TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today edge closer to a mask mandate in the Garden State saying all residents should now wear face masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status.
“Following yesterday’s announcement by @CDCgov regarding masking, @NJDeptofHealth Commissioner Persichilli and I strongly recommend that both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents wear masks in indoor settings when there is increased risk,” Murphy tweeted today. “We reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate.”
The decision comes just days after Murphy said New Jersey is on a different playing field when it comes to the vaccination effort as it is among the states leading the nation in vaccination rates.
New Jersey is also far removed from the influx of illegal immigrants pouring across the border, infected with COVID-19 that are being released in the southern states where the delta variant outbreaks are more severe.
Democrats nationwide are now pushing once again for a federal mask mandate and today, Murphy edge the needle further in that direction here in New Jersey.
According to Murphy, examples of increased risk situations where masks are recommended include crowded indoor settings, indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated, indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown, Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease.
“Our metrics are trending in the wrong direction, and new data suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible even among vaccinated individuals, which is why we are making this strong recommendation,” Murphy said, although no research on the transmission rate of the delta variant among the vaccinated is currently being disputed by medical researchers at this time.
“Fortunately, our numbers are a fraction of those in many other states, most of which have significantly lower vaccination rates. Should our numbers reach those levels, we reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate,” Murphy said. “We have crushed this virus repeatedly like no other state in the nation, and we are proud to boast among the country’s highest vaccination rates. But at this point, given where our metrics are now, we feel the best course of action is to strongly encourage every New Jerseyan, and every visitor to our state, to take personal responsibility and mask up indoors when prudent. And we equally encourage every unvaccinated resident or visitor to get vaccinated. The vaccines are proven safe and highly effective, and are the surest way we can end this pandemic.”
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