With COVID Numbers Rising, NJ Governor Re-Institutes Restrictions

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today said the state’s COVID-19 numbers are “going in the wrong direction.”  As a result, he reinstated several restrictions on bars, restaurants and indoor youth sports.

Hospitalizations from the coronavirus have risen above 1,500 for the first time since June.  The Governor said, “some of this is now attributable to indoor dining.”  The Governor said people have gotten “sloppy.”

The number of new COVID cases reported today was 2,075, bringing New Jersey’s total since the start of the pandemic back in March to an overwhelming 256,653. Monday marked the sixth consecutive day the state reported over 2,000 new, COVID cases.

As a result of the trending statistics, beginning this Thursday Murphy has once again placed restrictions on certain businesses.  With regard to bars and restaurants, there will not be any service allowed and patrons cannot sit at the bar.  This is due to the increased number of coronavirus cases reported across the state for bartenders.

Food and alcohol will not be allowed to be served past 10 pm inside a restaurant or bar, although restaurants are still permitted to serve patrons outside beyond 10 o’clock at night.  This indoor, 10 pm ban also applies to casinos, although gaming tables and slots can remain open past 10 pm.  With the ban on bar seating, tables can be moved closer than six feet apart, but barriers must be placed between tables.

For months the Governor has been warning people not to get complacent.  Well, now we are seeing the consequences. We all need to be more self aware.

As for interstate indoor youth sports events up to and including high school age athletes, all events are cancelled until further notice beginning on Thursday.  The Governor cited the rise in COVID cases surrounding indoor hockey.  This rise is particularly noticeable among interstate school games and tournaments.

Reaction to today’s announcement by the Governor is already drawing reactions.  In a tweet this afternoon, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said, “We’ll follow the Governor’s lead of course as that is the law but in #JerseyCity yes we’re seeing more cases but we aren’t seeing the same growth in hospitalizations.  I just believe curfews aren’t the most effective as it isn’t like Covid only comes out at night.  We have seen quite a few businesses permanently close in JC + I suspect this will lead to more.  I would have preferred stricter penalties for restaurants/bars that violate rules, more extensive contract tracing, more usage of the app the state implemented, more masks.”