NJ COVID latest: Monday, May 3, 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.

COVID reopening updates from NJ Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy announced major pandemic reopening updates on Monday. Earlier, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New Jersey and Connecticut would join the Empire State in lifting most capacity restrictions on business on May 19.

NJ moves up timeline for increased gathering limits, other reopening updates

  • Beginning Friday instead of May 10, the following changes will go into effect:
    • Outdoor gathering limit increases to 500 individuals.
    • Indoor room capacity increases to 50% with a maximum of 250 individuals for catered events, political gatherings, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and performances.
    • Dance floors reopen at private catered events.
    • Outdoor capacity for large venues with 1,000 or more fixed seats increases to 50%.
    • “We feel confident in moving up this timetable given the accelerated progress we’re seeing in our vaccination program, hospital metrics, and daily case counts,” Murphy said.

Bans on bar seating, buffet food service to be lifted

  • Indoor bar-side seating and buffet-style, self-service food at restaurants will be allowed beginning Friday.
  • Proper social distancing between patrons will be required.

Easing COVID restrictions

  • Beginning May 19, the following reopening updates will go into effect:
    • Limits on all outdoor gatherings will end. Social distancing and mask requirements will remain in place.
    • Indoor dining capacity limit will end. Restaurants will be allowed to operate at whatever capacity allows them to continue to ensure a minimum 6-foot distance between groups.
    • The 50% capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings/businesses currently governed by percentage-based cap will end. Social distancing will be required between individuals and groups.
    • The general indoor social gathering limit will increase to 50 individuals.
    • Indoor capacities for the following will be limited to a maximum of 250 people as long as social distances can be maintained: catered events; funerals or memorial services; performances; political activities; commercial gatherings.
    • Indoor capacity for large venues with 1,000 or more fixed seats can increase to 30% with social distancing between groups.

Operation Jersey Summer’ vaccination push

  • Murphy outlined a new multi-pronged push to reach the state’s goal of 4.7 million vaccinated residents by June 30.
  • Launching multimedia vaccine awareness campaign
  • Offering walk-in appointments at vaccine megasites and other locations
  • Using a “hub-and-spoke” model at megasites to bring vaccines to the surrounding communities
  • Releasing vaccine data on a hyperlocal level to give officials and community leaders a clear look into what’s happening in their neighborhoods so they can work focus on lagging areas.
  • Putting “boots on the ground” as part of a door-to-door vaccine outreach program in underserved communities.
  • Calling residents who pre-registered for vaccinations with the state but who have not yet made an appointment. Call center agents will connect residents directly with live operators to make an appointment.
  • Launching a targeted email campaign to hundreds of thousands of residents who signed up for email alerts.
  • Partnering with faith leaders for “Grateful for the Shot,” a program that will enable congregants to go directly from religious services to vaccination sites.
  • Launching a “Shot and a Beer” program encouraging New Jersey residents who are 21 and older to get vaccinated. Anyone at or above the legal drinking age who gets their first vaccine dose in May can bring their vaccination card to a participating brewery and receive a free beer. 

NJ COVID vaccine update

  • As of Monday morning, 7,135,235 total doses have been administered.
  • The state identified about 155,500 New Jersey residents who were fully vaccinated out-of-state.
  • Including the out-of-state vaccinations, the total of fully vaccinated New Jersey residents rose to more than 3.25 million.

Update: New COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths

  • 880 new positive PCR tests
  • 876,141 total PCR tests
  • 197 new positive antigen tests
  • 124,852 total antigen tests
  • 1,424 COVID patients hospitalized
  • 325 patients in ICUs
  • 197 ventilators in use
  • 16 new lab-confirmed deaths
  • 22,884 total lab-confirmed deaths
  • 2,625 additional probable deaths
  • The statewide rate of transmission is currently 0.37
  • The positivity rate for all 35,761 PCR tests recorded on April 29 was just under 4.95%

Schools update

  • Of the state’s public school districts, charter schools, renaissance schools, and schools for students with disabilities:
    • 285 open for all in-person instruction
    • 459 open for hybrid instruction
    • 50 using a combination across buildings
    • 17 on all-remote learning

Latest official numbers:

As of Monday, there have been 876,141 confirmed cases in the state since March 2020, and there have been 22,884 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

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

New Jersey Videos

NJ reopening: Bar seating, buffets and dance floors return Friday

Over 100 families reunited at Metlife Stadium

1 dead, several injured in large fire

Deadly fire kills 3 in Wayne

NJ ending limit on outdoor gathering, cap on indoor dining

NJ lifting most COVID restrictions May 19

More New Jersey

Connect with PIX11 Online

Connect with PIX11 Online

Trending Stories

Global Coronavirus Tracker

Don't Miss

@PIX11News on Twitter