CONFUSION: Murphy imposes 25 person indoor occupancy limit, doubles-down on school reopenings

TRENTON, N.J. – Anyone following today’s news out of Trenton could rightly claim confusion; Governor Phil Murphy imposed a new indoor occupancy limit which he alluded to last week, but the Governor also suggested he’s moving ahead with permitting in-person instruction for state schools. 

“Until we begin to see the numbers of cases decrease – not just for one day, but over at least a 7-day trend – and our rate of transmission drop appreciably over a sustained period of time, these new restrictions on indoor gatherings will remain in place,” Murphy tweeted.

The new indoor capacity limit is 25% of capacity up to 25 individuals. Murphy’s unilateral new executive fiat is the first significant “rollback” of recent loosened of restrictions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum capacity had been 100, but the new directive exempts weddings, funerals, and political activities (including protests).

Murphy simultanesouly confirmed face coverings would be required for all students whenever in-person instruction resumes. It’s unclear why the Administration believes schools with potentially hundreds of individuals passing through a single building over the course of a week is safer than a house party with 36 or even 26 guests, and no concrete explanation was offered on Monday.

At present, the Murphy Administration has favored at least some in-person instructions this fall but continues to get pusback from some quarters.

The Governor warned last week that changes in underlying indicators (like spot positivity) could lead to new restrictions, but some believe that documented deceptive case counting practices may begin to undermine faith in the Administration’s policies…