Governor Says Further Restrictions Possible In State If Coronavirus Spread Continues At High Rate

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — News of COVID-19 vaccine doses for New Jersey comes as Gov. Phil Murphy warns statewide restrictions are looming.

Pfizer on Friday formally asked the FDA to allow emergency use for its vaccine, saying the first doses could be available in a month.

The company said Wednesday that its vaccine appears to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19.

Gov. Phil Murphy says he spoke with Pfizer’s CEO about shipping the vaccine to the Garden State.

“Should this application be approved and should this be approved, we would then expect that our first shipment of roughly 130,000 doses would arrive in state around Christmas time with more to follow,” Murphy said Friday.

New Jersey’s health department says the first vaccines will be reserved for health care workers who could be exposed to the coronavirus from infected patients.

RELATED STORY — Newark Facing New Restrictions, Partial Curfew In Bid To Slow COVID Spread

For now, however, the governor says all options are on the table in terms of further restrictions if the spread continues at a high rate.

“We have to get into a different mindset for next six weeks. We have to put the health, our health, and the health of our loved ones and our communities before our want to party and celebrate,” Murphy said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Positivity rates are soaring in Bergen County, where some municipalities are seeing 30-50 cases a day. The county executive says more needs to be done, so they will begin testing wastewater.

“This type of monitoring can provide early indication, up to two weeks, of increases or decreases in COVID cases in an area,” Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said.

There’s a new order in Hoboken for restaurants and bars to collect patrons’ contact information.

“So that in the unfortunate event that a waiter or waitress or bartender contracts COVID, we can contact trace very aggressively and more with a scalpel,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Meanwhile, many stores are back to limiting the amount of toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and more that each customer can buy.

Jamie Rodriguez, of Westfield, says anxiety has him stocking up.

“Normal run based off of what happened in the springtime, so we’ve kind of never really stopped,” he told CBS2’s Meg Baker.

In his cart, “lots of boxes of cereal of the kids, toilet paper if possible, paper napkins, and just frozen goods,” he said.

With the vaccine seemingly around the corner, many officials are warning that now is not the time to let your guard down, but to double down on your safety efforts.

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