New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urges people to stay home for Christmas as COVID-19 persists

Maggie Kent Image
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

"You're sick of hearing this, and I don't blame you, but don't screw up Christmas," Murphy said.

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy visited Ocean Health Initiative in Tom's River on Wednesday as frontline workers received the Moderna vaccine.

In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, nursing home facilities will begin vaccinations starting Monday. The shots will be provided and administered with the help of major pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine is not disclosing definite timelines for when all 1-A classified Pennsylvanians will be vaccinated.

"Each phase depends completely on how many vaccines we get and that's the variable that we have no control over," said Levine.

This as Pennsylvania is seeing the most COVID-19 cases in the tri-state area. But, the 7-day case average is starting to trend down in all areas from two weeks ago.

"Our increased restrictions end on January 4, but we'll have to watch out for those numbers carefully," said Dr. Levine.

New Jersey is also seeing that case spike.

"It's the one thing that we can't let happen getting our hospital systems to get overrun," said Murphy.

It's a concern both in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania.

"A week ago, our hospital numbers were actually dropping a bit and now they are higher than they were 7 months ago," said Murphy.

Both Levine and Murphy are urging people to keep gatherings limited to those who live with you.

"You're sick of hearing this, and I don't blame you, but don't screw up Christmas," Murphy said. "Don't go big. Don't go multi-generational. Stay within your immediate family."

Murphy suggested that people greet family members from beyond their immediate family outdoors if they must do so at all.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.