HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Tri-State Area officials are concerned next week’s Thanksgiving holiday could turn into a super-spreader event.
They say it’s up to everyone to avoid gatherings that could spread COVID-19.
Like many in New Jersey, Alex Garcia is trying to figure out how to scale back Thanksgiving this year, since indoor gatherings are now restricted to 10 people or less, with some exceptions.
“I feel it’s going to be hard to enforce. My family alone is a family of five,” Garcia told CBS2’s John Dias. “When you get your mom, your grand mom — that’s up to 10. Your brother, your sister — it adds up.”
“I’m not taking any risks,” Heather Tomtaro, of Hoboken, said. “I’m not fearful, but I’m careful.”
“I understand the frustration, but I do think it’s important that we try to restrict ourselves as much as we can, while still being able to see some people,” Hoboken resident Brianna Kostecka added.
Over the weekend, New Jersey’s daily infection counts surpassed its peak case numbers from the spring. Granted, testing capacity is higher now, but hospitalizations are also rising.
“I think our peak hospitalization in the spring was at 8,300. We’re now at about 1,900, 2,000,” Murphy said Monday. “So thank God we’re not at those levels, but it’s going to get worse.”
Gov. Phil Murphy announced new state restrictions Monday, limiting private gatherings to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, with exceptions for certain religious or political gatherings, weddings and funerals.
The indoor restrictions took effect Tuesday morning, and the outdoor rules will start next week.
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In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants residents to keep holiday gathering small, as well.
“It’s Thanksgiving. It’s, ‘I’ll meet you for a drink, I’m going to go to my family’s house, my family won’t infect me,'” he said in an interview Tuesday. “‘Let’s get together just a few of us.’ That’s where it’s spreading.”
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday he planned on deploying more officers to the usual crowded, tourists city spots this holiday season to enforce compliance, but added he won’t be the Grinch who stole Thanksgiving.
“We’re not planning on breaking up Thanksgiving celebrations, but we have to be smart. We’re encouraging everyone to use common sense here,” he said.
“Of course when it comes down to individual families we’re not going to enforce on family gatherings,” Mayor Bill de Blasio added. “We will on bigger gatherings.”
Meanwhile, the mayor is still tracking the city’s weekly infection rate, which went down a bit to 2.74%, meaning schools can stay open for now, since it’s below the 3% threshold.
“Another day where we’ve stayed below that threshold because of everything that you have done,” he said Tuesday. “New York city continues to fight back… Nothing more important at this point than everyone getting tested, and of course the simple steps, like wearing a mask.”
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