Regional reopening plan in the works? Perhaps, but New Jersey is likely going to take a slower more measured approach despite some of the lowest Covid-19 numbers in the country over the past weeks. Safety is key, but the slower the approach the longer new economic growth projects languish on the sidelines. Hopefully New Jersey does not lose more businesses to States that are anxious to lure them away and that are already far along in their reopening process.
“State lawmakers gave industry heads the chance to make a case for a regional loosening of COVID-19 restrictions. There, one of the state’s top public health experts, Rutgers School of Public Health Dean Dr. Perry Halkitis, backed the plan as a feasible one for New Jersey. “I think regional reopening makes the most sense, absolutely makes the most sense,” Halkitis told lawmakers at a Thursday afternoon virtual hearing of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on whether to pursue such an approach. The regional reopening plan has been a non-starter with Gov. Phil Murphy, who contends that residents from more high-risk, tightly restricted parts of the state could simply travel to areas with looser restrictions and a less prevalent spread of COVID-19. But Halkitis maintained that the “slow but sure reopening pattern will get us to a point where eventually the entire state is open.”