Gov. Murphy seeks 90-day extension of emergency powers amid COVID spike

As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy is seeking an extension of his emergency powers.
New Jersey recorded over 20,000 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. Patients in the ICU also surpassed 600, which has not happened since January 2020.
There are more than 4,700 COVID-19 patients in state hospitals. The last time hospitals were filled this much was in May 2020.
Murphy requested a 90-day extension of his emergency powers. Most of these powers regard vaccines and administrative orders, as well as an indoor mask mandate in schools.
“This means that we anticipate our kids having to wear masks in their schools for now in order to protect their health and safety and ensure they can continue in person learning. This brings us absolutely no joy,” Murphy says.
The spike in cases also impacted the governor's own home over the weekend as First Lady Tammy Murphy tested positive for COVID-19. She's asymptomatic and doing well, while the governor has tested negative.
Friends of the governor tested positive Jan. 1, which led to the Murphy family all getting tested.
Tammy Murphy's positive result came just days after the Murphy family vacationed in Costa Rica, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is a high level of COVID-19 and the State Department advises Americans against traveling there.
“Given it's been about 650 days of this pandemic, I've gone away for two, eight-day periods, so that's 16 days out of 650. Why? You got to at some point spend time with your family and reboot,” he says.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli says the department is planning to surge more staffing to hospitals.
The state also reported three more COVID-19 related deaths at the state veterans home in Paramus on Monday.