New Jersey coronavirus update: Vaccination eligibility expands, capacity restrictions to loosen

Coronavirus Update New Jersey
NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Vaccination eligibility expanded again in New Jersey Monday, and Governor Phil Murphy announced more restrictions that will be lifted at the end of the week.

Hundreds of thousands more New Jersey residents are now eligible get their COVID-19 vaccines, including:
--Restaurant, food processing and distribution industry workers
--Grocery personnel
--Warehouse workers
--Remaining eldercare workers
--Hospitality workers
--Elections workers
--Clergy
--Postal/shipping workers
--Judicial system employees

Murphy announced that effective Friday, April 2, at 6 a.m., the general limit on outdoor gathering will increase to 200 people.

The cap for indoor gatherings will remain at 25, and outdoor religious services, political activities, weddings, funerals, and memorial services will continue to have no capacity limit.

Also effective Friday, the threshold for venues to be considered a "large venue" will lower from 5,000 to 2,500, capacity for indoor seating at large venues increases to 20%, and capacity for outdoor seating at large venues increases to 30%.

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It comes on the same day that a new vaccine mega-site opens in Newark, set to operate seven days a week at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

It is located close to public transportation, which is expected to increase access, and is one of 25 FEMA-operated sites around the country.

It will officially begin welcome patients on Wednesday, with a focus on vaccinating residents of vulnerable and medically underserved communities with up to 42,000 doses per week.

The hope is that the increased eligibility will help slow a troubling rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

"The evidence continues to be that the three vaccines are 100% effective against severe illness and fatality," Murphy said. "So that continues to be the case, and the basic stuff is still the stuff that works, even against the variants. Face coverings, two preferably, social distancing as we are today, wash your hands with soap and water, take yourself off the field if you've been exposed or don't feel well - and then, at the right point, get tested."

The FEMA site adds to the six state run mega-vaccination sites already up and running across New Jersey. Murphy is expected to visit the location Wednesday.

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Gov. Cuomo announced New York state is expanding their COVID vaccine eligibility.



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