NJ COVID public health emergency ends Monday, says Murphy

TRENTON — With a statewide school mask mandate he called “the last major mitigation we had in place” set to expire on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday that the emergency of public health COVID-19 that he had declared for New Jersey would also end on March 7.

In a procedural move to allow his administration to retain some pandemic powers at the height of the omicron variant’s rise, Murphy instituted a new public health emergency declaration on January 11, then extended it on January 7. February when he announced the imminent end. compulsory school masking.

“I know you are both mentally and physically exhausted and ready to get back to normal, and there is no doubt, we are too,” Murphy said on Friday, reiterating during his last scheduled COVID briefing that New Jersey was transitioning from pandemic to an endemic phase of the virus responsible for more than 30,000 deaths in the state.

While the public health emergency will end, Murphy said a broader, COVID-related state of emergency first issued on March 9, 2020, remains in effect, similar to that at the time. Chris Christie said after Super Hurricane Sandy. Murphy said the Sandy command is still active nearly a decade later.

Such designations allow New Jersey to continue to receive and distribute federal stimulus funds, Murphy said, but do not affect daily life in the Garden State.

“The days when large-scale mitigation measures were needed are over and hopefully never will come again,” he said.

Responding specifically to that quote, State Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, issued a statement later Friday calling on Murphy to lift all remaining COVID vaccination mandates issued by his administration.

“The governor should lift his overbearing vaccination mandates for health care workers, health care aides and correctional officers,” Bucco said. “No one should be fired from their job because they want to make their own health decisions.”

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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