“We’re not there yet” Murphy tells New Jersey to keep wearing face masks

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TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Friday afternoon said he will not be following the CDC guidance on mask wearing. Although President Biden and CDC Director Rachel Walensky both declared that those who have been fully vaccinated do not have to wear face masks, Murphy said not his state.

“We will keep our indoor mask mandate in place in public settings as we continue to work toward our vaccination goals,” Murphy said. “To be clear, we’re making incredible progress, but we’re not there yet.”

Today, New Jersey is top ten in vaccinations and the top five in the lowest case count, the governor then said. H

“One thing is abundantly clear: fully vaccinated people are much safer to engage in everyday life than unvaccinated people. This is even more reason for every eligible New Jerseyan to make the decision to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.

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Murphy said he will not change his executive order and defy the science-based announcement by the CDC. Murphy now insists his state’s science is more accurate than the CDC’s guidance.

“We also agree with the CDC that vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks at small private gatherings, such as at their homes with family and friends,” he said. “And we agree that vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outdoors. We’ll still strongly urge unvaccinated people to wear them in crowded settings if they can’t social distance, and businesses do still have the right to insist on stricter mask policies.”

Murphy said his executive order will stay for at least several more weeks, citing Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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“Dr. Fauci himself said yesterday that he thinks lifting indoor mask mandates at this time could lead to a rise in infections,” Murphy said. “So we’re not going to let up for the next few weeks as we keep pushing forward on our statewide vaccination goals. We’re not far off from where we need to be. So we’re keeping our indoor mask mandate in place in public settings and, as we approach our vaccination target in the coming weeks, we expect to be able to lift it soon.”

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