Murphy Considers Easing N.J. Restrictions as Covid Data Improve

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he will consider easing Covid-19 restrictions if data continue to improve.

”We’re in the plateau, it would be my guess right now,” Murphy, a first-term Democrat who is seeking reelection in November, said Tuesday during an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Murphy didn’t say what restrictions he may loosen. California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday lifted stay-at-home orders and allowed outdoor dining to resume. New York, Illinois, Michigan and Massachusetts also are easing restrictions, while scientists warn of the presence of far more contagious virus variants.

New Jersey was the second-hardest hit after New York in the initial wave of Covid-19 that struck in March 2020. The resurgence that began with colder weather is showing signs of leveling off following a holiday surge.

Murphy Considers Easing N.J. Restrictions as Covid Data Improve

”It’s a world of difference in less than a week” in terms of national strategy and focus on increased doses, Murphy said. “We’ve got the infrastructure in place to make sure they get in people’s arms.”

Murphy said the state has at least 270 vaccination sites and can speed up administration with more supply.

New Jersey is approaching 600,000 total cases of Covid-19 since the outbreak began. The state of 8.9 million residents has administered 605,397 vaccine doses so far. Before the supply issues, Murphy had estimated it could take six months to vaccinate 70% of the population, or about 4.7 million adults.

Teachers likely will be the next group to get vaccinated, Murphy said. More New Jersey schools are beginning to offer a hybrid blend of in-person and remote learning. Of more than 600 districts, 414 are offering a blend, up from 348 at the beginning of January, the governor said on Monday during a press briefing.

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