Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Implementing Second Phase of COVID-19 Restriction Easing
Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 239, moving forward with the COVID-19 restriction easing announced last week. The easing includes the complete removal of the outdoor gathering limit; an increased indoor gathering limit; the complete removal of all percentage-based capacity limits for indoor businesses, outdoor businesses, and houses of worship,; and an increased indoor large venue capacity. Additionally, the prohibition on indoor interstate youth sports competitions is being lifted.
“Throughout the pandemic, data and public health needs have guided the hard decisions we’ve made on COVID-19 restrictions,” said Governor Murphy. “With COVID-19 metrics trending in the right direction amidst substantial progress on our COVID-19 vaccination program, we can move forward with these significant steps towards a return to normalcy.”
Governor Murphy Announces Appointments to the New Jersey Puerto Rico Commission
Governor Phil Murphy announced 29 appointments to the New Jersey Puerto Rico Commission. The Commission, which was established under legislation signed into law by Governor Murphy in January 2020, will build upon the Administration’s efforts to promote interconnectivity between Puerto Ricans living in New Jersey and on the island.
“Many Puerto Ricans live in New Jersey and their contributions to the fabric of our state have been immense,” said Governor Murphy. “We have a longstanding friendship with the government of Puerto Rico and the people of Puerto Rico and this Commission will serve to bring that relationship to even greater heights. We could not have better leaders than Peggy and Jose to lead this effort.”
Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Requiring Maternal Health Care Professionals to Undergo Explicit and Implicit Bias Training
Governor Phil Murphy signed S703/A1079, requiring all health care professionals who provide perinatal treatment and care to pregnant persons at a hospital or birthing center undergo explicit and implicit bias training.
“The health of our Black mothers and babies is critical to the health of our state – period,” said Governor Murphy. “This value is reflected in my Fiscal Year 2021 budget through the full funding of explicit and implicit bias training for all staff at our labor and delivery hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers. I am grateful and proud that my colleagues in the Legislature share this value and I am committed to continuing our work to eliminate the racial disparities that fuel the Black maternal and infant and mortality crisis in New Jersey.”
“For the past three years, Nurture NJ has been laser focused on transforming a system that has historically failed Black women and babies,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “The Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Statewide Strategic Plan is our blueprint to address the core factor at the heart of our Black maternal and infant health crisis -- implicit bias and systemic racism. This is a massive undertaking that requires collaboration across all levels of government and industries, and I am grateful that the Governor and Legislature recognize the kind of systemic change needed to ensure a healthy start for every New Jersey mother and baby.”
Governor Murphy Announces Masking Guidance
In response to the CDC's new masking guidance for vaccinated Americans, Governor Murphy announced that the indoor mask mandate will continue for the time being in New Jersey, while outdoor masking may cease for those who are vaccinated.
“With all respect to the CDC, we have made extraordinary progress,” said Governor Murphy. "We have gone the past month from being the state with highest per capita hospitalizations and fatalities, it has dropped over the past couple of weeks 78% of the key metrics. A big part of that reason is folks are getting vaccinated and folks are doing the right thing. As far as we can tell, and as much as we want to get there, and we will get there as it relates to indoor masking, its only a matter of time, if you are a business or a public setting, we are not there yet, we are frankly not there yet.”
Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin Announce Intention to End COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
As New Jersey continues to make progress in the fight against COVID-19 and with state metrics continuing to trend in the right direction, Governor Phil Murphy and his Administration have begun working with Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin on legislation that will end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in place since March 2020, while also ensuring that the Administration retains necessary tools to manage the ongoing threat to public health, as well as recovery and vaccination efforts.
“After an extremely difficult year, we are seeing the results of our mitigation efforts and our successful vaccination program,” said Governor Murphy. “In order to continue on the path to normalcy, we need all available resources to continue our progress in vaccinating New Jerseyans and finally beating back this pandemic. Our Administration is working closely with Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin on legislation that will allow the public health emergency to expire, but ensure that we have the necessary tools and flexibility to continue the fight against the pandemic, including the vaccination efforts that are our highest priority. By working together, we are confident that we can move to the next phase of our recovery effort."