New Jersey declares state of emergency over omicron variant
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has caused cases to spike around the country.
The governor said the state of emergency will allow local hospitals to access state resources easier as facilities have begun to be overwhelmed.
Murphy said New Jersey was recording 35,000 new coronavirus cases a day with more than 10,000 current hospitalizations.
“COVID-19 remains a significant threat to our State and we must commit every resource available to beating back the wave caused by the Omicron variant,” he said.
“While we hope to return to a state of normalcy as soon as possible, the step I am taking today is a commonsense measure that will protect the safety and well-being of all New Jersey residents while allowing state government to respond to the continuing threat that COVID-19 poses to our daily lives,” he added.
Murphy said the public health declaration allows him to keep the tools needed to keep health care workers and children in schools safe.
He clarified the declaration does not mean he will start another lockdown, implement “universal mandates or passports” or put any new restrictions on businesses.
Maryland and Virginia have also both recently declared a state of emergency due to the omicron variant.
On Tuesday, the U.S. recorded its highest hospitalization rate since the beginning of the pandemic.
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