February 18, 2021 | Number of The Day
Extensions of NJ public health emergency since original executive order in March 2020

Look back: On March 9, 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 103 declaring a public health emergency because of the dangers to New Jersey of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. It was to last for 30 days, as allowed by the Emergency Health Powers Act.

Few of us then could have imagined what the coronavirus would cost the state, in lives, and in social, economic and educational dislocation. With ominous regularity, the governor extended the public health emergency every month last year. On Wednesday, Murphy extended it yet again, marking the 11th repeat of the executive order since March 9 last year. Extending the emergency, he said, “gives us the ability to continue our ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts while also vaccinating New Jersey residents as quickly and safely as possible.”

What a red-letter day it will be when New Jersey’s chief executive finds no cause to renew the public health emergency. We look forward.