UPDATED 1:13 PM PT – Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Densely populated east coast states New York and Pennsylvania have announced they are lifting their mask mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, New Jersey has said they’re not quite ready to make the switch.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has chosen to ignore updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and instead is opting to keep his state’s mask mandate in place.
In a briefing held on Monday, the Democrat announced New Jersey would maintain its mask orders against the suggestions of the CDC last week who said fully vaccinated individuals would no longer be required to wear a facial covering in most places. The governor has insisted the move is out of an abundance of caution stating he believes they have the virus “on the run”.
Murphy mentioned, “we’ve been clobbered not once, but twice. We’ve lost over 26,000 people. We know the virus is more lethal indoors, and you’re asking somebody who’s at the hardware store working there…or in a retail…or a grocery store to make the judgment on who’s vaccinated and who’s not. ”
Our indoor mask mandate remains in place in public spaces.
The majority of New Jerseyans are still unvaccinated, and keeping this mandate in place in public settings protects you, your family, essential workers, and our entire community. pic.twitter.com/AIMwHeQQl4
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 17, 2021
Murphy eliminated the 10-month long outdoor mask mandate, but has not yet given a timeline on removing the indoor one. However, the benchmark for that decision is likely to take place once positive data is on the horizon. Although, Murphy has indicated it’s only a matter of time.
A majority of those living in New Jersey still remain largely unvaccinated. Because of this, programs are currently being put in place to get the word out anyway that they can.