N.J. governor reinstates public health emergency

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday reinstated the state’s public health emergency due to the spread of the Omnicron variant of COVID-19.

The state of emergency is in effect across all 21 counties in New Jersey. It extends various executive orders and regulatory actions taken by state agencies in response to the pandemic and will allow the state to continue vaccine distribution, vaccination or testing requirements in certain settings, the collection of COVID-19 data, the implementation of recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent or limit the transmission of COVID-19, staffing and resource allocation, and other components of the State’s COVID-19 response.

Existing orders requiring masking in school and daycare settings will remain in effect. The public health emergency declaration also empowers all state agencies to take steps to continue to address the public health hazard resulting from new variants of COVID-19. 

“COVID-19 remains a significant threat to our State and we must commit every resource available to beating back the wave caused by the Omicron variant,” Murphy said. “While we hope to return to a state of normalcy as soon as possible, the step I am taking today is a commonsense measure that will protect the safety and well-being of all New Jersey residents while allowing state government to respond to the continuing threat that COVID-19 poses to our daily lives.”