TRENTON, N.J. (PIX11) — As New Jersey health officials continue to report progress in beating back the latest wave of COVID-19 infections, Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday allowed schools to drop the mask mandate.

The governor said the state was moving into a new phase of the pandemic and credited the hard work of New Jersey residents who got vaccinated and followed COVID restrictions and safety measures to get the state to this point.

“[We’ve] asked so much of each and every New Jerseyan for the last two years. You have overwhelmingly delivered, and then some. We’re at this point only because of your dedicated work to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities,” Murphy said during his final COVID-19 briefing on Friday, which was also the two-year anniversary of the first known case of COVID-19 confirmed in the state. “I know you are exhausted both mentally and physically, and ready to return to normal. And let there be no doubt, so are we.”

Since the pandemic reached New Jersey in early 2020, state health officials have recorded nearly 1.9 million total cases and over 30,000 deaths. State data show slightly more than one in four eligible children in the state were fully vaccinated, as of Sunday. And one in three have received one dose of a COVID vaccine.

Still, not all school districts across the state opted to drop masking rules, including: 

  • Newark, Paterson, and Trenton: Masks required
  • West Windsor-Plainsboro: Masks required for children up to fifth grade
  • New Brunswick: Masks required; re-evaluation after spring break
  • East Orange: Masks required; re-evaluation after April 14
  • Plainfield: Masks required