Murphy Signs Order Requiring Face Masks To Be Worn Outdoors

Marta Zielinska
July 08, 2020 - 4:25 pm

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    TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed an executive order requiring face coverings be worn outdoors when social distancing is not possible to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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

    The governor said face coverings will not be required in all public places.

    "If you're in your bubble with your family or you're sitting by yourself or you're doing something on your own, that's not our focus," he said at his daily briefing.

    "If you're congregating with a lot of other folks and there's no social distancing, you're going to at least get a warning if not something stronger," Murphy told MSNBC in the morning. "Admittedly, this is harder to enforce, which is why it's not a no-brainer, but we have to take this step, particularly given the hotspots that we're seeing elsewhere in the country."

    Murphy stressed that wearing a face covering is “not about politics.”

    “It’s about being sick or healthy. It's about life and death. It's about showing others that you care about their health. It's about showing your community what side you’re on in the fight against COVID-19,” the governor said.

    In a tweet, he posted a graphic that shows the risk of contracting coronavirus is much lower when a COVID-19 carrier and someone who is not infected both wear masks.

    Murphy urged New Jerseyans to remember there is no vaccine, cure or proven therapeutic remedy for coronavirus. 

    The executive order comes days after Murphy said the rate of transmission of COVID-19 started to creep up in New Jersey, exceeding 1.0 for the first time in a month and a half. 

    The governor noted there were several outbreaks across the state directly tied to travel to other hotspots. 

    "We believe the combination of social distancing, face covering, basic wash your hands with soap and water, and stay away from everybody if you don't feel well, and get tested — that's the combination of steps that we continue to need to take," Murphy said.

    New Jersey residents were already required to wear masks in indoor spaces.

    Previously, wearing masks outdoors had been strongly recommended, but not required.

    As for restaurants, they're getting a little more flexibility after indoor dining was put on hold.

    Any restaurant that can open up two sides of the building can have 50% of its wall space open.

    “We're going to allow you to have that under that roof which is another step hopefully to help out our restaurants," Murphy said earlier Wednesday. "If you can open up your walls or your doors to the outside and you've got an overhang, up until now we haven't allowed you to do that, we're going to allow you to do that from now forward."

    Indoor dining was set to resume with limited capacity last Thursday, but those plans were put on hold.

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