Non-essential businesses reopening

Non-essential businesses reopening starts cautiously in NJ

NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Orders allowing outdoor dining and indoor non-essential businesses reopening including retail personal care service facilities, dining outdoors, hair salons and barber shops to reopen to the public provided the facilities comply with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and Department of Health.

“We’re able to confidently announce this important step in our restart and recovery because the health metrics tell us we can,” said Governor Murphy. “With the proper health and safety protocols in place, personal care business owners who are anxious get back to serving their customers and communities will have the opportunity to do so.”

Non-essential businesses reopening

Governor Phil Murphy holds his daily press briefing on Monday, in the George Washington Ballroom in the Trenton War Memorial with Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Ed Lifshitz, medical director for the state Department of Health‘s Communicable Disease Service,, and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan. (Pool photo by Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media for Jun. 1, 2020.

Non-essential businesses reopening confidence shows mixed concerns

Many business owners have insisted in re-opening their facilities due to a dooming economic horizon. However, the Administration also recently released results of an online survey conducted in conjunction with Rutgers University’s Heldrich Center for Workforce Development earlier this month that drew responses from nearly 4,000 businesses and non-profits across the state.

Results of the survey demonstrate overwhelmingly that while the business and non-profit community is eager to get back to work, owners understand and take seriously the public health risks posed by COVID-19 and the responsibility to provide a safe experience for employees and customers.  Many are worried about the effect of non-essential businesses reopening causing a possible second wave of the virus.

“This survey verified much of what we anticipated as we began the process of restarting the economy,” said Governor Phil Murphy.  “While business owners are eager to get back to work and get their operations back up and running, they remain concerned about consumer and employee confidence and are eager to avoid a second wave of this insidious virus.”

A majority of owners (51%) cited consumer confidence as the most pressing issue, while 13% cited access to personal protective equipment as their biggest concern.  Approximately one in 10 said employee confidence would present the biggest challenge to reopening while four in 10 listed employee confidence as one obstacle but not the most pressing one.

Non-essential businesses reopening

(Photo credit Guilherme Petri – Unsplash)

Special standards for special businesses

The Order further directs the Commissioner of the DOH to issue health and safety standards for use by tattoo parlors, tanning salons and other locations in which personal care services are offered by individuals who are not acting within the scope of a license issued by a professional board within the Division of Consumer Affairs.

Nothing in the Order shall prevent the provision of services to a person that is confined to their home and unable to travel due to a disability, if these services 1) are permitted under existing statutes and regulations and 2) are provided in a manner that substantially complies with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and DOH.  DOH issued an Executive Directive today that includes comprehensive health and safety standards for these locations.

Cosmetology schools or other places that provide instruction and training for personal care services shall remain closed at this time.

Non-essential businesses reopening

(Photo credit Jason Leung – Unsplashed)

Non-essential businesses reopening main concerns

Survey respondents want state government help to reopen safely, particularly guidance on reopening restrictions (60%), guidance on safety measures to keep employees and customers safe (49%), and help in acquiring disinfecting and cleaning products (42%).

The majority of respondents (54%) will rely on state/local government and Department of Health guidelines—greater than those who will rely on Centers for Disease Control (23%) and industry and association guidelines (14%).

Customer-facing businesses report that limiting occupancy or reducing capacity of their facilities will be the most difficult challenge.


The schedule provided by the State is as follows:

  • Outdoor dining (beginning on June 15th)
  • Limited in-person retail (beginning on June 15th)
  • Hair salons and barber shops (beginning on June 22nd)
  • Youth summer programs (beginning on July 6th)
  • In-person clinical research/labs
  • Limited fitness/gyms
  • Limited in-person government services (e.g. – Motor Vehicle Commission)
  • Museums/libraries

All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.

Additional instructions for non-essential businesses reopening

Under the Governor’s Executive Order, personal care service facilities include:

  1. Cosmetology shops;
  2. Barber shops;
  3. Beauty salons;
  4. Hair braiding shops;
  5. Nail salons;
  6. Electrology facilities;
  7. Spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed;
  8. Massage parlors;
  9. Tanning salons; and
  10. Tattoo parlors.
Health and safety standards for personal care services

The Division of Consumer Affairs issued an Administrative Order that includes comprehensive health and safety standards that personal care services that are licensees of the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling and the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy must abide by.

Non-essential businesses reopening

(Photo credit Kseniia Ilinykh – Unsplash)

Safeguards include:

  1. Limiting services to appointment-only;
  2. Performing health screening, including temperature checks, on clients and staff prior to entry to the facility;
  3. Requiring use of personal protective equipment, and requiring clients to wear face coverings at all times, regardless of the service they are receiving, unless face down on a massage table or where doing so would inhibit an individual’s health;
  4. Ensuring that all staff-client pairs maintain at least six feet distance between other staff-client pairs, unless separated by physical barriers;
  5. Adopting enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices; and
  6. Staying informed about new developments and guidance related to COVID-19

Precautions that apply across all stages include:

  • Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines:
    • Wash hands
    • Wear masks in public
    • Respect social distancing
    • Minimize gatherings
    • Disinfect workplace and businesses
    • Minimize gatherings
    • No mass gatherings

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New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including:

  • Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use;
  • Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity;
  • Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce;
  • Widespread safeguarding of workplaces;
  • Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and mass transit;
  • Continued public compliance.

If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back non-essential businesses reopening to more restrictive stages as well.




Maintaining wellness with technology during COVID-19

Maintaining wellness during the “stay at home” in the times of COVID-19 has been a challenge for all of us in general but more specifically for the aging population. It can be hard to remember to take your pills throughout the day or notice patterns in your overall health and wellness, especially if you live alone.

 Wouldn’t it be handy if someone or something would track your health? Technology can help you maintain your health and well-being, and health tracking apps on your smartphone make it easy to monitor your health.

Photo by Pixabay

So what is an app?

You might have heard the expression “there is an app for that.” An app, also referred to as a mobile app, is a software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a phone, tablet, or watch. It’s a tool, a piece of software that helps you with a specific function, such as taking a picture, speaking with family over Internet, watching movies and much, much more, so that there are now millions of apps available.

Some are free and some are paid, and you need to download them to your mobile phone from specific “app stores” such as the App Store -in the case of iPhones- or Google Play if you have an Android phone, a different operation system that is used by brands like Samsung, LG, Nokia and others.

There is a myriad of apps for health and wellness in the market and most companies now have a version of an app for their websites that is a “simpler” version of your computer desktop application. You will find some functions on your app but not all you might need if you are looking for some specific information. So keep this in mind!

The best technology for your health

Have you decided to get a new phone? Phone are now “smartphones” because they are more than just phones but devices that can help us with a number of useful activities. You want a phone within budget that still has all the features you need to get the best functionality from your new technology. The iPhone 11 is a dynamic phone with enough power to run health-tracking apps. If you love Android technology, the Samsung Galaxy S10 has a long battery life, Gorilla Glass for the best protection, and a speedy processor that will run all your apps with ease.

Reviewing your medicare coverage

During the quarantine, it has become more difficult to stay active and keep up with our exercises or health routines. Maybe we used to walk with a friend or go to yoga at the gym. Women have some special health concerns, such as a higher risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis, which are important to keep in mind in times of COVID-19.

wellness, MedicareLatina women face even more challenges when it comes to maintaining health and wellness. Linguistic and cultural barriers can prevent Latina women, or other minority women, from accessing health care, and finances often stand in the way of getting the best health insurance. That is why learning to use technology is so important to keep up with your health.

Think carefully about your current healthcare needs and determine if your current coverage is adequate. If you’ve been taking more medications than last year or are worried about your heart health, you may need more comprehensive coverage. Technology can help you find the information you need to make an informed decision about your healthcare coverage. Use your smartphone to learn about Medicare Advantage plans and get all the answers you need from the comfort of your living room.

Carefully research Medicare Coverage on your smartphone, and read the Medicare site in your language to find the plan that will help you maintain your health. Investing in health coverage will save you money, and you’ll access the services you need as soon as you need them, leading to better health and wellness.

Changing your coverage

Once you’ve decided on the changes you want to make to your coverage, you’ll need to prepare for the switch. This can be a complicated process, but with a little research, you’ll know what to do. Start by learning more about the different types of Medicare Advantage plans that are available in your area, and find the best service provider in your city.

Next, gather your recent medical bills to show your current medical spending, write a list of all your current medications, and jot down the names of all the doctors and specialists that you see. Although enrollment period is over, if you circumstances changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should check your coverage. 

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Maintaining wellness with technology

Once you’re switched your coverage plan, you can work toward maintaining your health and wellness in a whole new way. Did you know that health-tracking apps on your smartphone can monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, sleeping patterns, and activity levels?

If you need to upgrade your current phone to run a health-tracking app, look for a newer device that can fit your current phone and data plan, and won’t break the bank. Check when your phone plan expires, and consider switching providers for better rates. Look for providers that offer a discount on the purchase of a new Android phone, or have promotions on unlimited plans.

Technology can help you maintain your health, and you can use your smartphone to research health coverage, connect with a provider, and even track your medication, health and wellness activity through apps.