New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that a “number of factors” went into his decision to not reopen indoor dining after seeing a surge in coronavirus cases in states that reopened their indoor dining.
“This isn’t a forever and for always, but this virus indoors, sedentary, lack of ventilation, close proximity is just a lot more lethal than it is outdoors,” Murphy said. “You look at what’s going on in other parts of the country right now, we have gone through hell in New Jersey. We’ve lost over 13,000 people. We’re trying to do everything we can to not go through hell again.”
Indoor dining in New Jersey was scheduled to resume Thursday, ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
Murphy insisted that the pause in reopening indoor dining would not be permanent.
“We think if we can push off indoor dining even for a few weeks, we can better run the virus to the ground,” Murphy said.
Asked if the New Jersey governor believes that premature reopening was to blame for the surge in coronavirus cases health officials are seeing across the nation, Murphy said:
“We’re not in the end zone ourselves. We announced fatalities today, but I personally believe that series of events or that series of steps is the right way to think about this, incremental, outside first, be aggressive when you shut, and be cautious when you open.”