Governor Phil Murphy

This Week in New Jersey: October 30 2020


Governor Murphy And Department Of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli Announce New Jersey's COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, designed to provide equitable access to approved vaccine(s), achieve maximum community protection and build public trust in advance of an approved vaccine(s)

“The strategic and efficient deployment of a vaccine will be critical to our continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and is a key tool in our recovery,” said Governor Murphy. “While we will welcome one or more COVID-19 vaccines, we are not going to simply rush forward. We will be as methodical and deliberate in our approaches to a vaccination plan, as we have in every aspect of our responses over the past eight months.”

“The Department’s vaccine plan is expected to evolve over time as more details about vaccine availability, timelines, distribution, funding resources, and supplies are released,” said Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.  “Our aspirational goal for a wide-scale vaccination program for New Jersey is to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population in a six-month period. The Department will follow the CDC guidance on prioritization and further allocation decisions will be made through a health equity lens.”

New Jersey submitted its draft COVID-19 vaccination plan to the CDC on Oct. 16th. The plan calls for an all-of-government approach to a wide-scale vaccination program.

“To date there is no globally approved COVID-19 vaccine. However, there is an expectation that a vaccine will become available either by the end of the year or the first quarter of next year under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) pre-approval,” added Persichilli.


Governor Murphy, Congressman Malinowski, Commissioner Caride Kick Off ACA Open Enrollment Period For Get Covered New Jersey With New Program To Make Coverage More Affordable

Governor Phil Murphy, joined by Congressman Tom Malinowski, Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) Commissioner Marlene Caride, Assemblyman John McKeon, Maura Collinsgru of NJ Citizen Action, and Shereef Elnahal from University Hospital, kicked off the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period for Get Covered New Jersey, the state’s official health insurance marketplace. The Open Enrollment Period begins November 1, 2020 and runs through January 31, 2021, six weeks longer than last year. 

New Jersey residents will no longer use to enroll in Marketplace health insurance plans. Instead, Marketplace plans and financial help will only be available through Get Covered New Jersey at  

“Get Covered New Jersey provides improved access to quality, affordable health coverage for our residents, as well as an enrollment experience tailored for our state. The launch of our own state Marketplace could not come at a more critical time given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on health coverage,” said Governor Murphy. “As the Trump Administration continues to attack the ACA, New Jersey is telling a different story. We are able to increase access to health coverage and care because of the work we have done. I encourage all residents who need health coverage to see what Get Covered New Jersey has to offer so they can get the care they need when they need it.”

“Millions of Americans who lost their jobs in this pandemic were able to keep their health care because the Affordable Care Act was there for them, and today we’re making it even easier for New Jerseyans to enroll in more affordable coverage.” said Congressman Tom Malinowski. “Now we have to double down in Washington to make sure the Affordable Care Act is always there for us.”

“The Murphy Administration has focused on putting health coverage in reach for New Jersey residents, guided by the belief that health care is a right,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride. “Get Covered New Jersey really works to make health insurance more accessible. Residents will now have three months to enroll instead of the six weeks previously provided under the federal Marketplace. There is more financial help available, and more trained professionals to provide free help with enrollment. We know many New Jerseyans have lost health coverage during the pandemic. For those who need coverage, we encourage you to explore your options now.”

“Just yesterday, the Senate voted to confirm an ideologically driven Supreme Court justice who, if given the chance, will decide to overturn the Affordable Care Act and strip millions of Americans of their health care coverage,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy and one of the ACA’s co-authors. “I’m thankful that Governor Murphy, despite the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to undermine the ACA, is working to expand affordable, quality health care for all New Jerseyans. I implore those New Jerseyans without health insurance to take advantage of this year’s Open Enrollment Period so they have the coverage when they need to see a doctor.”

“Through Get Covered New Jersey, families and individuals can access the personalized help they need in selecting a health care plan while taking advantage of newly enacted state subsidies that will further bring down their costs,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “In the midst of this ongoing public health crisis and continued attacks levied against the Affordable Care Act by the Trump Administration, I am proud to see New Jersey take the lead nationally in promoting access to quality, affordable health care. I encourage all of our state’s residents to use these resources to their full advantage and get covered to ensure the health and well-being of themselves and their loved ones.”


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order To Protect New Jersey's Workforce During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Building on ongoing efforts to safeguard New Jersey’s frontline workforce, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 192, providing mandatory health and safety standards to protect all New Jersey’s workers at work during the pandemic.

“Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey workers across all sectors have risen to the challenges imposed by COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “Yet, the federal government has failed to provide all workers the proper standards and protections that they deserve. Today’s executive order closes that gap to help ensure the health and safety of our workforce during this unprecedented time. I want to thank the many community partners who have been with us throughout this process, and the employers across the state who have been working with us through the pandemic as we pursue economic health through public health.”

“As we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic, countless New Jerseyans continue heading to work each day,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “These workers are keeping our economy going, and they need the proper protocols and protections to address COVID-19 in the workplace. Today’s executive order lays out the enforceable standards we need, ensuring the safety of our workers, employers and customers. I will continue to fight for a federal OSHA emergency temporary standard, but where the Trump Administration and Mitch McConnell have dropped the ball, our state has stepped up.”

“With today’s action, New Jersey becomes the only state to leverage its public sector-only jurisdiction to protect workers in the private sector from COVID-19. We now have the essential tools and resources we need to ensure businesses are operating safely, and our economy is moving forward,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “By protecting New Jerseyans in the workplace, we are lessening the health risks to families and communities. As more people return to work, the high standards we have set today will be critical in maintaining our public health.” 


Governor Murphy Nominates Dr. Brian Bridges As Secretary Of Higher Education

Governor Phil Murphy announced his nomination of Dr. Brian Bridges as the next Secretary of Higher Education.

“Making college more affordable and accessible has been a hallmark of our mission to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all,” said Governor Murphy. “After conducting a nationwide search for a new Secretary of Higher Education, we’ve found just the right leader to build upon our progress. Dr. Brian Bridges has the vision and experience needed to put a college education within reach for more students, including continuing our highly successful Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program. I know he’ll be a fierce advocate for our students and will work closely with both public and private college and university leaders to expand opportunity while promoting equity and access for all.”

“I would also like to thank Interim Secretary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez for her capable leadership of the Office over the past few months,” continued Governor Murphy. “Diana has coordinated closely with our colleges and universities to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and will continue to serve the Administration as a critical member of our team.”

“I am humbled but invigorated by the confidence of Governor Murphy to serve as the next Secretary of Higher Education for the great state of New Jersey,” said incoming Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Brian Bridges. “I have a deep and abiding faith in the power of colleges and universities to not only provide life-changing educational experiences, but to also serve as economic engines and hubs of innovation and intellectual discovery. I look forward to working with leaders across the Garden State to develop and refine policies and practices that further improve student success, create efficiencies of scale, and strengthen the higher education enterprise.”


NJEDA Launches PPE Access Program To Support Small Business PPE Purchases

New Jersey small businesses can now purchase discounted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) program uses an innovative public-private partnership model to provide automatic discounts on PPE purchased through NJEDA-approved “Designated Vendors.” Small businesses can purchase discounted PPE and apply for grants at  
“Ensuring equitable and reliable access to affordable personal protective equipment is vital to helping businesses reopen and operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The PPE Access Program takes an innovative approach to solving this problem that will make it easy for small business owners to determine what protective equipment they need and to purchase that equipment at an affordable price. This addresses multiple, overlapping economic challenges associated with the pandemic and sets us on the path to a stronger, fairer recovery.”
“Personal protective equipment is a powerful tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of PPE can help keep businesses safe as they continue to reopen as well as residents who are in the workplace or returning to work,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli. “The NJEDA’s PPE Access Program is an important support that will help business owners learn what equipment they need to protect the health of their employees and customers and purchase that equipment at an affordable price."