To hit head-on a continuing upward climb in COVID-19 cases, Governor Phil Murphy this afternoon announced his decision to retighten restrictions on house parties, limiting gatherings to 25% of a room’s capacity with a maximum of 25 people, down from 100.
“The actions of a few knuckleheads leave us no other course. until we see the rate of transmission drop appreciably, these restrictions will remain in place,” Murphy said. “We remain in a public health emergency. Everyone needs to get it together, folks, and fast. This is not yet past us.”
Some restaurants are opening street front windows.
That is not acceptable, Murphy said.
“Unless your restaurant has [at least two open outer walls you can’t open],” he clarified.
The crack-down on social gatherings won’t apply to weddings and religious and political activites. But those events will be limited to 25% of a room’s capacity. Those types of gatherings can have a maximum of 100 persons.
“To be clear this caps indoor house parties to 25 people, period,” said Murphy, bothered by a COVID-19 rate jump to 1.48% , which, by contrast, stood at 0.87% a month ago.
“We believe some of these is attributable to indoor house parties,” Murphy said, specifically idenfiying gatherins in Middletown, responsible for 60 cases and, and in Long Beach Island.
“With the hot humid weather indoor gatherings where social distancing isn’t practiced just aren’t safe,” the governor said.