COVID-19 numbers are improving in NJ, but mask mandate won’t be lifted anytime soon

Improving numbers in hospitalizations, ICU patients and ventilator use have state officials carefully expressing optimism about the COVID-19 crisis in the state.

News 12 Staff

Apr 19, 2021, 11:16 PM

Updated 1,124 days ago

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Improving numbers in hospitalizations, ICU patients and ventilator use have state officials carefully expressing optimism about the COVID-19 crisis in the state.
“It's baby steps, but I do like and I think we like the fact that numbers are slowly beginning to go in a better direction,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
But the governor said that more reopenings are still at least a month away. And he says that there won’t be any changes on the mask mandate, despite other states dropping their mandates.
“We just don't have the latitude that other states that don't have that density and don't have that weather reality have. Again, I love our location. I love our weather patterns for everything frankly, except a pandemic,” Murphy said.
The good news is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that getting the virus from touching a surface is very rare – less than 1 in 10,000. But Murphy says that he will keep cleaning precautions in place, such as sanitizing the pens he uses at public bill signings.
“I’m going to continue to be in the category ‘better safe than sorry.’ We don’t do it for theater, I promise you that,” he said.
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State epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan says increasing vaccinations put the state at a pivotal point in the fight against COVID-19.
“We kind of remain in this really delicate balance, we’ve got a context of widely circulating virus that’s still out in the community,” Tan said.
Officials still saying there could be some reopening by Memorial Day when the state is expected to meet its vaccination goals one month early. More than 2.5 million people in New Jersey are currently fully vaccinated against the virus.
Murphy said that he was to meet with his staff on Monday afternoon to start drawing up plans for proms, graduations and summer camp. That guidance likely won’t be released until next week.


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