New COVID-19 restrictions now in effect in New Jersey

New Jersey COVID-19 live updates, news and information
New restrictions went into effect in New Jersey on Thursday in an attempt to control a COVID-19 resurgence in the Garden State.

All restaurants and bars must close indoor dining from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.

Bar seating will be prohibited at all hours.

Kevin Meeker, owner of Keg and Kitchen in Haddon Township says for his business, the new restrictions are going to hurt.

"I used to have 50 people on the payroll. It gets smaller and smaller as these restrictions are forced onto us," said Meeker.

He just doesn't think it's fair small businesses continue to suffer.

"We've been open and not one employee has been sick. And we've been here since May. If he shuts down businesses, who's going to make the money? Target, Walmart, and the little guy is going to be hurt," added Meeker.

WATCH: New COVID-19 restrictions begin in New Jersey today
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New COVID-19 restrictions begin in New Jersey today



The new restrictions also impact indoor youth sports. College and professional teams were not covered by the order.

READ MORE: Gov. Phil Murphy imposes new COVID-19 restrictions: Everything you should know

Murphy said Thursday he will sign an executive order to give towns and cities the option to limit hours at non-essential businesses after 8 p.m.

"As the governor said, since Monday we have reported more than 10,000 new cases. This is a wake-up call. We need your help," pleaded New Jersey Commissioner of Health Judy Persichilli.

Camden County is one of the counties seeing a substantial rise in cases. A new COVID-19 testing site opened Thursday at Camden County College in Cherry Hill.

"We have a spike here in Camden County and throughout the state. We have more and more people looking to get tested and we are encouraging them to get tested," said Camden County Freeholder Lou Cappelli.

New Jersey officials reported 15 new outbreaks in schools this week.

In Cherry Hill, hybrid learning is back starting Tuesday. It was postponed earlier this week with less than 24 hours notice because of positive COVID cases. Officials say contact tracing was completed and determined it's safe to bring students back, but the back and forth has been emotional for parents and students.

"Kids in our class all the time would talk to our teachers about it and they'd be like, 'Yeah, I was pretty bummed out.' We were going to start hybrid and then going back to remote and kids were excited to go back," said senior Jaydon Davis, who attends school at Cherry Hill West.

The average increase over the first seven days of this month reached roughly 2,135, up from about 590 cases a day in early October. The average caseload increase for the first week of September was nearly 340 cases, according to state Health Department figures.

There were 21 more deaths in the state, pushing the overall death toll to 14,661.

"These numbers are devastating. We are still in the midst of a pandemic. Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay safe," Murphy said in a tweet.

The daily caseload hasn't reached nearly 4,000 overnight since April at the height of the outbreak, though testing has increased since then.

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