New Jersey has eased coronavirus restrictions up to a point, but will pause any more reopening plans for an indefinite time out of concern of variant spread.
“My guess is we won’t be opening capacity for some time now because of the caseload,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We know we’ve got the New York variant, the U.K. variant, I guess the Brazil variant. We are part of the same reality a year ago. The densest part of the nation, we are the densest state in the nation, right on top of the New York Metro reality. Invariably, what hits them will hit us and vice versa. So we are watching all of that very closely.”
The state is still seeing thousands of new cases daily, though the hospitalization rate and death toll have fallen significantly. The average daily positivity rate is 7% and 2,000 coronavirus patients are in hospitals, ABC 7 reported.
Last week, New Jersey allowed restaurants, health facilities and arcades to open at 50% capacity, and indoor gatherings can increase from 10 to 25 people.
The new guidelines do not apply to religious gatherings, political events, weddings or funerals. All have either higher limits or no limits.
Murphy has said he intends for all public and private schools to be in-person on September 2021. More than three million vaccine doses have been distributed, and more than a million New Jersey residents have been fully vaccinated.