Gov. Phil Murphy is hitting pause on the state’s plan to resume limited indoor dining later this week. The restrictions were slated to ease this Thursday, along with reopening casinos, amusement parks and boardwalks ahead of the holiday weekend. The governor says the uptick in coronavirus cases found in other states caused him to think twice. In Florida, for example, the daily case count has increased five-fold in two weeks. Monday’s announcement marks Murphy’s first major reversal in New Jersey’s reopening plans.
The governor called out the so-called knucklehead gatherings, saying the carelessness of one establishment can undo the good work of others. New Jersey’s new confirmed cases are still on a downward trend though. Monday the state reported 156 positive test results, however that number may be artificially low because of a technical issue in the counting. Statewide, New Jersey’s cumulative total is 171,272. Eighteen more residents have died due to the virus, with a total loss of 13,138 lives. That does not include an additional 1,854 probable deaths caused by COVID-19.