Gov. Murphy Press Conference, Feb. 3
- Murphy signed an executive order, effective Feb. 5, increasing the indoor dining capacity to 35%. This is an increase from 25%. Also, the ending of 10 p.m. restaurant indoor service is rescinded unless there are local restrictions.
- Seating at indoor bar areas is still prohibited.
- Indoor entertainment and recreation areas – including casinos and gyms is increased to 35%.
- Personal care businesses such as hair salons and gyms has been increased to 35%. Public health protocols must be adhered to at all times.
- Indoor performance venues capacity has been increased to 35% but capped at 150 individuals.
- Indoor religious ceremonies/services, wedding ceremonies, political activities, and memorial services/funerals capacity has increased to 35% but capped at 150 individuals.
- Murphy said the increase in capacity was due to a decrease in hospitalizations but stated that an increase in indoor habits also increases a person’s risk of contracting the virus, but he felt it was worth the risk.
- An additional federal retail pharmacy program for vaccinations will launch next week with Rite Aid and CVS Pharmacy. The doses used here are a direct allocation from the federal government and their numbers will not impact the number of doses received by the state.
- The federal program with CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate residents and staff at long term care facilities has resulted in 50% of the allocated shots being used. This is up from 12% last week. The state is using 70% of their doses.
- Murphy said this is not the year to “let it rip” with Super Bowl parties.
- In the past 24 hours in hospitals, there were 162 COVID patients discharged, 288 admitted and non-lab confirmed 41 COVID deaths. Also, 71% of ICU patients are on respirators.
- LOCAL LONG TERM CARE FACILITY CHANGES: Atrium +2 staff cases (33); Terraces +2 resident cases (14), +2 staff cases (8); Mullica Gardens +2 resident cases (4), +3 staff cases (3); ManorCare Washington Twp. +1 resident case (62); Friends +2 staff case (32); Golden +5 resident deaths (9).
— by Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher