As New Jerseyans get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli says don't forget the mask.

Even with New Jersey's high vaccination rate, she says even the vaccinated may want to mask up in large gatherings.

Gov. Phil Murphy lifted all of the state's indoor and outdoor gathering limits as well as the mask mandate. Many towns are planning to resume their annual fireworks displays after having to cancel last year. However, a number of shore towns have cancelled festivities this year, fearing large crowds. (you can get a list of towns planning fireworks celebrations here)

Persichilli says is is important to remember that COVID-19 is still circulating, and encouraged people to keep their celebrations safe, especially if anyone is attending who is not vaccinated.

"While fully vaccinated individuals are encouraged to resume normal activities," Persichilli said. "They should not be discouraged from wearing a mask for higher risk activities, such as being in a crowded indoor location."

She encouraged people to keep their gatherings outside.

New Jersey is approaching 5 million fully vaccinated residents. The number of new cases has been dropping, but the Murphy administration continues to raise concern about the Delta Variant. About 15.6% of all new COVID cases are infections from Delta. It is considered more transmissible, but does not appear to cause more serious illness.

State health officials say the majority of new cases are coming among those who have yet to be vaccinated.

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