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Murphy Strongly Recommends Masking in Indoor Settings with Increased Risk

Following yesterday’s announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding new masking guidelines, Gov. Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli today strongly recommended that both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents wear masks in indoor settings when there is increased risk.

The CDC announced yesterday that it was recommending the wearing of masks in indoor public places in areas of substantial or high transmission of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

In New Jersey, Monmouth County was reported as having a “high” transmission rate, while Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Ocean and Passaic counties were reported has having “substantial” transmission rates.

The New Jersey recommendations for mask wearing issued today include the following examples:

  • Crowded indoor settings
  • Indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated
  • Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown
  • Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease

The governor and Commissioner Persichilli issued the following statement:

“Our metrics are trending in the wrong direction, and new data suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible even among vaccinated individuals, which is why we are making this strong recommendation.

“Fortunately, our numbers are a fraction of those in many other states, most of which have significantly lower vaccination rates. Should our numbers reach those levels, we reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate.

“We have crushed this virus repeatedly like no other state in the nation, and we are proud to boast among the country’s highest vaccination rates. But at this point, given where our metrics are now, we feel the best course of action is to strongly encourage every New Jerseyan, and every visitor to our state, to take personal responsibility and mask up indoors when prudent.

“And we equally encourage every unvaccinated resident or visitor to get vaccinated. The vaccines are proven safe and highly effective, and are the surest way we can end this pandemic.”

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