This afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy announced an additional 1,686 positive COVID-19 cases, increasing the statewide total to 872,927. An additional 26 deaths were announced, increasing the statewide total to 22,929. The rate of transmission is 0.63, a new low throughout the pandemic. Currently, 6 in 10 have received at least one vaccination shot in the state. The total number of vaccine doses that have been administered in NJ is 6,991,176 and 3,011,118 residents have been fully vaccinated.
During a press conference and groundbreaking in Lyndhurst earlier today, the Governor stated, "On Monday, you should expect to hear from us on how we see the continued reopening of the state, as well as what we are doing to ensure the vaccine progress continues and that we reach every nook and every corner of our state".
On Monday, Governor Murphy announced numerous changes to gathering limits for indoor and outdoor activities, all of which will be effective on Thursday May 10th. In preparation for upcoming graduations, weddings and proms, indoor gathering limits will be increased from 35% to 50% of a venue's capacity with a maximum of 250 people, up from 150. Dancing will be permitted at these venues with a face mask requirement. Bars and restaurants are still prohibited from opening their dance floors. Governor Murphy explained the rationale behind the dance floor limitations is because there is still a risk having people on dance floors, but determined that these once in a lifetime experiences are important and catered events will be more easily monitored than restaurants and bars.\
The outdoor gathering limit will increase from 200 to 500 people. Governor Murphy mentioned that he expects to increase this limit substantially before Memorial Day Weekend if the numbers continue to trend in the right direction. Outdoor large venues with 1,000 or more fixed seats will have an increased capacity up to 50%, with a six feet of distance requirement between seated groups. Outdoor carnivals and fairs will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity, aligned with other amusement businesses.
Governor Murphy acknowledged that the CDC is currently reviewing their outdoor guidelines and that he's prepared to relax the six feet distance requirement if the CDC produces guidelines suggest to do so. Restaurants are currently not subject to any numerical limitation for outdoor dining besides the six feet distance requirement.
On Wednesday, the Governor announced that CVS and Walgreens have completed their clinics in 1,193 longterm care facilities in NJ. The NJ Department of Health Commissioner Persichilli announced how important it is for not only longterm care facility residents to get vaccinated, but also the staff. Only 56% of staff for longterm care facilities and assisting living facilities have been vaccinated at this time. 84% of residents have been vaccinated. For more information click here.
Governor Murphy also reiterated that senior citizens can obtain assistance with vaccination appointments by calling the senior hotline at (856) 249-7007.
Governor Murphy also announced a contest in order to continue spreading the importance of getting vaccinated, called Your Voice, Your Shot Video Contest. You can take a 30 second video and share it on social media by May 11th. More information here.
The NJ Department of Consumer Affairs is offering emergency rental assistance and Governor Murphy encouraged renters to apply even if they do not meet all the criteria or are unsure if they qualify. For more information and eligibility, click here.
Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order allowing day and sleep-away summer camps to open this summer. Overnight campers and staff who are not vaccinated, will need to be COVID tested before entering camp and within a few days.
New Jersey State Police Colonel Callahan announced that President Biden has approved the presidential disaster declaration for the snowstorm that occurred in NJ January 31-February 2, 2021. Public assistance will be granted to Cape May, Morris, Ocean, Sussex and Warren Counties with additional snow assistance to Morris, Sussex and Warren.