A total of 2,201 people in New Jersey have been charged in COVID-19 related incidents since the State of Emergency was declared by Gov. Phil Murphy on March 9.
The New Jersey Attorney General’s office tells NBC News Thursday that 2,006 of the incidents were “Executive Order non-compliance” related and 195 of those incidents also involved crimes that rose to an indictable threshold.
Violations of the emergency orders are a disorderly person offense, carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
At least 24 defendants have been charged with the crime of second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency for allegedly spitting, coughing, or otherwise threatening to expose law enforcement officers, medical personnel, or others to COVID-19, according to the attorney general’s office.
That charge carries a state prison sentence of five to 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000 upon conviction.
In one incident in late March, a 50-year-old man allegedly coughed on a Wegman's employee, told her he has the virus and that she was lucky to have a job.
As of Thursday, the state's positive coronavirus cases neared 100,000, with 307 more deaths since Wednesday pushing the state's death toll above 5,300.