The drastic step, usually reserved for natural disasters or emergencies, is part of a slew of tightened restrictions for New Jersey residents that state officials hope will quash the spread of COVID-19.
The National Guard will be dispatched to help with testing, distributing food to kids during school closings, and possibly converting buildings to accommodate patients who need to self-quarantine, Murphy said at a press conference.
Brig. Gen. Jemal Beale, the head of the state’s National Guard, said their “most likely missions” will be helping with logistics, transportation, traffic control, security, and using engineers to restore any damaged facilities to working order.
“Wish us luck,” Beale said. “And please wash your hands on a regular basis. And also practice social distancing.”
Murphy also announced that New Jersey will be one of increasing number of states mandating that all restaurants and bars close to dine-in customers and only offer takeout or delivery. Also, movie theaters, casinos, gyms, night clubs, fitness centers, and racetracks will be forced to close beginning at 8 p.m. on Monday.
The governor has also advised against all nonessential travel from New Jersey between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily.