Gov. Murphy Issues Stern Warning to Bar Goers: “We May Need to Shut Places Down”
After photos of bar-goers not practicing social distancing surfaced this weekend across the state, New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy issued a stern warning to bar owners and patrons. He says in part that places may need to be shut down in order to protect public health.
"Attention young bar-goers at Shore bars: You need to wear masks and social distance," the governor said. He even shared a photo from NJ Advance Media of a shore bar, which showed a large crowd without any social distancing taking place.
The governor says that both bar owners and patrons need to get on the same page for enforcement of masks and social distancing (in lines AND at the bars).
"I'm going to give everyone a chance to do the right thing, but if we need to shut places down to protect public health, then we will," Murphy said on Monday. "Consider this your warning before you go out drinking this weekend."
"Your responsibility to help stop the spread of #COVID19 doesn’t go on 'pause' when you’re standing in line," he said. "This virus could easily spread through the line. This is not a game."
The state reported positive trends in its COVID-19 reporting on Monday. There were 258 new cases of the virus reported today.
The state's rate of transmission is back down to 0.98, Governor Murphy says. That's below the key metric of 1 as well, meaning that for every COVID-19 case there is less than 1 new case.
"This is a positive sign, but this does not mean #COVID19 is no longer with us," Murphy says.