Home>Governor>NY’s state of emergency puts it in sync with NJ, Murphy says

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and their spouses, First Lady Tammy Murphy and First Gentleman Bill Hochul, meet for lunch in Manhattan on Saturday, September 11, 2021. (Photo: Office of the Governor of New Jersey.)

NY’s state of emergency puts it in sync with NJ, Murphy says

Health Department is monitoring Omicron as more becomes known about new variant

By Joey Fox, November 29 2021 3:43 pm

In response to questions about New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recent decision to reinstate a state of emergency, Gov. Phil Murphy said today that the declaration merely brings New York in line with New Jersey, and does not represent a point of incongruity between the two states.

“We have a state of emergency, it’s been in effect since March of 2020,” Murphy said. “Literally everything that Governor Hochul has wanted to do in New York, we already have in place, either through the state of emergency, or through the very good cooperation we’ve had with the legislature.”

In other words, New Jersey and New York – which have spent much of the pandemic following each other’s lead – are now once again in relative sync after five months of differing policies.

New York initially ended its state of emergency in June, 15 months after the start of the pandemic, but Hochul cited the recent surge of Covid cases and the emergence of the as-yet mysterious Omicron variant in her decision to reinstate it. 

Murphy said that, for now, the state won’t do anything about the new variant – whose transmissibility and potency are still mostly unknown – other than to monitor it closely in anticipation of its likely arrival. 

“We must be ready now in anticipation of this variant hitting us,” he said. “There is still very much unknown about this new variant. We are all closely following the research into this variant as it is released, and we are all watching closely as new cases are discovered and reported.”

But the governor also noted that while Omicron may have grabbed the world’s attention, it’s still the highly infectious Delta variant that is causing case numbers to rise in New Jersey.

“Just because there’s a new variant out there does not mean that Delta has lost any of its transmissibility or its virulence,” Murphy said. “We’re still registering well more than a thousand new cases a day, and our hospitalizations are up sharply over the past several weeks. Our numbers are still being fueled by the Delta variant.”

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