Quick Links: Hospital and Providers Relief (Español) | Small Business Relief (Español) | Individual and Family Relief (Español)
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New Jersey's Primary Election is July 7, 2020
Vote-by-mail ballots are being sent to all registered Democratic and Republican voters. Ballot applications have been sent to all non-affiliated voters.
You can Vote RIGHT NOW through July 7th. Do it New Jersey!
Learn more about voting from home in the July 7 election here
Follow along on our social media for the latest on on the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The United States has crossed 2,400,000 infections and 126,000 deaths due to COVID-19. In New Jersey, with the state now reporting probable coronavirus deaths, over 14,700 of our neighbors have perished since March. While New Jerseyans have done a fantastic job at slowing the spread of the virus in our state, we are still facing a very serious public health crisis across the nation.
During this trying time for our country, I want to ensure you have the latest information about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and my work in Congress to protect the safety and economic security of North Jersey workers and families amid this ongoing crisis.
Outlook in New Jersey
Slowing the Spread: As of June 26, there are 170,196 confirmed cases, 13,018 confirmed deaths, and 1,854 probable deaths in our state, including approximately 25,041 cases in New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District. These statistics are tragic, but thanks to Governor Phil Murphy's swift action as well as the efforts of New Jerseyans practicing social distancing, we have flattened the curve in our state. Since COVID-19 cases peaked in New Jersey in mid-April, statewide hospitalizations are down by 89%, with a 30% reduction in the past two weeks.
Additionally, with COVID-19 cases now rising in several states, Governor Murphy, along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, announced a joint travel advisory that all individuals traveling into New Jersey from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days.
Re-Opening the Economy: On June 15, New Jersey entered Stage Two of Governor Murphy's plan to safely re-open the economy. This included re-opening outdoor dining restaurants and indoor retail businesses, as well as the opening of barber shops, salons, outdoor recreational businesses, and municipal pools.
As of June 21, residents of long-term care facilities are able to have outdoor visits with loved ones in designated outdoor space. On June 29, indoor portions of retail shopping malls may re-open. Beginning July 6, childcare services, youth day camps, and organized sports will be allowed to resume with strict social distancing in place.
Additionally, Governor Murphy has announced that the limit on indoor gatherings has been lifted to 25% of room capacity for a maximum of 100 persons and the limit on outdoor gatherings has been lifted to 250 persons.
Unemployment: As of June 25, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has dispersed more than $5.6 billion in federal unemployment benefits and $2.6 billion in state unemployment benefits to more than 1.2 million people. This represents payments to over 28% of our state workforce.
In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which authorized an additional $600 weekly benefit for anyone collecting unemployment until July 25, an additional 13 weeks of federal benefits for those who exhausted their state benefits, as well as benefits for self-employed workers and independent contractors. For more information about CARES Act assistance or state unmployment benefits, please visit: myunemployment.nj.gov/
If you are experiencing issues receiving your owed unemployment benefits, please reach out to my office at 973-523-5152 for assistance.
Federal Support for New Jersey
Support for the Portal Bridge: Last week, I was pleased to join my colleagues in announcing that the decaying Portal North Bridge replacement—a key component of the broader Gateway Project that includes building a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel—has officially moved forward into the engineering phase of the program. New Jersey’s congressional delegation has long fought to unlock every dollar available for this transportation priority to ensure millions of Americans can cross the Hackensack River.
Nutritional Assistance: Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in New Jersey are now able to purchase groceries online through Amazon and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers. This flexibility will help protect the program’s recipients amidst the pandemic. In March, I joined Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker in calling on the United States Department of Agriculture to admit New Jersey into this critical program.
To learn more, recipients can visit the Amazon or Walmart SNAP portals to register their Electronic Benefit Transit (EBT) card. Any Walmart, ShopRite or The Fresh Grocer that currently provides online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits.
Support for Small Businesses: The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced a $50 million expansion of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides funding to small businesses facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded program will provide grants of up to $10,000 to qualified businesses and relaxes eligibility criteria to include a broader variety of businesses as well as home-based businesses and sole proprietorships.
These additional funds are available through the Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed and I supported in late March.
For more information about this program, visit New Jersey's COVID-19 Business Informational page.
Testing for COVID-19
Those protesting or resuming regular activities outside their home should exercise every precaution, including wearing a face mask, regularly washing your hands, and social distancing as much as possible. Free tests are widely available across the state.
People with COVID-19 can exhibit a wide range of symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms may include cough, fever, shortness of breath, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. If you develop these symptoms, contact your primary care provider or make use of the following resources from the state.
- Use the COVID-19 Symptom Checker to determine whether you should seek testing or medical assistance: self.covid19.nj.gov/
- Call (General COVID-19 Questions): 2-1-1 (7am-11pm ET)
- Call (Clinical COVID-19 Questions): 1-800-962-1253 (24/7)
- Get Tested: Visit New Jersey's COVID-19 Test Site Finder
Patients will not have any out of pocket costs for COVID-19 tests from their insurance. Uninsured patients will be fully covered under a program funded by the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services.
There are dozens of test sites open throughout our district, and finding the one closest to you is easy. Just visit New Jersey's COVID-19 Test Site Finder. Testing sites have various operating hours, appointments in advance, or proof of residency. So, please verify hours and whether an appointment is required before going!
My office has updated our fact sheets to ensure workers, families, businesses, and health care providers know their options for relief:
- Hospitals and Health Care Providers Relief Fact Sheet
- The CARES Act allocated $100 billion for health care providers across the nation to respond to the outbreak, and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided an additional $75 billion. New Jersey hospitals have received $3.19 billion in relief.
- Individuals and Families Relief Fact Sheet
- The CARES Act included $1,200 economic impact payments for most Americans to address the severe impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on personal safety and financial security amid this crisis. The IRS has delivered 159 million of these payments to Americans, including over 3.9 million payments to New Jerseyans. Haven't received your check yet or have a question? The IRS has set up a hotline at 800-919-9835.
- Small and Medium Sized Business Relief Fact Sheet
- On April 23, Congress passed an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Program Program and $50 billion in small business disaster loans. I was glad to support this critical legislation to ensure our neighborhood small businesses have the support they need, and I am committed to doing more for our state and local governments, hospitals, and first responders. American small businesses have received $517.1 billion and New Jersey businesses have received over $16.9 billion in Paycheck Protection loans from this program.
Additionally, if you have recently lost health coverage due to job loss of yourself or a family member, you are eligible to enroll in quality, affordable health care through the Affordable Care Act. Go to healthcare.gov to enroll and learn more about qualifying life events that allow you to enroll outside of Open Enrollment.
We are facing a global pandemic, and ensuring the safety of all families from COVID-19 and its impact on day-to-day life is my top priority. You can always reach me and my staff in Washington at 202-225-5751 or New Jersey at 973-523-5152 for assistance or further guidance. Remember, my door is always open to you. We are all in this together.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress