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New Executive Order in New Jersey on Construction Projects and New Guidance for Retail, Manufacturing and Warehouse Businesses

Last night, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 122, ceasing all non-essential construction projects and imposing additional mitigation requirements on essential retail businesses and essential industries to limit the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey. The order also outlines specific protections and policies for all essential retail, manufacturing, and warehousing businesses, as well as businesses engaged in essential construction projects.

The order will take effect on Friday, April 10, at 8:00 p.m.

Governor Murphy’s executive order directs the following:

  1. Essential retail businesses that are still permitted to operate under Executive Order No. 107 (2020) must adopt the following policies:
  • Limit occupancy at 50 percent of the stated maximum store capacity, if applicable, at one time;
  • Establish hours of operation, wherever possible, that permit access solely to high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC;
  • Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between customers and cashiers/baggers wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;
  • Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, and/or delivery of goods wherever feasible. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers;
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, credit card machines, keypads, counters and shopping carts;
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the store, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance;
  • Demarcate six feet of spacing in check-out lines to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing;
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees.
  1. The physical operations of all non-essential construction projects shall cease at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10.
  1. Manufacturing businesses, warehousing businesses, and businesses engaged in essential construction projects must adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:
  • Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the worksite;
  • Limit worksite meetings, inductions, and workgroups to groups of fewer than ten individuals;
  • Require individuals to maintain six feet or more distance between them wherever possible;
  • Stagger work start and stop times where practicable to limit the number of individuals entering and leaving the worksite concurrently;
  • Stagger lunch breaks and work times where practicable to enable operations to safely continue while utilizing the least number of individuals possible at the site;
  • Restrict the number of individuals who can access common areas, such as restrooms and breakrooms, concurrently;
  • Require workers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings, in accordance with CDC recommendations, while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves while on the premises. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees.
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Limit sharing of tools, equipment, and machinery;
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to workers and visitors; and
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, breakrooms, equipment, and machinery.
  1. All essential retail businesses, warehousing businesses, manufacturing businesses, and businesses performing essential construction projects must also adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:
  • Immediately separate and send home workers who appear to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 illness upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day; and
  • Promptly notify workers of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite, consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable laws;
  • Clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when a worker at the site has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness;
  • Continue to follow guidelines and directives issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, the CDC and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as applicable, for maintaining a clean, safe and healthy work environment.
  1. Where a business is authorized to maintain in-person operations, owners of buildings used for commercial, industrial or other enterprises shall adopt policies that, at minimum, implement the following cleaning protocols in areas where operations are conducted:
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with CDC guidelines, particularly in spaces that are accessible to staff, customers, tenants, or other individuals, and ensure cleaning procedures following a known or potential exposure in a facility are in compliance with CDC recommendations;
  • Otherwise maintain cleaning procedures in all other areas of the facility; and
  • Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of workers to perform the above protocols effectively and in a manner that ensures the safety of occupants, visitors, and workers.