New Jersey Coronavirus Update: Murphy says numbers grim, discourages Thanksgiving gatherings

New Jersey coronavirus update

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
NJ COVID: Murphy says numbers grim, discourages Thanksgiving gatherings
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Michelle Charlesworth reports on the latest coronavirus news in New Jersey.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Gov. Phil Murphy called the latest coronavirus numbers in New Jersey grim and sobering, as the state once again reported more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases for the fourth time in five days.

The additional 4,063 cases brings the state total to 289,562, and 27 additional fatalities raises the death toll to 14,843. The positivity rate has risen to 10.88%.

Murphy pleaded with residents to avoid gatherings with anyone outside their immediate family, especially for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

He also joined with six other northeast governors to urge all colleges and universities to make COVID-19 testing available to all residential students before they leave for Thanksgiving break.

Officials advised any students returning home for the holiday to quarantine for 14 days prior to departing school, finishing the quarantine at home if necessary.

They should stay separate from their relatives, avoid direct contact, and wear a mask. Additionally, anyone who have high-risk family members should consider quarantining elsewhere.

New restrictions on indoor gatherings took effect in New Jersey Tuesday, part of an effort by officials to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people, while beginning Monday, November 23, outdoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 150 people.

Murphy said some indoor gatherings may continue under the current rules, limited to 25% of a room's capacity up to 150 people:

-Religious services/celebrations and political events

-Weddings

-Funerals/memorial services

-Performances

"We think those are steps, coupled with the other steps we have taken, which will hopefully begin to shake these numbers down," he said. "This is a lot of fatigue. It's a lot of private setting transmission. Particularly with the holidays coming up, we've got to plead with people to not let their hair down, to be vigilant, social distance, face coverings, all the basic stuff we know works."

A state Supreme Court order released Monday suspended in-person jury trials until further notice, with the exception of one trial that is in progress. In-person grand juries are suspended, but can meet virtually.

Reported cases in New Jersey have risen recently to levels not seen since the start out of outbreak.

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