NJ's Murphy reduces number of people allowed at indoor gatherings

By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday reduced the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings in New Jersey, days after he warned the state would do so if its COVID-19 transmission rate continued to increase. 

Indoor gatherings will be limited to 25 percent of a room’s capacity, with a maximum of 25 people, until further notice, Murphy said Monday afternoon. 

Weddings, funerals, memorial services and religious and political activities will also be limited to 25 percent capacity, but will be allowed to include a maximum of 100 people, he said.

The state’s current rate of transmission is 1.48 — up from 0.87 a month ago, Murphy said. 

“We believe that some of this increase is attributable to the number of indoor house parties we’ve been seeing across the state. Indoor gatherings are not safe,” he said. 

“We know that there are many more of you who’ve been responsible in your actions, and who’ve taken your civic duties to help us defeat COVID-19 seriously,” he added. “Unfortunately, the actions of a few knuckleheads leave us no other choice. We have to go back and tighten these restrictions.”

Up until Monday, indoor gatherings were capped at either 25 percent capacity or maximum 100 people. The new restrictions will remain in place until the state sees its COVID-19 numbers decrease over the course of seven days, Murphy said. 

The governor also said face coverings will be required “for all students at all times” if children end up returning to schools in the fall. The state will make exceptions for students with disabilities.

Murphy reported 264 new COVID-19 cases and 10 new deaths on Monday, bringing the state’s case total to 182,614 and its death toll to 13,971. Three of the deaths happened over the past five days. The state is also investigating 1,875 probable COVID-19 deaths.

As of Sunday, 738 people in the state were hospitalized with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, 49 of whom were on ventilators, he said.