With these COVID metrics, how can NJ stay closed? — Top News 5/3
New Jersey has now passed 7 million vaccine doses given out. The milestone was passed over the weekend.
The state reports 7,096,588 people have received inoculations; 3,081,748 are considered fully vaccinated; another 4,268,603 people have had at least one dose. Well over 70% of the state's adult population will be fully vaccinated by Memorial Day.
In addition, the COVID-19 rate of transmission (r/t) has now fallen to levels not seen in over a year. As of Sunday, the r/t was .46. Hospitalizations have fallen below 1,500.
All of this means your chances of contracting COVID in New Jersey continues to dwindle. What happens next?
For the second weekend in a row, Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that he would have a major announcement on pandemic restrictions. He is scheduled to hold a briefing Monday at 1 p.m. Neighboring states have been removing most restrictions and New York City vowed a full reopening and a summer of tourism starting July 1. It is hard to believe New Jersey would not closely mirror those states with the summer tourism season so critical to so many industries.
Restaurants and bars, in particular, are anxious to get back to full capacity. To date, there has not been a single documented case of an outbreak traced to a patron in a New Jersey restaurant.
Operating at 50% capacity with bar service banned has left many restaurants teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Warmer weather means restaurants can take advantage of expanded outdoor dining, but indoor dining is still critical to the survival of the industry.
That's the biggest question about what Murphy will do Monday. He has been far more willing to expand capacity limits for outdoor activities. However, with vaccination rates in New Jersey among the highest in the nation and exceeding the governor's own ambitious goals, it will be harder for Murphy to keep restrictions in place.
More Top N.J. News:
- New Jersey passes 7 million shots in arms. Rate of transmission lowest in over a year.
- State troopers dispatched down the shore to enforce capacity and gathering limits.
- If Rutgers can have 5,000 for football, why not an in-person graduation?
- Kean University latest to require student vaccinations.
- New Jersey may be holding some of your money. Here is how to claim it.
- Workplace shooting prevented by quick-thinking store manager.
- Average home prices spike more than $100,000 in a year.
- New Jersey golf club that has long banned women, preparing to accept first female member.