Labor Day traditionally is the end of summer, meaning things are now “back to normal.”
Not really, but close.
With restaurants and movie theaters now open, albeit with limited capacity, just how did things go over the holiday weekend?
Pretty good, according to the governor.
“We had very few reported cases of knucklehead behavior,” Phil Murphy said at today’s COVID-19 briefing.
In fact, Pat Callahan, the head of the State Police, said there were “zero” violations of state executive orders.
With this being the first day of school for many New Jersey students, the governor reported that most school districts in the state (388) are operating in a hybrid manner – part in-person and part remote. Murphy seemed happy with how things are going.
Not all agree.
Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber said via Twitter that he sees huge problems with the first day of school. primarily with remote learning. He related details of some parents complaining about technical glitches and confused teachers.
Webber said kids should be back in the classroom, declaring that it’s “low risk for most kids & teachers to get together.”
The governor’s approval ratings have remained high throughout the pandemic. How public schools operate in the weeks ahead may test that. Schools are a very local concern, but any widespread problems probably will lead back to the governor.
But there was no concern about that today.
With schools opening and a no-violation weekend behind him, Murphy praised residents for working to combat the virus by wearing masks, social distancing and generally, practicing common sense. And he reflected upon a road back that began months ago with the opening of beaches and parks. And now we can go to the movies and eat indoors.
There are still many new cases and a handful of deaths reported every day, but the metrics remain good. Today, Murphy reported a positivity rate of less than 2 percent and a transmission rate a bit above 1 percent, which is a little higher than it’s been. But on balance, these are good numbers.
But as the governor is fond of saying, it’s not yet time to spike the football.
Or as he put it today, “We must continue to be vigilant.”