HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey is cracking down on crowds, following a weekend of record-setting coronavirus numbers.
To try and stop the spread, Gov. Phil Murphy is once again limiting the number of people allowed at indoor and outdoor gatherings from 25 people indoors down to 10, and outdoors from 500 down to 150.
That does not include certain religious and political gatherings, or weddings and funerals. They can can continue at the current rules of 25% capacity, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reported Monday.
Over the weekend, the state surpassed the previous records of new cases that were set all the back in April, so the governor is sounding the alarm. That has left some residents wondering how bad it will get.
“It’s a killer,” Weehawken resident Pat Pope said.
Pope nearly found out first hand how deadly COVID-19 is. She caught the virus and spent nine days on a ventilator in April.
“It was a difficult ordeal. It is not a hoax. It’s very threatening,” Pope said.
Now she’s watching nervously as a second wave crashes into the Garden State.
The following 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
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 16, 2020
Daily infection counts over the weekend surpassed the peak case numbers even in April, although the testing capacity in the spring was only a fraction of what it is today and better treatment for COVID-19 patients means fewer deaths.
Still, hospitalizations are steadily rising and people are still dying.
In addition to limiting crowd sizes, Murphy is pleading with people not to let their guard down.
“So please, I urge you, we all do, let’s all go back, get back in the game like we were in the spring. I know this has been a very long haul, but we still have more miles to go. I know you’re fatigued. I don’t blame you. I am. Who isn’t? But we have got to bear down,” Murphy said Monday.
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With a vaccine possibly available by the end of the year, the governor said it would likely go to at-risk and vulnerable people, front-line health care workers, and essential workers first, before going to the general population.
The vaccine is a light at the end of the tunnel for many.
“The message is simple: wear a mask, keep your distance, and lay low for a while until we get the vaccine going,” said Patrick Hughes of Hoboken.
“It’s serious, and I wish they would understand that,” Pope added.
Pope added she wishes more people would do their part.
“And it’s startling. It’s startling. I hope that we can get through this, and I’m sure we will,” Pope said.
The governor said another hurdle the state is facing is around 60% of people are not cooperating with contact tracers, making it nearly impossible to track and trace outbreaks.
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