By CBS3 Staff


COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all New Jersey residents to stay home and all nonessential retail businesses to close by 9 p.m. Saturday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Murphy signed an executive order, ordering New Jerseyans to stay indoors to curb the spread of COVID-19.

What Murphy’s order means for New Jerseyans is that life is going to be a little different for the foreseeable future.

“We’re at war with a virus. Our job right now is severalfold. One, is to expand the testing as fast as we can. Two, break the back of the curve, flatten that curve,” Murphy said. “And finally, is to expand our health care capacity.

“We know that flattening the curve will take the pressure off the health care system, but we just can’t know exactly what the timing looks like.”

But in order to do that, a lot is going to change in New Jersey.

What makes New Jersey’s strategy different than some other states is that people who do not follow the order are being threatened with prosecution.

“All 21 county prosecutors have designed assistant prosecutors to be on call. There are different statues, but it’s predominately a disorderly conduct charge,” New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick Callahan said. “So when the governor says he’s ready to take action, we’re at that point.”

Murphy announced 442 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total over 1,300. Murphy also announced five new deaths, bringing the total to 16.

Going forward, Murphy is ordering everyone in the state to stay home and limit parties, social events and celebrations, including weddings and even funerals.

Funeral Director Mark Boucher is left figuring out what’s next for Boucher Funeral Home in Deptford.

“We actually had a funeral going on at the time that I heard the governor’s announcement. To be honest, we were limiting 50 people into the funeral home at the time but there were 100 people standing in the parking lot so it was sort of defeating the purpose that we were only letting 50 people into the building. We all have to do our part so it’s a good thing. I’m respectful of the governor’s statement,” Boucher said.

Boucher says funerals can still be done with the help of technology.

“My job is to make sure we get through this emergency so you can safely gather with family and friends later,” Murphy said. “And enjoying many more birthdays and weddings in the years to come.

“Any place people congregate is a place where coronavirus can be spread. This is no time for anyone to be acting selfishly and taking a gathering underground.”

The governor says stores that are allowed to be open after 9 p.m on Saturday include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, hardware stores, laundromats, pet stores, liquor stores and car repair shops.

Murphy also ordered all businesses to allow employees to work from home, if possible.

“Let’s do this New Jersey. Let’s be smart, let’s save lives,” Murphy said, “and together, assuming each one of us does our part, we will come through this and be stronger than ever before.”

The governor says these changes will be in place indefinitely.

The state has also set up a special website with everything it is doing to tackle the coronavirus. You can find more information by clicking here.

CBS3’s Chantee Lans and Howard Monroe contributed to this report.