With the state’s COVID-19 case numbers continuing to fall and hospital metrics improving, Gov. Phil Murphy said today that his final COVID-19 press briefing will be March 4.
“Now is the time to end these briefings. … We understand the need to move forward … to move into our new normal and transition from a pandemic stance to an endemic one,” Murphy said.
March 4 is the two-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in the state and it will also mark more than 250 briefings, most of them streamed live from the George Washington Ballroom within the Trenton War Memorial.
“We are closing in on the day, two years ago, where everything was turned upside down, and we have spent every day since working hard to get things back to a sense of normal,” the governor said.
With the school and childcare center mask mandate being lifted on March 7, Murphy was asked if other government agencies will be fully open on that day, particularly Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) and state unemployment offices.
He responded by saying that everything is being considered, “but not everything will happen on March 7.” The governor said he wants to get schools organized first, and then get into other areas, such as mask requirements in state buildings. “We will get to MVC, unemployment offices and the whole shooting match, but it won’t be on March 7,” Murphy said.
He said there is no news to report in rescinding or declaring another public health emergency, but added, “We want to bring this to a head as soon as possible.”
He said that getting people vaccinated will continue to be a “huge priority,” and that should the need arise, he would not hesitate to start his briefings again in order to educate and update residents.
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