New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: ‘Masks Are Now Required Outdoors’

Gov Murphy in Mask
Twitter/@GovMurphy

Individuals in New Jersey will now be required to wear masks outdoors in situations where social distancing in not feasible, Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) announced on Wednesday.

“We have to take this step,” said Murphy. “We’ve gone through hell in New Jersey. We’ve lost over 13,000 people, we’ve brought our numbers down, we can’t go through that hell again.”

“Requiring masks outdoors is a step I had hoped we would not have to take,” the governor said on social media. “By and large, New Jerseyans have been outstanding in their compliance. But, unfortunately, we’ve been seeing a backslide in compliance in New Jersey and across our nation.”

There are limited exceptions to the order. Those under the age of two are exempt, and individuals are not required to wear a mask when eating or drinking at an outdoor restaurant. There is also an exception for instances “when wearing a mask would inhibit health or safety.”

Murphy adamantly defended his decision to require masks outdoors on social media, declaring that it is ” not about politics” but “about showing others that you care about their health.”

“Coronavirus doesn’t care what political party you belong to,” he said in another post, adding: “It doesn’t care what you may or may not think about masking up. It doesn’t care about you or your family. It just wants to kill you and move on to the next victim. It does care if you wear a mask. Period, full stop.”

“REMEMBER: There is no vaccine for #COVID19. There is no cure. There is no proven therapeutic,” he continued. “There is only social distancing and masking. That’s it.”

The governor also bluntly stated that not wearing a mask “is an act of selfishness.”

“It’s a sign that you think you’re invincible, and damn everyone else. The time for selfishness ended back in March,” he added.

As NBC New York reported, New Jersey “ranks third nationally in COVID deaths per 100,000 residents, though it has fallen to 13th and 40th on hospitalized patients and new cases per day, respectively.”

The Garden State has reported 174,039 cases since March 4 and has had 13,476 related fatalities.

New Jersey has had an indoor mask mandate in effect since April. The governor halted the state’s reopening process last week, postponing the introduction of indoor dining “indefinitely.”

“We’ve always said that we would not hesitate to hit pause if needed to safeguard public health,” he said. “This is one of those times.”

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