New Jersey’s COVID Health Emergency Ends Monday

New Jersey’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, in effect since March 2020, will officially end Monday.

At his final COVID-19 press briefing on Friday, Governor Phil Murphy announced the signing of Executive Order No. 292, which lifts the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in addition to the statewide school and daycare mask mandate, effective on Monday, March 7.

“With COVID-19 moving into an endemic, the time has come to move toward normalcy,” said Governor Murphy. “In the past two years, New Jerseyans have shown great strength, resiliency, and kindness during one of the most difficult and trying times in the history of our state. The steps I am taking today have been made possible by our highly-successful vaccination efforts and the collective efforts of the people of our state.”

“Conditions have improved in our state–immunity is high, cases have dropped significantly, therapeutics have improved, and testing is rapid and readily available. So, it does make sense to relax restrictions as we learn to live with the virus,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “But taking masks off doesn’t mean that other strategies should be abandoned. In fact, they become more important. So, please continue to wash your hands frequently, physically distance, stay home when you’re sick, and get vaccinated and boosted to protect yourselves, your families, your friends, and our children.”

“For nearly two years, New Jersey’s school communities have persevered through countless challenges brought on by COVID-19 – always with the shared goal of protecting the health and safety of our school staff, students, and their families,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “While we recognize this virus has been unpredictable, we look forward to this next milestone in our road ahead.”

A separate “State of Emergency” will remain in place to ensure that New Jersey continues to have necessary resources as COVID-19 is managed on an endemic level. It is common practice for states of emergency for major crises to remain in place to allow the State to receive and distribute federal funding without any unnecessary red tape or bureaucratic obstacles, as exemplified by Governor Christie’s State of Emergency declaration for Superstorm Sandy, which remains in effect to this day.

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