Following an announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 27 regarding masking, Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli on July 28 strongly recommended that both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents wear masks in indoor settings when there is increased risk. Examples of such situations include:
- Crowded indoor settings
- Indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated
- Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown
- Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease
Governor Murphy and Commissioner Persichilli made the following statement:
“Our metrics are trending in the wrong direction, and new data suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible even among vaccinated individuals, which is why we are making this strong recommendation.
“Fortunately, our numbers are a fraction of those in many other states, most of which have significantly lower vaccination rates. Should our numbers reach those levels, we reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate.
“We have crushed this virus repeatedly like no other state in the nation, and we are proud to boast among the country’s highest vaccination rates. But at this point, given where our metrics are now, we feel the best course of action is to strongly encourage every New Jerseyan, and every visitor to our state, to take personal responsibility and mask up indoors when prudent.
“And we equally encourage every unvaccinated resident or visitor to get vaccinated. The vaccines are proven safe and highly effective, and are the surest way we can end this pandemic.”
Shortly after the Governor’s office issued its release, Camden County followed suit, with a stern warning from Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli, Jr.
“The pandemic is not over nor should we start acting like it is. Until everyone is vaccinated, we will continue to see changing guidance and restrictions as transmission rates increase and decrease,” he said.
“We need all vaccinated residents to continue to stay informed, and to continue to help protect their neighbors by following the recommendations of public health officials. Most importantly, we need everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get their shot as soon as possible.”
For more information regarding the CDC’s updated guidance, visit the CDC webpage at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html.
State guidance and information regarding the spread of COVID-19 is updated daily at covid19.nj.gov. More information regarding COVID-19 in Camden County is also available on https://www.camdencounty.com.