New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is expected to update the state's mask rules for vaccinated residents during a press conference early this afternoon (Monday, May 24).
Under the new rules, fully-vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most indoor public places, except in public transit settings, healthcare environments, homeless shelters, jails or any business that requires masks be worn. People not yet fully-vaccinated or unvaccinated are required to keep their masks on.
Gov. Murphy will deliver the update during his usual 1 p.m. press conference, providing updates on the state's coronavirus fight with the latest data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
He is expected to announce that New Jersey will begin allowing fully vaccinated people to go without masks in indoor public places, beginning Friday. The announcement comes in accordance with new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and about two weeks after New York and Connecticut adopted the changes to their own mask rules.
Initially following the CDC announcement, Gov. Murphy expressed misgivings about burdening frontline workers with policing vaccination status, adding that while NJ has "made tremendous progress, we are not out of the woods yet."
COVID numbers in the state continue to trend downward across the board.
There were 701 COVID-19 patients in 71 NJ hospitals as of Sunday, down from 730 the previous day. That's the lowest total since October 14 when COVID-19 hospitalizations were trending upwards. There were 378 new COVID-19 cases and 7 deaths on Sunday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in NJ have dropped nearly 70 percent since April 1.
Garden State officials said that more than 4 million people have been fully vaccinated at New Jersey vaccination sites, including more than 88,000 out-of-state residents who either work or go to school in the state.
Slightly more than half of New Jersey adults are vaccinated, according to the state's estimates.
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