New Jersey Urges Residents To Continue Social Distancing On Easter


New Jersey officials believe the state is starting to see a flattening of its novel coronavirus hospitalization curve, but that doesn't mean residents should be at church for Easter on Sunday.

Governor Phil Murphy said at a news conference Friday that a slowing rate of patients entering state hospitals with COVID-19 was balanced out by the knowledge that 233 more New Jerseyans succumbed to the pandemic respiratory disease the previous day.

He urged residents to continue to observe social distancing measures, despite the coming Christian holiday.

"This cannot be a weekend to think we can let our foot off the gas," Gov. Murphy warned.

Just as his counterpart from New York has noted, Murphy acknowledged there are "glimmers of hope" in the state's coronavirus data. But officials have grave concerns about a spike in cases if attitudes about social distancing relax.

As of Friday, there were 1,932 total COVID-19 deaths in New Jersey and 54,588 confirmed cases of the virus.

Murphy also announced an executive order to reduce congestion in state prisons. Certain non-violent, low-level, low-risk offenders will be granted home confinement. The parole process will be expedited for non-violent inmates who are parole eligible.

He noted that his order is in line with similar ones from the federal government and states like California and Illinois.

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