Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, and Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.
These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people effective 8PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.
The three governors also announced that restaurants and bars that serve food will temporarily be required to move to take-out and delivery services only. Bars that do not serve food will be required to temporarily close. These measures will take effect at 8PM tonight.
Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers, and similar public workout facilities and studios. New York and New Jersey will close commercial casinos effective at 8PM tonight. Governor Lamont will do the same for the state’s physical off-track betting facilities, noting their willingness to voluntarily close. In addition, Governor Lamont and Governor Cuomo are strongly urging their tribal partners to close tribal casinos.
This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
Governor Lamont said, “We must do everything we can as a community to slow the spread of this virus so that we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system and we protect the most vulnerable. Viruses do not know borders, which is why taking a regional approach on this issue is the best plan forward. A national approach to these measures would be the best option to slow and mitigate the spread of this virus.”
Governor Cuomo said, “Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn't crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that. This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”
Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world - the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn't just up to some of us, it's up to all of us.”