‘We’re trying to keep people healthy.’ Gov. Murphy says mask mandate to remain for now

Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials say that they are not fully on board with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that people who are fully vaccinated can take off their face mask.

News 12 Staff

May 14, 2021, 11:10 AM

Updated 1,099 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials say that they are not fully on board with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that people who are fully vaccinated can take off their face mask.
The governor says that those who are fully vaccinated can go maskless outdoors, but must still wear a mask in public indoor settings.
“We’re frankly not there yet,” Murphy said on Friday.
The Murphy administration said on Thursday that it is reviewing the CDC’s guidance.
“We can’t put the burden on the guy or gal working [at a business] to try to be the arbiter of who’s vaccinated and who’s not,” Murphy said. “We’re not trying to win any popularity contests. We are trying to keep people healthy and save lives.”
With 3.7 million New Jersey residents fully vaccinated, the state is very close to reaching the initially stated goal of having 70% of adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19. State health officials expanded on that further this week.
“We want 70% of every municipality to be vaccinated. We will get there. We have some already there,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
Persichilli added that 2,600 children between the ages of 12 and 15 have received a vaccine this week after federal officials expanded vaccination to that group.
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Murphy commented about the mask mandate while at a vaccine clinic in East Orange on Friday with Whoopi Goldberg, who lives in Essex County.
Some people at the clinic told News 12 New Jersey that they believe wearing a mask is a personal decision.
“It's best that they protect themselves. If they feel as though they want to take it off that's up to their discretion,” says Willie Rush, of East Orange.
The vaccine clinic on Friday was located in the parking lot of the East Orange ShopRite.
"I see a lot of people that have died from the coronavirus, and I’ve been watching the news and everything else and I just want to get it and do it,” said Jose Flores who was getting his first dose of the vaccine.
The governor said that he hopes to lift more restrictions in a few weeks.
“We've got the chance to drive this into the ground if only we can hang on for the next few weeks. That's where we are at,” Murphy said.
The governor said that he plans to speak further on Monday concerning the CDC guidelines when it comes to masks and the question of having to quarantine after traveling.


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