Economic Recovery & Reopening Update: 1/4/2022

NJ Chamber
Economic Recovery & Reopening Update
January 4, 2022
Content Curated By Scott Goldstein
  • State health commissioner: Omicron should peak around Jan. 14.
  • Gov. Murphy asks feds to help staff hospitals and nursing homes overwhelmed by COVID-19.
  • Gov. Murphy: We have no intention or plan to shut schools.
N.J. Health Commissioner: Omicron Should Peak Around Jan. 14
State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said New Jersey's models show the fast-spreading omicron will peak around Jan. 14. New Jersey reported Monday that hospitalizations are up to 4,715, a 10% increase from Sunday’s total of 4,280 — and a 78% increase from last Monday. Persichilli said modeling by the state shows the number of hospitalizations could be between 6,000 and 9,000 at its peak. (ROI-NJ)
Gov. Murphy Asks Feds to Help Staff Hospitals and Nursing Homes Overwhelmed by COVID-19
As omicron spreads, Gov. Phil Murphy said he has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send “strike teams” to work in the state’s hospitals and nursing homes, which have been overwhelmed with sick patients and residents at the same time the virus has decimated their staffs. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said many facilities are reporting as much as 30% of their staff is out sick with the coronavirus. (New Jersey Monitor)
New Jersey Hospitals Brace for New Surge, with 30% of Staff Out Due to COVID-19
"It makes you want to quit. You’re like — 'You know what? I’m going to put in my two weeks’ notice. I can’t keep doing this,'" complained one New Jersey ICU nurse who’s recovering from COVID-19. Another says, "I feel like we’re living in a parallel universe. I don’t think the public understands what’s going on inside of the hospitals." As COVID-19 cases skyrocket, infections among health care staff are soaring. New Jersey hospitals have contingency plans that predict 30% of health care staff could fall sick from COVID-19, according to the state health commissioner. The plans envision special medical teams caring for double the patient load, perhaps 15 patients per shift, instead of eight. (NJ Spotlight News)
Gov. Murphy: We Have No Intention or Plan to Shut Schools
While many school districts across New Jersey opted to go back to virtual learning when students returned from the holiday break – including seven of the largest in the state – Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday he has no intention of mandating a return to remote learning. (ROI-NJ)
Omicron Variant: Can Asymptomatic People Transmit COVID-19?
Those with asymptomatic COVID-19 exhibit no symptoms of an infection that typically show up. In cases of the omicron variant, that includes a runny nose, cough or fatigue. According to the WHO, people typically develop COVID-19 symptoms five-to-six days after they contract the virus. However, a recent study from the CDC found that the incubation period for the omicron variant is even shorter, lasting about three days. Anyone with an omicron infection can spread the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms or are vaccinated, the CDC said. That is why it is important to get tested, and those who test positive for the virus isolate themselves to keep from spreading the virus. (
Why Are So Many Vaccinated People Getting COVID-19 Lately?
People might think the vaccines will completely block infection, but the shots are mainly designed to prevent severe illness, says Louis Mansky, virus researcher at the University of Minnesota. Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still offer strong protection against serious illness from omicron. While those initial doses aren’t very good at blocking omicron infection, boosters — particularly with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — rev up levels of the antibodies to help fend off infection. (Associated Press)
New Federal COVID-19 Testing Site Opens in East Orange
new federal COVID-19 testing site in East Orange is helping New Jerseyans get their results within 24-48 hours. Since opening on New Year’s Day, the site has administered about 3,000 PCR tests. Wait times are estimated at 30 minutes. It’s scheduled to remain open through Jan. 14, but if the demand for testing is still high, it will stay open for as long as needed. (NJ Spotlight News)
How Will the Pandemic End? Omicron Clouds Forecasts for Endgame
Pandemics do eventually end, even if omicron is complicating the question of when this one will. But it won’t be like flipping a light switch: The world will have to learn to coexist with a virus that’s not going away. The WHO will determine when enough countries have tamped down their COVID-19 cases sufficiently – or at least, hospitalizations and deaths – to declare the pandemic officially over. Exactly what that threshold will be isn’t clear. (The Associated Press)
The N.J. Chamber's Walk to Washington is Cancelled — to be Recast as 'ReNew Jersey Business Summit' in Atlantic City
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce announced that its Walk to Washington networking train trip will be recast as the ReNew Jersey Business Summit, to be held April 13-14 at Borgata in Atlantic City, due to lingering concerns about COVID-19. The announcement marks the second consecutive year that the Walk to Washington, the state’s largest business networking event, has been canceled due to the pandemic. Chamber officials said they intend to resume the annual train trip in 2023. (ROI-NJ)
Looking to Get Vaccinated? Here's an Easy Way to Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You.
Just punch in your area code. You can even search for a specific vaccine. (
Were you forwarded this newsletter? For more information about the N.J. Chamber, email [email protected]
Business Resources
State & Federal Financial Assistance (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Reopening Playbook for Employers (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Vaccine Guide for Businesses (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Jobs and Hiring Portal Job Seekers | Employers (State of N.J.)
Guide to Starting a Business in N.J. (New Jersey Business Action Center)
The Best Tool for Your Business - Membership in the N.J. Chamber
The N.J. Chamber provides members with guest speakers, webinars, networking opportunities and discount programs that help businesses grow. The N.J. Chamber also advocates for pro-growth and pro-business legislation.
N.J. Coronavirus Cases
Total Confirmed Deaths Reported: 26,218
Total Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Reported: 1,418,352
Fully Vaccinated People in N.J.: 6,429,979
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The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is staying on top of pandemic and economic recovery developments. For news media requests, please email Scott Goldstein.
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