Gov. Phil Murphy kept what might have been his Covid’s latest regular briefing Today marks the end of two years and more than 250 briefings with news, updates and directives related to Covid.
“This is an anniversary [of the state’s first confirmed Covid case] it’s time for us to end these personal briefings, ”Murphy said. “As the coronavirus moves from pandemic to endemic, and as we move from crisis management to a more normal lifestyle, the time is right.”
“We persevered and fought, persevered and fought again,” he continued. “That’s why we’re in this place today. With everything we have done to ensure the readiness of our health care system, and with the advent of both vaccines and treatments, we are ready to move forward and not live in fear. ”
The state’s mandate for masks in schools and kindergartens will end Monday as governor announced last monthand state health emergency also end on this day. However, Murphy said the order to end the health emergency would still allow the existing orders on vaccine distribution and health coordination to remain in force; Mandates for indoor masks in government buildings and health facilities will also continue, though Murphy said it could be short-lived.
The governor has honored the last three victims of Covid, bringing the number to 646 in the last two years – still only a tiny fraction of the more than 30,000 New Jersey residents who died from the virus. Murphy also noted that the briefings covered 154 small businesses and 6,211 questions from the press.
“And, by the way, some questions were even on the topic,” – said the governor.
Today’s briefing marked the potential end of an era for Health Commissioner Judy Persicili, whose role was highlighted at the start of the pandemic and did not recede for two years thereafter.
“We have made incredible progress since those dark days two years ago,” she said. “It is likely that we will continue to have surges in Covid-19 activity, so it will be important that we all continue to know about activity levels and adjust our behavior accordingly.”
Peachie ended her presentation with a refrain, which she repeated at almost every Covid briefing since the vaccines became available last spring.
“And now, finally, remember: keep washing your hands often,” said Peach. “Practice breathing hygiene. Physically distance. Stay home when you are sick. And do vaccinations and strengthening to protect ourselves, our families, friends and our children. Thank you. “