TRENTON, NJ – As a new omicron variant spreads throughout the world and is now being seen in the New York and New Jersey Tri-State area, many in New Jersey fear Governor Phil Murphy will reinstate the mandatory face mask mandate than the new variant itself.
Murphy, who had reigned over the most strict and lengthy mask mandate in America appears poised to return to forced masking if necessary, but at this time says there is no threat.
“We are closely watching the recent rise in global COVID numbers and, given both previous trends with regard to spread and our location as an international nexus for travel and trade, we do anticipate that we will eventually see an increase in the number of cases in New Jersey. We will continue to closely monitor virus activity in the state, in particular for impacts to our health care system,” Governor Phil Murphy said.
As far as putting masks back on school children, Murphy says we’re not there yet.
“However, at this time, we do not anticipate any need to reinstate universal statewide mandated protective measures,” Murphy said. “We encourage residents to stay up to date with vaccinations and boosters, get tested when exposed or sick, and monitor the state’s COVID-19 Activity Level (CALI) Report and CDC COVID Community Levels for awareness of local COVID-19 activity and CDC masking recommendations. Those who are immunocompromised or otherwise at high risk are encouraged to follow the guidance of their health care provider and the CDC.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been missing in action since the downward trend in COVID-19 cases in America returned to the spotlight this week to warn of a new wave of masking.
With the fear of a new, milder, but a more transmissible variant of the omicron COVID-19 strain spreading throughout the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s time for Americans to get ready to mask up again. He also admitted that most Americans will not return to masking, especially as the new variant is proving to be less dangerous than the original omicron strain.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Dr. Anthony Fauci returned to promote awareness of a new COVID-19 omicron variant being BA2, saying Americans need to pay attention. Fauci warned that masking in America could return, but admitted the new strain while more transmissible than the winter omicron strain is far less dangerous.
Fauci said he thinks Americans should have their facemasks ready to be put back on, but said that train has left the station, meaning most Americans will probably not return to masking.
“I think everyone feels not only in the United States but throughout the world, we’re done with COVID,” Fauci said. “It’s an understandable feeling. We’ve had two years and three months of real difficulty having to deal with this. If people need to pivot and turn around, it’s going to be very difficult for people to do that.”
The World Health Organization says prior infection by the original omicron variant could provide protection against the new BA2 variant.
“Studies are evaluating the risk of reinfection with BA.2 compared to BA.1. Reinfection with BA.2 following infection with BA.1 has been documented, however, initial data from population-level reinfection studies suggest that infection with BA.1 provides strong protection against reinfection with BA.2, at least for the limited period for which data are available,” the World Health Order said in a statement.