When will NJ lift restrictions? Details next week on what’ll ‘trigger’ actions
TRENTON — He won’t have exact dates, but Gov. Phil Murphy expects to reveal next week more details about the steps being taken to lift his stay-at-home orders.
Murphy said Saturday that the state continues to "chip away at the blanket stay-at-home reality" and that on Monday or Tuesday he would describe "exactly what markers should we be expecting to trigger some actions."
In recent weeks, following steady declines in hospitalizations since April 15 and slower spread of the virus, Murphy has loosened some of the restrictions that have been in place for as long as eight weeks.
Murphy has reopened state parks and forests, gave the go-ahead for beaches, allowed drive-thru venues to operate, permitted non-essential retail to conduct curbside transactions starting Monday, and is allowing the return of elective surgeries.
On Saturday, he signed a new executive order allowing chartered fishing boats and watercraft rentals to resume May 17.
Earlier this month, Murphy renewed for the second time a 30-day public health emergency declaration that will last until the first week of June, although restrictions on travel and commerce can be changed before then.
Murphy asked residents to "please be patient with each other."
"Know as the data continues to get better … we'll take more steps," he said. "I just want to thank everybody for the extraordinary behavior for the past coupe of months. We need to stay at it and if we stay at it together we will break the back of this and we'll reopen responsibly and we'll put this chapter — God willing, we'll learn lessons we will never forget for the rest of out lives — but we'll put this chapter behind us."
This week, the state passed 10,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the beginning of March. More than 10,200 deaths had been counted by Saturday, with 5,319 of them at long-term care facilities.
More than 3,500 patients with COVID-19 remain in hospitals, which discharged 380 coronavirus patients on Friday.