With a tripledemic causing 70% of pediatric beds to be occupied in New Jersey and New York City urging people to don face coverings indoors again, Gov. Phil Murphy does not believe a mask mandate is in the offering anytime soon in the Garden State.
“I don’t foresee any mandates in New Jersey unless something drastically changes,” Murphy stated Dec. 12 in Dover after announcing nearly $25 million in grant funding as part of an ongoing initiative to incentivize mass transit use and pedestrian safety.
Besides questions about care at nursing homes, the state’s mask mandate policies was one of the most divisive during the pandemic. Currently, masks are only mandated to be worn in health care settings. Murphy dropped the state’s mask mandate in schools in early 2022 and ended the rule requiring face coverings on NJ Transit a couple of months later.
NYC Masking Policy
But the issue is being broached again after New York City’s Health Commissioner issued an advisory urging people to “use high-quality masks when indoors and in crowded outdoor settings” such as stores, offices, lobbies, elevators and schools.
In North Jersey, hospitals are seeing an increase of patients with three aliments—COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus, more commonly referred to as RSV, and the flu.
Dubbed a “tripledemic” for the three leading viruses that began spreading earlier than usual this year, the rise of cases for the three ailments is expected to get worse as Christmas, New Year’s Eve and other holidays bring more indoor gatherings and travel, which typically increase the risk of transmission.
The week after Thanksgiving saw a surge in emergency room visits by children sickened with flu, RSV or COVID, reaching a combined high of 943 on Nov. 29. That has led to more admissions, and about 70% of New Jersey’s pediatric beds were filled throughout November, according to a report released by the New Jersey Hospital Association.
It’s a situation that caused Cathy Bennett, CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association to say the upcoming winter months will “test the health care system’s capacity and resiliency.”
For Murphy, the way to ensure avoiding a mask mandate harkins back to the same principles he preached during the most active periods of the pandemic.
“I think people should just use their commonsense and do the basic stuff like get vaccinated, get boosted, if you’re not feeling well — certainly if you test positive — take yourself off the field,” said Murphy. “That to me remains the right sensible, commonsense advice. We don’t want to mandate things that we can’t enforce and I don’t think the market is going to bear that.”
The comments by Murphy are the first on the coronavirus since the state issued a Request for Proposals to seek a vendor who could “manage systemic changes and provide qualified, administrative staff” to help lead the turnaround efforts at state-run veterans homes. That move was preceded after Murphy fulfilled a long promised postmortem into his administration’s action during the pandemic to be headed by Paul Zoubek.
The governor’s comments come as the CDC now considers Bergen, Hudson and Passaic counties to have “high” community levels of COVID-19. The remaining 18 counties in the state have “medium” transmission levels. And other metrics—such as rate of transmission and new COVID-19 cases—are on the rise but are well below the spikes of the last two Winters.
Murphy did add one caveat for a mask mandate, noting that “if it changes dramatically, we reserve the right, obviously. But I don’t foresee that happening.”
The latest COVID-19 stats as of Dec. 13:
New daily PCR cases: 1,967; Probable Cases: 979
Total Cases: 2,879,897 (2,428,656 PCR cases, 451,241 probable cases)
New Confirmed Deaths: 23 (15 probable deaths, 35,268 total deaths)
Rate of Transmission: 1.12
Percent Positivity: 11.0% as of Nov. 26; by region, the rate was 11.8% in the North, 11.1% in the Central region and 8.8% in the South
Bergen County: 238 New Cases, 127 Probable Cases, 3,295 deaths, 336 probable deaths
Essex County: 199 New Cases, 63 Probable Cases, 3,393 deaths, 312 probable deaths
Hudson County: 183 New Cases, 57 Probable Cases, 2,594 total deaths, 221 probable deaths
Morris County: 83 New Cases, 88 Probable Cases, 1,340 deaths, 306 probable deaths
Passaic County: 145 New Cases, 64 Probable Cases, 2,220 deaths, 206 probable deaths
Sussex County: 15 New Cases, 26 Probable Cases, 415 deaths, 97 probable deaths
Warren County: 40 New Cases, 20 Probable Cases, 326 deaths, 29 probable deaths
Hospitalizations: 1,369 (548 North; 528 Central; and 293 South)
Patients in intensive care units: 146
Patients on ventilators: 55
Patients discharged: 115
The state dashboard showed all 71 hospitals in the state reporting
Long-term Care Facilities
Facilities currently reporting one case: 339 (3,165 overall)
Current number of residents: 8.003 (63,565 overall)
Current number of staffers: 5,477 (48,744 overall)
Number of Deaths: 9,864 overall (8,936 reported by facilities, 139 staff deaths)
Total number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey: 14,976,938 (14,447,422 in-state, plus an additional 529,516 administered out-of-state)
Fully Vaccinated: 7,142,173 (6,936,868 in state and another 205,305 out of state). By county, 750,031 in Bergen County, 622,767 in Essex, 553,194 in Hudson, 401,520 in Morris, 373,146 in Passaic, 95,695 in Sussex, and 63,658 in Warren.
Booster Shots: 4,339,367 (2,399,934 Pfizer, 1,864,985 Moderna and 74,448 Johnson & Johnson)
Let’s ignore all the studies that prove masking not only doesn’t work, it has a negative affect on the health of children and their ability to learn. Big Pharma is strong in NJ and they will use fear to coerce the ignorant instead of educating people on how they can boost their immune system like taking plenty of vitamin D, and for the obese (the most vulnerable outside of those with pre-existing conditions) to lose weight in a healthy way. Other states with lower death rates laugh at us when we consider ineffective virtue-signaling measures like masking and boosting every 2 months.
Masks dont stop covid and the mRNA vaccines dont stop infection spread and transmission so there is no reason to mandate them. Most people are not at risk of severe Covid so they don’t even need to get a booster
The mrna vaccine is killed and injured hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The vaccine campaign has been a complete disaster, a total catastrophe and should be immediately halted
Once again murphy reveals his ignorance and corruption
I think we should give credit to Murphy here for not entertaining this nonsense. The same can’t be said for the clown in NY.
Every reputable peer reviewed study has shown that masks are very effective at preventing transmission, provided they are N95s, fitted and worn properly. I double mask with two N95s, which adds an extra layer of protection.
Vaccines have very limited prevention capability, but they do prevent severe disease, though that is declining as new variants emerge. We do need a pan-coronavirus vaccine, to provide coverage for the full range of variants, but the right wingers, like Dirk and Don Cue refuse to fund research into this important vaccine. Dirk claims to be a physician, but he’s lying about that. I’ve investigated him, and he’s most certainly not.
Well then; Vigilance above All.. With the, ‘Let the one’s whom Ride Decide’ Policy!!//
Most people will do what they’re permitted to do, figuring that if they’re legally allowed to do something, it must be safe. Bad idea. This is why we have to mandate masking. If it only affected the person masking, I could see an individual choice approach, but since not wearing a mask affects others around the unmasked person (even those wearing masks, themselves), as well as increasing the load on hospitals, which, of course, affects everyone, masking must, unfortunately, be mandated.
I get that most people are really tired of the mitigation measures. That doesn’t change the facts on the ground vis a vis the impact of the COVID-19 viruses.
Why would we need another vaccine when these variants are a shell of the originals? Let’s not forget the CDC changed the definition of what a vaccine is in September of 2021 because of this failed attempt. They lied repeatedly. Told us you wouldn’t be susceptible, told us we couldn’t transmit (even though they never tested it). Big Pharma and their captured federal agencies are all about the almighty dollar, not public health. We don’t need more experimental vaccines without long term research as every other vax before this has had. We need education on getting people healthy and to start subsidizing farmers for growing Kale instead of corn and sugar. “I’m so glad i got the vaccine or I would’ve been sicker” is the sheep line they want you to say. Meanwhile more vaccinated athletes of suddenly died on the field in the past 2 years more than any other time in history.
“This is why we have to mandate masking. If it only affected the person masking, I could see an individual choice approach, but since not wearing a mask affects others around the unmasked person” – Howard, you need to start reading all the studies that prove masking is ineffectively and actually negatively affects the health of children and their ability to learn. Every person would need to wear a hermetically-sealed N95 or K95 mask at all times to reduce risk, and in turn would increase their own risk of respiratory issues. Instead let’s have the vulnerable take extra precautions and let everybody else live their lives. Brilliant scientists and doctors from the most esteemed universities created the Great Barrington in the beginning of the pandemic which laid out a plan to protect the most vulnerable. Instead of having an open discourse about it Fauci instructed his minions to discredit them as ‘fringe’. Now even mainstream big pharma loving doctors agree with their assessment (despite many of the scientists and doctors losing their livelihood for going against the government narrative). The foundation of science is to question science and throughout this pandemic Big Tech has been censoring and demonetizing anybody that just wanted to ask a question.
Every news show on the major networks is sponsored by Pfizer. Even with all the deaths (The US has handled it way worse than most of the world) the disease still has a 99.5% mortality rate. Many European countries and even US states stopped mask mandates way before NJ and have had way better success with this virus. Let’s analyze the facts and not act out of fear.
I read peer reviewed studies, and that is exactly the opposite of what they say.
Everything you say is false Don Cue
99.5% mortality rate of the virus = true
US having way more deaths per capita than other developed countries = true
Pfizer sponsoring major news shows on major networks = true
CDC lying to us that if you get the shot you won’t get covid = true
CDC & Pfizer lying to us that the shot will stop transmission = true
Fauci discrediting esteemed epidemiologists and virologists for proposing sane solutions = true
Cloth masks being ineffective = true
Fauci admitting that natural immunity is better than pharma acquired immunity = true
I can go on but I can see you’re captured too. Let’s just agree to disagree and you can wear your mask and get a shot every 2 months.
Just because you say something is true doesn’t make it so. The above is mostly false. The only partially true exception is that cloth masks are less effective than N95 or KN95 mask, but they do offer some modest degree of protection, depending on the exact conditions of exposure. Mostly, they prevent droplets from directly reaching and infecting you, but as COVID is aerosolized, much of the infectiousness comes not from larger droplets (e.g. from coughs or sneezes), which tend to fall to the ground rather quickly, but from much smaller particles that suspend in the air and float around for hours. The aerosolized particles are large enough to be caught by the external fibres of a good N95 properly warn. Getting COVID is often down to viral load, and so anything that helps to reduce the load is a good thing. N95s definitely help. Cloth masks, less so, but anything is better than nothing.
All of the rest of the above are demonstrably false, and actually, you’re so uniformed that you think mortality means rate of survival. That doesn’t reflect well on the veracity of other things you’ve said, because you’ve demonstrated a lack of basic English language comprehension, and so all of your assertions are called into question. To be clear, no, mortality is the rate of death/fatality. By your count, COVID is 99.5% fatal! LOL! Actually, depending on where you’re talking about, mortality rates of COVID are typically between ca 1-3%. Here’s an excellent link to a reliable source, Johns Hopkins University, on COVID mortality rates around the globe: