Gov. Phil Murphy promised further relaxations on COVID-19 business restrictions as the state breaks past 3 million adults that have been fully vaccinated.
“On Monday you should expect to hear from us on the continued reopening of the state,” the governor said Friday morning at a New Jersey Transit press conference in Lyndhurst.
Murphy announced some of the state’s first reopenings this week, related to outdoor activities and gatherings as well as expanded capacity for indoor catered events, all of which go into effect on May 10. But New York and Connecticut are pushing ahead with lifting more of their indoor dining restrictions, despite no word from Murphy.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would “fully reopen” starting July 1.
On April 28, Murphy suggested that New Jersey would begin to see an “accelerated reopening” as the state ramps up its vaccine efforts and key metrics like daily cases and hospitalizations are brought under control.
All those numbers have been heading in the right direction, according to the governor.
As of April 30, the state fully vaccinated more than 3 million adults, out of 6.9 million total shots in arms. The goal is to fully vaccinate 4.7 million adults by June 30, which state health officials argue is essential to build herd immunity and further roll back restrictions in place to halt the spread of the virus.
On April 30 the state reported 1,686 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 26 fatalities. There were 1,564 COVID-19 patients, meaning the state reached below 1,600 hospitalizations for the first time since November. And the statewide positivity rate among COVID-19 tests dropped to 4.96%, falling below 5% for the first time since October.
“That number is coming down, and it’s coming down meaningfully,” Murphy said in Lyndhurst, just hours before he and First Lady Tammy Murphy are slated to get their second COVID-19 shots at the vaccine mega-center in Atlantic City.
Meanwhile, the statewide transmission rate – or how fast the virus spreads – dropped to 0.63 from 0.72 the day before, reaching its new low point during the pandemic. Anything above 1 means that the virus is spreading to at least one other person.
“We’re not out of the woods, but the numbers are getting better,” the governor continued. “There’s just no two ways about it, thank God.”