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Wednesday, July 24, 2024


NJ’s Indoor Mask Mandate Remains Despite New CDC Guidance

Gov. Phil Murphy signs teacher health care benefits reform bill chapter 78

By Vince Conti

To access the Herald’s local coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage, click here.
COURT HOUSE – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) May 13 announced new guidance regardingthe use of masks and social distancing. 
Two weeks after the agency said fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors, the guidance reverses that advice.
Calling its announcement an interim public health recommendation, the CDC says fully vaccinated individuals no longer must wear masks or physically distance in any setting, indoors or outdoors, except in crowded indoor settings, like buses, planes, prisons, or hospitals.  
The guidance comes with another exception that gives precedence to federal, state, and local rules and regulations. New Jersey has not yet embraced the new guidance. The governor May 14 said state mask mandates will remain in effect for indoor activities.
More confusion comes from local businesses, government units, and other locations for social gatherings that have no way to distinguish who has been fully vaccinated.
The guidance appears to rely on personal responsibility at a time when pockets of the populationremain hesitant or opposed to the vaccine.
The guidance is an attempt to pave the way for a more normal opening of schools, retail venues, and workplaces. Yet, it comes while the nation is still short of the stated goals for 70% of the adult population being vaccinated.  
New statements will likely be forthcoming, “clarifying” the guidance and reconciling it to state mandates, like New Jersey’s, that may not have changed yet.  

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