NJ COVID latest: Monday, May 24, 2021


NEW JERSEY — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New Jersey. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

Gov. Phil Murphy holds COVID-19 pandemic briefing

Breaking update: New Jersey will drop its statewide mask mandate in most indoor settings, following CDC guidance, beginning Friday.

  • Individual businesses and other entities which oversee indoor spaces may continue to require their employees and customers or guests wear face masks.
  • “We ask that you be respectful in adhering to these requirements where they apply,” Murphy said.
  • Indoor workplaces that are not open to the general public should follow their existing health and safety protocols.
  • As recommended by the CDC, there are spaces where masking will continue to be required, including:
    • Elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools
    • Child care centers and facilities
    • Youth summer camps
    • Public, private, or parochial preschool program premises
    • health care settings and long-term care facilities
    • correctional facilities
    • homeless shelters
    • Public transit, including airplanes, buses, trains, or other forms of public transportation
    • Transportation hubs such as an airport or train station.
    • Public-facing state offices, such as Motor Vehicle Commission centers
    • Worksites that are closed to the public, including warehousing and manufacturing facilities
  • “These requirements will be strictly enforced,” Murphy said.
  • Folks who are not vaccinated are encouraged to continue to follow CDC guidance and wear a face covering, especially in indoor public settings.
  • Murphy said law enforcement will not be checking vaccination status, but asked residents to “do the right thing.”

Breaking update: The statewide 6-foot social distancing requirement in all indoor and outdoor settings will be lifted on Friday.

  • This includes businesses such as restaurants and retail stores, personal care businesses, gyms, and recreational and entertainment businesses, such as casinos.
  • The social distancing requirement will also be lifted for religious services, political activities, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and performances.
  • Businesses can continue to require social distancing should they choose.
  • Murphy again urged anyone who is not fully vaccinated to follow CDC guidance and maintain social distancing practices.

Breaking update: Dance floors at bars and restaurants may reopen on Friday. Requirements that individuals remain seated while ordering and while eating or drinking at bars and restaurants will also be lifted.

Breaking update: All indoor gathering limits will be lifted on June 4. 

  • This includes the general 50-person limit as well as the 250-person limit that applies to political activities, wedding ceremonies and receptions, funerals, memorial services, performances, catered events, and commercial gatherings.
  • The 30% capacity limit on large indoor venues with a fixed seating capacity of 1,000 or greater will also be lifted.

COVID vaccine latest in New Jersey

As of Monday morning, 8,389,452 total doses have been administered statewide and 4,081,059 New Jersey residents were fully vaccinated.

Update: New COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths in NJ

  • 260 new positive PCR tests
  • 885,987 total positive PCR tests
  • 40 new positive antigen tests
  • 128,203 total positive antigen tests
  • 699 COVID patients hospitalized
  • 148 patients in ICUs
  • 102 ventilators in use
  • 10 new confirmed COVID fatalities
  • 23,440 total lab-confirmed deaths
  • 2,660 additional probable deaths
  • The statewide rate of transmission was 0.64
  • The positivity rate for all 28,873 PCR tests recorded on May 20 was 2.13%

Vaccine freebies

New York, New Jersey and several companies nationwide are offering incentives for those who get vaccinated, including free food, drinks and a scratch-and-win ticket where people have the chance to win $5 million.

Latest official indicators

As of Monday, there have been 885,987 total positive PCR tests in the state since March 2020, and there have been 23,440 lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths, according to the state Health Department.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

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