COVID-19: New Jersey Institutes Statewide Curfew

March 16, 2020

New Jersey residents are being instructed to remain in their homes between the hours of 8pm and 5am in attempt to control the spread of COVID-19 in the Garden State.

Updated on March 16, 2020 at 5:40 PM EDT.

New Jersey officials have implemented a statewide curfew in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents are being instructed to avoid non-essential travel during the hours of 8pm and 5am in attempt to control the spread of the virus, Governor Phil Murphy announced today.

The Garden State has more than 9 million residents and has documented 98 positive cases of COVID-19 and 2 associated deaths as of Sunday, March 15th. Bergen County appears to be the epidenter of the NJ coronavirus outbreak, with 29 positive cases.

New Jersey, along with New York and Connecticut will require casinos, movie theaters, and gyms to be shut down at 8pm today and remain closed until further notice. Restaurants and bars will be limited to take-out and delivery services only.

Murphy also announced that as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all public, private, and parochial schools will be closed until further notice. Additionally, all higher education institutions will be required to cease in-person instruction.

Many NJ-based colleges and universities previously suspended in-person instruction and moved to a virtual format, or have prolonged spring breaks. Check out Contagion®'s coverage of how colleges and universities have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to mitigate the situation, the Secretary of Agriculture and Commissioner of Education will be working to ensure all students who are eligible for free or reduced cost meals will continue to receive services during closures.

Murphy also announced that all gatherings in the New Jersey should be limited to 50 persons or fewer.

“In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must take aggressive and direct social distancing action to curtail non-essential activities in the state,” said Governor Murphy. “Our paramount priority is to ‘flatten the curve’ of new cases, so we do not overwhelm our health care system and overload our health care professionals who are on the frontlines of the response. My Administration continues to work closely with our communities, stakeholders, union representatives, and business leaders to ensure that we all do our part to win the fight against the novel coronavirus and emerge stronger than ever.”

The first coronavirus death in New Jersey was confirmed on March 10th. The New Jersey Department of Health announced that the man was 69 years old and had underlying medical conditions. The total number of cases confirmed by officials also rose to 15, with 31 persons under investigation.

For the most recent case counts in the COVID-19 outbreak, check out the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.