New Jersey is facing a “grave situation” along with most US states, said Governor Philip Murphy on Tuesday as the state introduced new restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the virus.
The state reported 3,877 new Covid-19 cases and 21 additional deaths, according to its data dashboard.
“This is a grave situation as it is probably right now in most American states,” Murphy said during an interview on WKYW radio Tuesday. “New Jersey paid an enormous price early on and we were able to battle through that, but we are clearly not out of the woods.”
The new policies, which go into effect Thursday, include:
- Restrictions on indoor dining after 10 p.m.
- A ban on bar seating in restaurants
- Limitations on interstate sporting events
Murphy said the tendency of restaurants to turn into de facto clubs at night was thought to be fueling the state's Covid-19 resurgence.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka signed an executive order on Tuesday enacting additional measures, including a curfew in “hot zones,” to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the city, according to a news release.
“Newark’s test positivity rate is at 19%, while New Jersey’s is at 7.74% -- more than double," said Baraka in a statement. “Stricter measures are required in the city’s hotspots in order to contain the virus and limit the spread. I know we are all tired, but the virus is not, therefore we must remain vigilant and do what is necessary to get this under control and save lives.”
The new measures, effective immediately, include:
- All sports shall cease for two weeks with weekly testing after that
- Indoor/outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people
- No visitation allowed at long-term health care facilities for two weeks
- Religious services: attendance restricted to 25% capacity
- Restaurants/businesses/offices: Reservations limited to 10 people
Two weeks ago, the city imposed restrictions such as requiring non-essential businesses to close at 8 p.m. and salons to be open by appointment only as cases continued to climb.
As of November 9, the city has reported a total of 12,779 positive cases and 677 deaths.