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State Senator Steve Oroho. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Oroho: Allow businesses to open with virus safeguards

Companies should open under same restrictions as grocery stores, senator says

By Nikita Biryukov, April 27 2020 6:08 pm

State Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Franklin) urged Gov. Phil Murphy to allow businesses to open so long as they adopt social distancing precautions.

“While Governor Murphy offered only a vague outline for reopening New Jersey’s economy with no real plan, tens of thousands of businesses are ready to open safely today if given the opportunity,” Oroho said. “Since businesses were forced to close in March, many have been developing and perfecting plans to get back to work in a manner that is safe for their customers and employees.”

Convenience stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses allowed to remain open during the pandemic have adopted policies spacing out customers at checkout lines and imposed limits on the number of shoppers allowed inside at a given time, among other measures.

“Just as grocery stores and pharmacies demonstrated their ability to adapt quickly to new public health requirements, we should trust that other businesses are no less capable of operating responsibly,” said Oroho, who is the Senate Republican budget officer.

Murphy on Monday announced a series of steps he wants the state to take before there’s any movement to reopen businesses he ordered closed last month.

The stay at home order he issued in March will remain in effect “until further notice,” the governor said.

“Governor Murphy has said ‘Public health creates economic health.’ I’m saying public health and economic health need not be mutually exclusive,” Oroho said. “We can be safe and responsible while opening up for business. Frankly, businesses, employees and our State cannot endure such sustained economic inactivity.”

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