There’s something unappealing about dining outside when it’s more than 90 degrees.
So it was no surprise that the governor was asked today when indoor dining – and air conditioning – will return to the Garden State.
The simple answer – not yet.
The numbers continue to look good. Phil Murphy announced only 117 new Covid-19 cases today and only nine deaths. The testing positivity rate is less than 3 percent and the transmission rate is below 1 percent.
But the governor wants more before he contemplates reopening indoor dining, which originally was supposed to happen back on July 2.
He spoke about a seven-day rolling average of such metrics as positivity rate and new hospitalizations. He wants to see steady downward trends.
That’s not all.
Murphy also wants to see “some dying of (the) raging fires we are seeing in other states.”
The governor has a point. The virus has been spiking for weeks in many other states.
To that end, Murphy says he wants to make sure people entering New Jersey from high risk states are entering self-quarantine. This can be a chancy thing. As Murphy admits, the State Police are not stopping people at the borders. A lot of this is voluntary and Murphy hopes to see evidence – if that’s possible – people are doing it.
And he reiterated a point he has made often – the virus spreads more quickly inside than it does in the open air. He speculated most of the spiking in other states stems from indoor activity.
So dining outside appears to be the order of the day for the foreseeable future.
To that end, the governor today praised the creativity of restaurants to make eating outside attractive. He spoke of visiting restaurants over the weekend in his home area of Monmouth County and discovering unique seating plans and streets closed to accommodate tables under the stars.
“You felt like you were in some European city,” he said.
Red Bank and Paris, perfect together. Who knew?