GOV. MURPHY PRESS CONFERENCE, FEB. 5
- Both Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli stated that people should not celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with house parties with people outside of those that they live with. The indoor limit for gatherings is still 10 people beyond those that you live with. People should celebrate virtually or outside, wearing masks and socially distancing. Murphy said that even though he expanded capacity at restaurants effective today which could increase crowds watching the game, he didn’t worry about this situation. Most people at restaurants, he said, don’t go to watch the game, and bar seating and gathering isn’t allowed. What he worries about are house parties.
- On indoor dining, Murphy said that along with not allowing people to sit at bars to eat or drink, he also didn’t want people eating at counters in diners. He said this would be the same thing as a bar where there was evidence of transmission between bartenders and people alongside of those at the bar.
- There were 4 new cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome reported in children today. These are children that have tested positive for COVID or have tested positive for the antibodies showing exposure to COVID. This makes a total of 88 cases in the state.
- There are now 19 cases of the UK variant COVID strain in the state. All are in North or Central Jersey.
- Vaccinations have “ramped up” this week, Murphy reported. He said there was a 63% increase from last week. Yesterday at the state’s six mega sites alone, they administered 10,000 doses. This coming week the state is expecting 55,575 first dose shots from Pfizer and 80,900 from Moderna which is an increase, and 55,575 second dose shots from Pfizer and 56,100 second shots from Moderna. Murphy said that if Johnson & Johnson is granted emergency approval for their vaccine, they could start shipping doses in early March.
- Statewide positivity for tests drawn on Feb. 1 (during the snowstorm) was 6.83%. In North Jersey 4.85%, Central Jersey 7.72%, South Jersey 7.8%. Although Murphy cautioned that this may be because of the snow, he is still hoping that this low rate is a trend.
- In hospitals in the past 24 hours there have been 436 COVID patients discharged, 377 admitted, and 54 non-lab confirmed COVID deaths.
— by Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher