A new poll finds most New Jersey residents agree with Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to drop the school mask mandate at the beginning of this week.

Ashley Koning, the director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University, said a just-released Rutgers-Eagleton survey finds “46% of New Jerseyans strongly agree with governor Murphy’s decision to end the mandate, 22% somewhat agree, 12% somewhat disagree and 18% strongly disagree.”

She said 52% of parents surveyed strongly agree with lifting the mask mandate and a significant percentage of Republicans and independents also strongly support the move.

Enough with the masks

Koning said while most Garden State residents are ready to move on from COVID mentally and emotionally, at least half agree the pandemic is far from over.

“They are not as likely to be wearing masks indoors in public places anymore. They feel they have much less risk compared to spring of 2020," she said.

Compared to last June, “residents are now about half as likely to say they’re wearing a mask indoors in public spaces all the time, 35% say they’re doing this all the time, 22% most of the time, 17% some of the time, 11% rarely and 15% never.”

Less risk?

Compared to two years ago, 60% of people in the state feel they are at less risk of contracting COVID-19 while 33% feel they have the same amount of risk.

As far as worrying about getting COVID, concern is about half of what it was in the spring of 2020, with 14% saying they are worried and another 28% saying they are somewhat worried.

Back to normal

Koning said the poll also finds “54% feel very comfortable returning to some form of normal life, another 33% feel somewhat comfortable, 11% not very and 3% not at all.”

The survey also finds 49% believe the measures taken by the state to deal with the virus since the start of the pandemic have been just right, 32% say the state has gone too far and 17% say not far enough.

Keep doing what you're doing

Moving forward, 34% of respondents believe the state should have fewer mandates and restrictions, 16% said the state should be doing more in this regard while 49% think the state is doing exactly what it should be doing.

Among the 16% of the New Jerseyans who are unvaccinated, 12% said they will definitely or probably get a COVID vaccine, 19% said they will probably not get it and 64% indicated they will definitely not get vaccinated.

Among those with children over the age of 5, almost half have vaccinated their child. Among those with children of any age under 18, almost 3 in 10 who have yet to vaccinate their child say they will “definitely” (18 percent) or “probably” (11 percent) get their child vaccinated; one third, on the other hand, “probably” (11 percent) or “definitely” (23 percent) will not.

A total of 1,044 adults were contacted by live interviewers on landlines and cell phones between February 25 and March 4 for the poll. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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The Ultimate Guide to New Jersey Brewpubs

From the website that gave you the "Friendliest bars" and places to watch the game, comes the ultimate guide to New Jersey brewpubs.

So what's a "brew pub"?

According to Thompson Island's Article on the differences between a craft brewery, microbrewery, brewpub & gastropub, it says:
 
"A brewpub is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery. It sells at least 25% of its beer on-site in combination with significant food services. At a brewpub, the beer is primarily brewed for sale inside the restaurant or bar. Where it's legally allowed, brewpubs may sell beer to go or distribute it to some offsite destinations."

New Jersey has tons of Brewpubs, some of which have been around for years and some that have just opened in the past year.

Here is a full list of the 21 brewpubs in New Jersey according to New Jersey Craft Beer:

New Jersey's new legislative districts for the 2020s

Boundaries for the 40 legislative districts for the Senate and Assembly elections of 2023 through 2029, and perhaps 2031, were approved in a bipartisan vote of the Apportionment Commission on Feb. 18, 2022. The map continues to favor Democrats, though Republicans say it gives them a chance to win the majority.

Where everyone knows your name: Friendliest bars in NJ