Gov. Phil Murphy warned New Jersey residents Friday that he may roll back reopening plans — possibly as early as next week — if coronavirus cases continue to rise. And indoor activities will likely be the first to go.
“What’s a red line that we might be at which would trigger a potential policy or enforcement steps? I think you should assume we’re there,” Murphy said during his daily press briefing Friday. “You won’t have to wait a lot longer. We better have a big weekend.”
If Murphy does decide to roll back some of the state’s reopening plans, outdoor activities including youth, high school and college sports and outdoor dining, are likely not on the chopping block.
“Based on what we know, the outside reality is not our problem at the moment… it is the inside reality,” Murphy said.
However, anything indoors may be the first to shutter.
“It is overwhelmingly indoor activity: high congregation, lack of ventilation,” Murphy said.
Indoor businesses and activities that have reopened since June include:
- nonessential retail stores
- personal care services
- and indoor recreation
It also likely means indoor dining and gyms will not reopen in the near future.
“We’re not there yet,” Murphy said Friday when asked about when gyms would reopen.
Murphy may also consider decreasing the limit on indoor gatherings, which currently stands at 100 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.
Murphy did not provide a specific amount of coronavirus cases or a rate of transmission that would require closures. Nor did he give an exact date for any roll back.
New Jersey reported 699 positive cases Friday and the rate of transmission rose to 1.35 — the highest it has been since early April before the surge in cases.