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NJ Gov. Murphy Met With President Trump; Philly Raises Fines for COVID-19 Order; Construction Starts
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 04/30/20 5:37 pm | updated: 04/30/20 5:37 pm
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy met with President Donald Trump on Thursday morning, 4/20, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C. Murphy went to discuss the needs of New Jersey as the state is still fighting the disease, but is also making plans to reopen. "The financial assistance we need and we need a significant amount, this is a big hit and this is somewhere in New Jersey alone could be $20 to $30 billion," Murphy said.

Back in Trenton on Thursday afternoon for his regular coronavirus COVID-19 press conference, Murphy said, "I thanked the President and his team for the partnership they've shown us throughout this emergency. From providing much need personal protective equipment for our frontline workers to equally vital ventilators to FEMA's partnership in our drive up testing sites at both Bergen Community College and the PNC Bank Arts Center to the tremendous work of the US Army Corps of Engineers in helping us build out our hospital capacity. I also made clear our need for direct financial support for our state" He continued, emphasizing, "This money is not bailout. It is about funding our response and keeping our police, firefighters, EMTs, educators and other frontline workers on the job. We need the federal government as a partner in our restart and recovery, just as they have been in our mitigation."

Murphy said it was a very good and productive conversation and thanked the members of Trump's team individually. He said that the federal government will be sending the state 550,000 test kits and 750,000 swabs. Also, 358 nursing homes will receive a direct shipment of personal protective equipment PPE. Those shipments total 220,000 masks; 19,000 goggles; 200,000 gowns; and 1 million gloves.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced heftier fines for both businesses and individuals who violate coronavirus COVID-19 orders, especially as the city anticipates an eventual and gradual reopening. "As we prepare to resume construction activity tomorrow, and with additional commercial activity to resume as the city eventually reopens, we want to ensure people and businesses are taking the need for continued restrictions seriously," Kenney said. This is a Board of Health Emergency Regulation. Previously, the maximum fine was $300. The penalty per violation is now $2,000 for businesses and $500 for individuals. Enforcement officers have the discretion to issue a Code Violation Notice (CVN) that allows the person or business to avoid court and pay a lesser fine. The Remittance Amount can also be paid to avoid court and the full penalty if you admit the violation. (like pleading guilty on a ticket) Those are $700 for a $2,000 penalty and $250 for a $500 penalty.

Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said that since the business closures were ordered, the health department has received 758 complaints about businesses violating the order, 583 warnings were given, no fines were issues, but several cease operations were levied. For individuals, there have been 25 code violations for failure to disperse. Twelve of those were on the first day of the stay-at-home orders on March 23. Although not many fines were issued over the past several weeks, Kenney said that if businesses do not follow guidelines while reopening they will face fines.

SEE: Emergency Regulation re: Fines and Penalties

The City of Philadelphia will allow construction to resume in the city beginning Friday, May 1. This is in line with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's order permitting construction projects to resume throughout the rest of the state also starting 5/1. This authorization is only for building and demolition permits issued on or before March 20, 2020. Permits issued after will be addressed at a later time. Work can only occur Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are also various safety protocols. Those include wearing masks, limiting workers on site, limit of workers in enclosed spaces, workers must maintain 6-feet separation, limit tool sharing, job site symptom screening, sick workers must stay home, and more. Someone on the site, presumably the Site Safety Manager, must obtain a COVID-19 training certificate. The job site must also maintain a COVID-19 Safety Plan. If the Board of Health orders are not followed, the construction site could be fined or shut down.

SEE: Third Supplemental Emergency Regulation Governing The Control and Prevention of COVID-19 (Authorized Construction Activity)

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