Gov. Murphy encourages NJ residents to wear masks; no mandate for now

Gov. Phil Murphy is strongly encouraging all New Jerseyans – regardless of vaccination status – to wear masks indoors in certain high-risk situations.

News 12 Staff

Jul 31, 2021, 12:14 AM

Updated 997 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy is strongly encouraging all New Jerseyans – regardless of vaccination status – to wear masks indoors in certain high-risk situations. But the governor has not issued any sort of mandate on the issue at this time.
With new cases of COVID-19 over 1,000 on Thursday and nearly 1,000 on Friday, Murphy and state health officials are warily watching the path of the delta variant.
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“We continue to be in a fight with the variant,” Murphy said on Friday. “Hospitalizations are up a little bit, but not a whole lot.”
Earlier this week the governor announced the mask recommendation, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It represented a change from the guidelines issued in May that stated only unvaccinated people should wear masks indoors.
“We strongly recommend if you're indoors and you don't have an ability to assess people's vaccine status, we're strongly recommending that you wear a mask,” Murphy said.
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The CDC stated on Friday that even vaccinated people can carry enough of the viral load of COVID-19 to spread the disease, prompting their change on masking. The governor urged those who haven't been vaccinated to get the shot.
“Most importantly, please get vaccinated. The vaccines work and they're good against not just generally against COVID, but against this delta variant. Doesn't mean you can't get it, but it doesn't mean you're going to the hospital and thank God you won't be dying,” Murphy said.
The CDC guidance change came after research into a July COVID-19 cluster in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Three-quarters of the nearly 500 people who contracted the virus were vaccinated. However, only five were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.


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