UPDATED 7:09 AM PT — Thursday, March 26, 2020
The state of New Jersey is closing most of its daycare centers to protect children amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order requiring all childcare centers to close unless they are solely serving the children of essential workers.
Centers who fail to comply with the order are required to close by April 1. They have until Friday to certify that they are exclusively caring for ‘essential’ workers’ children.
Additionally, Gov. Murphy said new health and safety guidelines will be put in place for centers that will remain open.
“We need all of our front-line workers on the job, helping us to get through this emergency; a lack of childcare cannot be a barrier for them or our response,”he stated. “While these workers commit themselves to our New Jersey family, we will commit to protecting their families.”
Some have suggested that lives are expendable. Let me be clear: We will fight to save EVERY SINGLE LIFE and we will leave no one behind in this fight.
That is America. That is what we stand for. That is our value system. pic.twitter.com/jLb6GZY84N
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 25, 2020
The new measure came after the governor issued a ‘stay-at-home’ order for residents in the state and closed all non-essential businesses.