NJ governor: Restaurants will be able to open Friday at 25% of capacity
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NJ governor: Restaurants will be able to open Friday at 25% of capacity

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday morning that restaurants in the state will be able to open at 25 percent of their capacity starting on Friday, Sept. 4, just in time for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Social distancing between tables will be required. “Reopening responsibly will help us restore one of our state’s key industries…

New unemployment applications in NJ rise by 8.8 percent as $600 weekly federal supplement expires
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New unemployment applications in NJ rise by 8.8 percent as $600 weekly federal supplement expires

The number of new unemployment applications in New Jersey rose last week, with 28,063 initial claims filed for the week ending July 25, an 8.8 percent jump over the prior week. That brings the total number of new claims in the state since the COCID-19 pandemic began to 1.44 million. State officials estimate that the pandemic…

Walmart in West Windsor will close for good next month

Walmart in West Windsor will close for good next month

Retail giant Walmart will permanently close its West Windsor store located in the Nassau Park Pavilion strip mall just off Route 1. The 135,000-square-foot store that opened in 1995 is being closed due to poor performance unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic, a spokesperson told NJ.com on Wednesday afternoon. Walmart also owns and operates the membership-only warehouse club,…

NJ unemployment rate rises to 16.6 percent
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NJ unemployment rate rises to 16.6 percent

The state’s unemployment rate rose by 1.2 percentage points to 16.6 percent. The state’s unemployment remains higher than the United States as a whole (11.1 percent), likely because New Jersey was one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic early on.   Many residents have reported to Planet Princeton and other news outlets that…

Weekly unemployment claims in NJ jump 70% as furloughs begin and school year ends
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Weekly unemployment claims in NJ jump 70% as furloughs begin and school year ends

More than 47,000 New Jersey workers filed new unemployment claims during the week ending July 4, a 70 percent jump from the prior week, with two groups – furloughed state workers and those laid off when the school year ended in June – making up much of the spike, officials said.  Last week’s initial claim total is the highest number of single-week applicants the Department of Labor…

Brick Farm Market, Zone 7, Blue Moon Acres to be featured in CNBC segment on the nation’s food supply tonight
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Brick Farm Market, Zone 7, Blue Moon Acres to be featured in CNBC segment on the nation’s food supply tonight

As schools, restaurants, and businesses in New Jersey were forced to close their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, food service workers supplying those industries quickly shifted focus to re-invent themselves during the pandemic. At 10 p.m. tonight, June 30, CNBC will air a special feature, “Supermarket Shock: Crisis In America’s Food Supply.” The show…

Child care centers in New Jersey reopen with new protocols
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Child care centers in New Jersey reopen with new protocols

Child care centers across the state are welcoming back families today with new health and safety protocols in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. A local childcare center, The Harmony School at Princeton Forrestal Village, shared with Planet Princeton what preparing for reopening has entailed. Staff at the center have been trained over the…

Capital Health to open primary care facility in former Princeton Packet building on Witherspoon Street
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Capital Health to open primary care facility in former Princeton Packet building on Witherspoon Street

By contributor Marc Monseau Capital Health plans to open a primary care facility in January in the former offices for The Princeton Packet newspaper on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. At the new facility, the Hopewell-based health system will offer same day appointments for chronic and well care for children and adults. Capital Health initially expects…

Nassau Street Panera closes permanently
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Nassau Street Panera closes permanently

The Panera on Nassau Street is one of the first businesses in Princeton to close permanently during the pandemic. Several Panera locations across the country have closed permanently during the coronavirus outbreak. The company appears to have chosen to close locations that are near their other stores but are not performing as well. The Panera…

Curfews add to local restaurant owners’ challenges
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Curfews add to local restaurant owners’ challenges

For local restaurant owners like Salvatore Scarlata of Vidalia in Lawrence, the past few months have been rife with uncertainty, and a curfew earlier this week only compounded worries. Lawrence, Ewing, Hamilton, and Trenton put a 7 p.m. curfew in place on Monday in response to violence and looting in the capital city on Sunday…

NJ governor: Outdoor dining and indoor, non-essential retail allowed starting June 15
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NJ governor: Outdoor dining and indoor, non-essential retail allowed starting June 15

Hair salons and barbershops can reopen June 22 New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that outdoor dining and non-essential retail will be allowed to start again on June 15 as the state enters stage two of his reopening plan. Hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to open on June 22. After June…

Free COVID-19 webinar for local food businesses on May 28
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Free COVID-19 webinar for local food businesses on May 28

Restaurant and food business owners in Mercer County can learn about how to prepare to reopen your food business to the public and ask questions during a webinar set for May 28 at 12:30 p.m. The goal of the free webinar is to help business owners develop strategies to keep employees and customers safe as…

Workers Association delivers food, support for vulnerable working families in Trenton
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Workers Association delivers food, support for vulnerable working families in Trenton

By contributor Marc Monseau The Eastern Service Workers Association in Trenton is seeking to expand the distribution of food and personal hygiene products to vulnerable working families coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Supplied with donations from local farmers, supermarkets and individuals, ESWA volunteers currently provide more than 80 families each week with food deliveries. In…

United Airlines adds flights in Newark, ramps up cleaning
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United Airlines adds flights in Newark, ramps up cleaning

For the first time in a month, passengers on Wednesday boarded a United Airlines flight to Orlando from Newark Liberty International Airport. Staff enforced United’s new protocols: boarding from back to front to minimize passenger interaction and requiring that everyone wear a mask during the entire flight. The TSA reports airline travel is down 92%…

Pandemic led to historic job losses for NJ in April
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Pandemic led to historic job losses for NJ in April

The unemployment rate in New Jersey surged to a record-breaking 15.3 percent in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At least 757,700 jobs were lost in the state in April, according to estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both the…

NJ bill would extend emergency sick leave for workers
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NJ bill would extend emergency sick leave for workers

New Jersey has been a leader in providing sick leave for workers in a pre-pandemic world. But, with COVID-19 quarantines averaging 14 days, supporters of a new bill sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg say that number needs to be increased to match medical demands. During a Zoom press conference Wednesday, Weinberg and workers, some who…

Another 42,000 NJ residents applied for unemployment last week as pandemic claims rose to 1.13 million
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Another 42,000 NJ residents applied for unemployment last week as pandemic claims rose to 1.13 million

 More than 1.13 million new unemployment claims have been received by the New Jersey Department of Labor since March 15. New claims slowed last week to 42,000, according to data released by the agency on Thursday. Officials said 139,000 federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims were shifted to payable status last week, and workers began reviewing…