Face mask tenure ends in New Jersey before Memorial Day weekend; NYC sends vaccine buses to beaches – NBC New York
What there is to know
- Ahead of the holiday weekend, NJ is lifting its indoor mask rule for fully vaccinated people as well as its social distancing mandate in businesses, including restaurants, retail stores, gyms and casinos.
- It occurs as vaccination rates increase and infection rates decline; New Jersey saw its baseline viral levels continue to decline as New York state reported 10 COVID deaths on Thursday, the lowest toll in one day since October 30.
- To encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated, New Jersey and New York have announced a host of incentives and they plan to roll out a vaccination campaign on Memorial Day weekend in summer locations. popular.
Just over a week after New York and Connecticut lifted indoor mask rules for fully vaccinated people as all three states lifted most of the remaining COVID capacity limits, New Jersey joins neighbors on Friday to adopt the updated CDC guidelines.
The message of the three governors remains the same: get vaccinated.
New Jersey’s decision to adopt the latest CDC guidelines comes as millions of people are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of thousands of them – potentially – to the Jersey Shore. Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to announce a new vaccination campaign along this popular summer season later Friday.
Murphy has defended a torrent of criticism of the mask-lifting delay, particularly from Republicans hoping to remove him from office in November and business owners who have said customers could just make it to New York if they wanted to be maskless.
The main reason? Murphy didn’t want to have to tell fully vaccinated people to put their masks back on. He hasn’t had to reverse a gradual step since the start of the pandemic, the governor said, and if a little more time on the watch saved another life or encouraged a few more vaccinations, Murphy said it would. worth it.
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Viral levels in the Garden State continued to decline over the past 10 days as the number of fully vaccinated New Jersey people increased.
Nearly 4.2 million New Jerseyens are fully vaccinated as of Friday, representing nearly 47% of the state’s population. Murphy is over 88% of his previously stated goal of fully immunizing 4.7 million New Jersey adults by June 30 and is on track to meet it early.
Also on Friday, the state lifts the requirement to maintain a 6-foot distance at all indoor and outdoor businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, gyms and casinos. Dance floors in bars and restaurants may also reopen and the requirement that individuals be seated while ordering and eating or drinking also ends on Friday.
New Jersey businesses will now have to decide for themselves whether or not to require masks for customers and employees. Masks are still mandatory in state public offices, such as motor vehicle commission buildings, in all health care facilities, on planes, buses and other forms of transportation, and in health centers. transport like airports.
Ahead of the holiday weekend, New Jersey is raising the indoor mask mandate and the requirement to maintain 6 feet in all indoor and outdoor businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, gyms and casinos. NBC New York’s Tracie Strahan reports.
Masks will also always be needed in schools, daycares and summer camps. Murphy said this week that he expects mask rules to continue in schools into the fall. He says many of the younger ones likely won’t be vaccinated by then, although they seemed puzzled during a recent COVID briefing by a suggestion that high schools might be able to lift rules sooner.
Murphy previously lifted the outer mask rules for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people in his state, although he encourages outer masking for those who have not yet received their vaccine. New York City officials are pushing for the same.
More than 53% of residents of the five boroughs aged 18 and over are now fully immunized, while nearly 56% of state residents in that age group say the same.
In another attempt to reach unvaccinated people wherever they are, New York City has announced it will bring mobile vaccination sites to its beaches and popular summer sites starting this holiday weekend. .
Mobile sites will include Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Rockaways, Orchard Beach, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Prospect Park and Governors Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The mayor has also offered home delivery of vaccines to New Yorkers 75 and older as well as people with disabilities who may have more difficulty getting to a site.
âWe’re going to go the extra mile whatever it takes. And we’re going to go wherever the people are, so you have to see our vaccine buses all over New York City the next few days,â de Blasio said Thursday. . “And with so many amazing attractions coming back, the beaches are coming back – so you’re going to see the vaccination buses on the beaches.”
The sentiment across the unique epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and for its neighbors is much more exuberant than it was on the last Memorial Day weekend, when the United States had a tenuous grip on the COVID rates drop ahead of one of the busiest travel times of the year.
This time around, there are vaccines – and more than half of American adults (50.6%) have taken advantage of their chance to get a full vaccine since December.
But if you’re not vaccinated and planning to travel or be in the crowds this holiday weekend, the CDC chief has a warning for you.
âWe have seen after holiday weekends in the past that cases have increased, but we have never been in a position where nearly half of American adults have been vaccinated and protected against this virus,â said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. during a White House briefing this week before the nation crosses the midpoint for adults.
The CDC’s sudden announcement that mask warrants could be lifted for fully vaccinated people surprised many and was criticized for creating unnecessary confusion. Dr Anthony Fauci told NBCLX he agreed the mask’s message was ‘sub-optimal’, but also explained why it was still the right decision.
âOur advice is very clear: if you are vaccinated you are protected. And if you are not vaccinated, this Memorial Day weekend we really encourage you to follow our advice for the unvaccinated and , of course, to get vaccinated, âWalensky added.
While more than half of Americans aged 18 and over are now vaccinated, that number drops slightly, to 47.4%, when the age range is expanded to those 12 and over, according to the latest data. of the CDC. Nearly three-quarters of the U.S. population aged 65 and over are fully immunized, but that number has leveled off in recent weeks.