New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy re-declared a public health emergency Tuesday in a move that will keep a school mask mandate in place across the Garden State.
Murphy’s announcement came hours before the expiration of emergency powers he got in a 2021 deal with lawmakers. With those powers gone, the power to decide about mask mandates would’ve gone to local school districts rather than the state.
The new emergency won’t mean any new universal mandates lockdowns, business restrictions or gathering limits, Murphy said in a video announcement.
“I am certain that there are some who are going to do their best to continue to spread misinformation about what this means so I want you to hear it from me,” he said.
“It does not mean going backward from any of the progress we’ve made together over the past 22 months,” he added. “In fact, in your day-to-day life, this step won’t have any new impact at all. What it does mean is that we can continue moving forward with our coordinated and responsible approach to putting Omicron and COVID behind us.”
Murphy struck a deal with Democrats in the state’s legislature last year that ended New Jersey’s public health emergency but keep some authority to set COVID restrictions, northjersey.com reported. Murphy wanted to extend that authority but lawmakers balked about continuing to give Murphy the power to keep the mandate for schools and day cares, the publication said.
In his statement Tuesday, Murphy said the state is averaging 35,000 new cases a day and saw 10,000 people hospitalized related to COVID in the last two weeks. The new declaration, which lasts at least 30 days, gave the state the ability to move resources as needed, he said.
This is an excerpt from the New York Post.
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