By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
TRENTON, N.J. — On Tuesday morning, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said during an interview with PIX-11 that his state’s COVID-19 numbers are trending “in the right direction.”
As Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that he’ll lift nearly all of his state’s COVID-19-related business restrictions by May 19, Gov. Murphy said that he’ll continue to gradually reopen New Jersey if the current figures keep improving.
“We’re going to definitely continue to open up, there’s no question about it,” Gov. Murphy, who didn’t provide any specific details about potential future reopening of New Jersey, said when asked about Connecticut’s plans. “We had a long meeting on this last night. I continue to think we will take incremental steps. That has worked well for us. I think without question we’ll be able to open up further if the numbers continue to improve, but I think we’ll do it step-by-step.”
As of Wednesday morning, New Jersey had administered 6,204,767 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, according to the state’s official dashboard. Of those, 2,575,703 people are fully inoculated against the pandemic after receiving their second Pfizer or Moderna shot (or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson model), and an additional 3,874,896 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Gov. Murphy reiterated his confidence that New Jersey can reach its goal of fully vaccinating 70% of its adult population — or 4.7 million people — by the end of June.
Additionally, the state’s seven-day average of new positive COVID-19 tests is down 2% from last week, and it’s also decreased by 5% from last month. New Jersey’s most recent seven-day average showed 3,096 positive tests per day.
Currently, New Jersey businesses, including indoor dining at restaurants, are only allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 200 people while indoor get-togethers can only have a capacity of 25 people. Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoor public spots where social distancing of at least six feet isn’t possible.
Gov. Murphy cited the improvement in New Jersey’s COVID-19 numbers to people continuing to wear masks and socially distance, the increase in vaccinations statewide, and the improving weather that has come with the change of season to spring.
“Knocking on wood at long last, I think things are starting to go in the right direction,” he said.
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