Gov. Murphy: Final COVID-19 briefing to be held March 4, 2 years after virus first detected in NJ
Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he will host his final COVID-19 briefing next Friday, March 4. The last briefing comes two years to the day that the first case of the virus was detected in New Jersey.
“We’re pretty much getting back to where we want to be, which is normal,” Murphy said.
The governor has been unveiling data and fielding questions at 250 live coronavirus briefings. March 4 will be the last regular update on the virus.
“It’s not defeated – that’s not a word I would use,” Murphy said. “That’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying we can responsibly – begin to responsibly – live in its midst.”
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says that deaths are decreasing in New Jersey’s hospitals.
“Which is a good sign. But they are still in double digits,” she said.
With the school mask mandate ending March 7, the governor faced questions on when he will lift remaining pandemic measures - from masks in state buildings.
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“I think we’ll review the masking for state office…in the relatively near future,” Murphy said.
Or a return to full in-person service at the state Motor Vehicle Commission.
“My mantra and my hope would be, you go back to in-person where that step is a more efficient step than the online step,” the governor said.
There was also a question as to when the state’s One Stop Career Centers would reopen. Those centers are beneficial to helping the unemployed find work.
“They're coming, I think it's a matter of weeks. I said that last week and I think it is a matter of weeks, bear with me on that. But that will happen,” Murphy said. “All of those things are on the board. But they're not all going to be on March 7.”
But officials will still encourage New Jersey residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot.
“I think we're going to see boosting for a while. Similar to what we see with some other vaccinations,” Persichilli said.
The governor said he will still post coronavirus numbers online, but regular briefings will only return if there is "material deterioration in the data."
Fewer than 1,000 people who have COVID-19 are reportedly hospitalized - the lowest level in more than three months.