the pandemic, and since Saturday’s celebrations, his comprehensive, federally led strategy to combat COVID-19 finally feels within reach. Today, President-elect Biden announced the 13 members of his COVID-19 advisory board, made up of public health experts, scientists, and doctors. This group will help Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and him carry out their plan to not only beat the virus, but to prepare for future global health threats. Ahead, we take a closer look at the intricacies of the strategy and how it will benefit the entire nation, as well as New Yorkers, from a nation-wide mask mandate to an increase in testing centers to the establishment of a Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo by Kevin Dellandrea on Unsplash

With the pandemic roaring around the nation and in nearby New Jersey and Connecticut, Governor Cuomo today announced that he’d be deploying additional National Guard and NYPD members to state airports to enforce the state’s COVID entry requirements as the holidays approach. In a conference call this morning with reporters, the governor said, “You should not land if you do not have proof of a negative test,” referring to the new travel rule that he announced on Monday, which says that most travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.

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History, Policy

Suffragists marching, probably in New York City in. New York, 1915. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress

With New Yorkers and the nation showing up to the polls in record numbers this year, it’s hard to imagine a time when being female made this illegal. Nearly 102 years ago to the day, Catherine Ann Smith was among the first women to vote in the state of New York, as the New York Times reminded us. Ms. Smith joined Mary Waver at the front of the line, both cast their ballots in the early hours of November 5th, 1918.

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Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

Most travelers to New York must get tested for the coronavirus before and after arriving in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday. The new rule replaces the travel advisory put in place in June that required a 14-day quarantine for travelers coming to New York from places with significant community spread. Under the new guidelines, which will go into effect on Wednesday, visitors will be able to “test out” of the mandatory quarantine if both COVID-19 tests come back negative.

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New Jersey, Policy

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

As New Jersey continues to see an uptick in coronavirus cases across the state, Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday mandated new health and safety rules for all workplaces. Starting November 5, workers at private and public sector companies must wear face masks, maintain at least six feet from one another, and undergo daily health screenings. Murphy’s executive order comes as the state continues to fight against the spread of COVID-19. Last Saturday, nearly 2,000 new cases were reported statewide, the most recorded since May.

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City Living, Policy

Photo by ozgecan on Flickr

Starting Friday, 40,000 of New York City’s small businesses will be able to temporarily use outdoor space in front of their store to sell goods, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. Modeled after the city’s successful Open Restaurants initiative, “Open Storefronts” will let businesses with ground floor space set up on sidewalks, on streets that are closed to cars as part of the Open Streets program, or a combination of both. The program, which the city hopes will encourage local holiday shopping, will run from October 30 to December 31.

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New Jersey, Policy

Photo Paul Sabelman on Flickr

Starting Tuesday, New Jersey’s largest city will implement new coronavirus restrictions after reporting an uptick in coronavirus cases. Non-essential businesses and indoor dining will now have to close at 8 p.m. and beauty salons and barbershops will be appointment-only, Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced on Monday. The new measures come as Newark reported a test positivity rate of 11.2 percent over three days, compared to New Jersey’s statewide rate of 5.28 percent.

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New “yellow zone” maps for Queens’ clusters; Courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office

The state will loosen some restrictions in coronavirus clusters in parts of Brooklyn and Queens after positive infection rates decreased, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. As a way to contain the spread of the virus in hot spots across New York, the state earlier this month divided the clusters into three categories depending on positivity rates, with red, orange, and yellow zones determining the level of restrictions. According to Cuomo, all clusters in Queens can exit the red zone and enter yellow, meaning businesses and schools can reopen and houses of worship can increase capacity to 50 percent. But in Brooklyn, the red zone will remain red, with orange and yellow zones now both yellow.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr

Nearly a quarter of New York City subway and bus workers reported contracting the coronavirus, according to a survey released on Tuesday. Of the roughly 650 Transport Workers Union Local 100 members surveyed as part of a pilot study led by New York University, 24 percent said they had the virus at some point since the start of the pandemic. The new report suggests more transit workers had the virus than previously thought. In May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said about 14 percent of transit workers tested positive for antibodies.

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