When New Jersey on Friday marked the two-year anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case, Gov. Phil Murphy said he would lift the state’s public health emergency, calling for a “more normal lifestyle” in cases of hospitalization and deaths continue to fall. .

The anniversary was a grim reminder of the number of pandemics, as Friday in New Jersey exceeded 30,000 confirmed deaths from COVID. At his administration’s last briefing on the pandemic on Friday, Murphy choked before calling for a minute of silence to remember the dead.

But the mood at the Trenton War Memorial was generally optimistic, as Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persikili said the state was moving to a new chapter dealing with a virus that seems to be weakening but still has the ability to grow.

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