Gov. Phil Murphy said today that the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is expanding special outdoor liquor licensing permits. The extension will be in effect from the end of Nov. through March 2021 and will cost a “nominal $10 fee.”
“For many of our residents, having the ability to serve liquor to their customers beyond their normal premises has been meaningful and in some cases lifesaving for them in these challenging times,” Murphy said.
Murphy also reported that the state has seen 1,192 new positive cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 221,205.
As of yesterday, New Jersey hospitals were treating 758 patients, 579 of whom tested positive for COVID-19, and 179 listed as persons under investigation awaiting test results.
A total of 166 individuals were in critical or intensive care with 62 ventilators in use statewide.
“While these numbers are a far cry from where we were at our springtime peaks, they are also significantly higher than where we were throughout much of the summer and until just a few weeks ago,” Murphy said.
He reiterated that many of the new cases are not coming from schools or businesses, but from private gatherings inside private homes.
“As the cooler weather pulls more of us back inside, we have to remain extra vigilant,” Murphy said.
He also added, “Of the things that can be enforced and regulated, we don’t have the evidence right now that would lead to our reversing [the decision of allowing specific types of gatherings],” noting that personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital capacity are less of a concern than earlier in the pandemic.
Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichelli echoed this sentiment stating, “I believe we have adequate PPE, and definitely adequate operational and strategic stockpile. … My anticipation is that our biggest struggle will be staffing. As we experience community spread, people who work in hospitals and long-term care facilities are members of the community. If they fall ill, backup will be difficult, because every other state in the nation is having the same difficulties we are having.”
Murphy additionally urged residents to download the COVID Alert NJ Exposure Notification app to their phones. Information about the app can be found at covid19.nj.gov/app, and it can be downloaded in the Apple App and Google Play store.
According to the governor, the app has been downloaded more than 205,000 times.
“We need even more of you to take this quick and easy step,” Murphy said. “It can be an important tool for us in not only notifying those who may be exposed to the virus, but also for extinguishing hot spots.”
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