Phil Murphy to return to New Jersey today as COVID daily caseload nears staggering 30,000 mark

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TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is expected to return to New Jersey from his weeklong Central American Christmas family vacation in Costa Rica to a much different state than he left just one week ago.

Today, New Jersey reported 27,000 positive COVID-19 cases, another record-shattering number as the governor’s COVID-19 policy begins to crumble.

New Jersey is among the most vaccinated and boosted states in America yet is in the top 5 nationwide when it comes to the latest wave of the pandemic. In New Jersey, children are forced to wear masks to school. Teachers, cops and healthcare workers are required to be vaccinated. The state and governor once touted itself as the role model for America when it came to COVID-19 response, but now, as omicron walks right through Murphy’s COVID-19 policies, it finds itself one of the most infected states in America.

To make matters worse, the governor’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination infrastructure has collapsed while he was on vacation. State-sponsored vaccination sites and testing sites are now booked solid through the middle of January, leaving tens of thousands of people unable to get vaccinated or tested. Many who have been infected with omicron can’t return to work because state mandates allow employers to require a negative COVID-19 test upon return, but those tests are nearly impossible to find.

At-home testing kits have run dry as Murphy instructed healthy residents to test frequently, leading to a run on kits last week that have depleted supplies statewide for the sick patients who actually need the testing kits.

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Now, New Jersey residents are left to wonder what hammer the Governor might drop upon his return. All options, Murphy says are on the table including business closures, vaccine mandates, lockdowns and school closures.

Murphy is not expected to host another COVID-19 briefing until Monday.