Additionally, New Jersey continues to ramp up its contact tracing program to control the spread of the virus as much as possible. During Wednesday’s press conference, Perry N. Halkitis, Ph.D., the dean of the Rutgers University School of Public Health, said that 1,000 new tracers are currently being trained by the school. “We have to continuewith our social distancing,folks. We have to wear theface coverings. There areno excuses to let up evenone bit. We are far fromdefeating COVID-19,” saidMurphy. “We are in a goodplace to contain it… but it isnot yet defeated.” Halkitis called the state’s contact tracing model “innovative” because it combines efforts of the governor’s office, health departments at the state, county and local levels and the “scholarly expertise” of the Rutgers School of Public Health. Anyone interested in becoming a contact tracer may apply by visiting jobs.rutgers.edu/postings/115779. “Wearing a face coveringis proven to help protectothers around you. It is aproven measure for furtherslowing the spread,” saidMurphy. We should all bein the practice of wearing aface covering by now.” In discussions with the governors of New York and Connecticut, Murphy said any visitors from highly-impacted states should self-quarantine upon arrival in New Jersey, New York or Connecticut. That includes states with current daily positive percentages over 10 percent as a seven-day average, or states with over 10 cases per 100,000 as a seven-day average. FILE PHOTO / JAY COOK Libraries, museums, aquariums and boardwalk arcades are among the next indoor businesses to reopen at 25 percent capacity July 2. He cautioned residents to be extra vigilant when indoors. These businesses will be required to provide heightened sanitation and other social distancing measures. More detailed standards will be released later this week, Murphy said. And like outdoor facilities, face coverings will be required unless customers are dining, or for religious or personal health and safety purposes. “Ours was the most impacted region in the nation and among the most impacted in the entire world. We welcome everyone to New Jersey; we simply ask you to join us in our shared sacrifice to keep ourselves moving in the right direction,” said Murphy. By Allison Perrine The article originally appeared in the June 25 – July 1, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. Looking to the next line of businesses to reopen, the governor said that as of July 2, indoor facilities including museums, aquariums, libraries and indoor recreation spaces like bowling alleys and boardwalk arcades, can reopen at 25 percent capacity. “We would love to be able to open those things up; we just are not there yet,” said Murphy. “We just don’t think it’s the responsible thing to do.” NEW JERSEY – There’s been a slight uptick in daily positive rates of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy reported Wednesday. But businesses will continue to reopen during the second phase of the road to recovery. In a press conference Wednesday, Murphy announced that the statewide total of positive cases reached 169,892, with 12,993 total deaths and a daily positivity rate of 2.83 percent. At the same time, several indoor businesses will be permitted to reopen at 25 percent capacity as of July 2, with strict social distancing guidelines in place. Other businesses including movie theaters, performing arts centers and night clubs must remain closed for now. Fitness centers and gyms are also ordered to remain closed in the traditional fashion, but may open for individualized training and by appointment only. Indoor facilities present a greater chance of catching the virus than outdoors, he said. The students are completing an 18-hour online training course with basic COVID-19 contact tracing lessons, Rutgers training modules and data collection training with the CommCare system. They will be deployed to health departments across the state. Later in the week, July 6, NJ Transit Rail and Light Rail services will return to the regular full weekday schedule. The July 6 start date will allow NJ Transit to implement and communicate the new proper social distancing protocols to commuters before ridership increases as businesses and offices reopen. More information about different transit protocols are available at NJTransit.com/recovery.