Mask or no mask? Some New Jersey towns drop indoor mask mandates, while others extend it
More towns across New Jersey, including Asbury Park, are dropping the indoor mask mandates put in place as the surge of COVID-19 cases swept through the state during the holidays.
There were mixed reactions in Asbury Park when that mandate was put in place. Residents took to social media praising or complaining about the return of masks in the city, but Friday at 6 a.m., it's off the table again.
It’s just one of several towns lessening COVID-19 restrictions this week. Princeton and New Brunswick let theirs expire, but Montclair extended theirs to March 31, while Newark extended theirs to March 4.
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The changes come as cases on average in New Jersey continue to fall from highs several weeks ago. Case numbers peaked at 33,000 in just one day back on Jan. 7, but since then they have fallen dramatically.
The rate of transmission as of Wednesday was .55 -- a number state health officials look at closely to follow the spread.
Despite the surge in December, in January, Gov. Phil Murphy did not issue any new statewide mask mandates but left it up to individual towns.