New Jersey governor orders non-essential businesses to close, says almost everyone must stay home

By Gabriella Borter

By Gabriella Borter

March 21 (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Saturday mandating that all non-essential retail businesses close their stores and almost all state residents stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The order affects some 9 million residents in the state and exempts those who work in essential services such as healthcare and the food industry, the governor said at a news conference. The order banned all gatherings including weddings and parties, Murphy said.

"My job is to make sure we get through this emergency so that you can safely gather with family and friends later," Murphy said. (Reporting by Gabriella Borter)