NJ governor declares state of emergency and public health emergency in response to coronavirus outbreak

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Monday evening declared a state of emergency and a public health emergency, effective immediately, to ramp up New Jersey’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Executive Order No. 103 declares a state of emergency and public health emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.

“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource across all levels of government to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” Murphy said. “My administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19.”

The declaration tasks Colonel Patrick Callahan, the state’s director of emergency management and superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, in partnership with New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, to oversee the implementation of the state emergency operations plan and to direct the state’s emergency response.

The declaration triggers other executive powers and safeguards, such as prohibiting excessive price increases pursuant to New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, and the ability to waive certain procurement procedures to expedite the delivery of goods and services necessary for coronavirus preparedness and response efforts.

Murphy’s emergency declaration also empowers all state agencies, including the departments of banking and insurance, health, human services, and the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, to take all appropriate steps to address the public health hazard of COVID-19.