TRENTON, NJ – Gov. Murphy reported the daily COVID-19 figures, slammed people who attended overcrowded house parties, defended the performance of the Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC), and discussed the updates to the state’s travel advisory regulations at his COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

Travel-Quarantine Update

New Jersey’s travel advisory was updated yesterday. There are now just 14 states, mostly in the Northeast, that people can travel to and from without having to quarantine for 14 days.

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“This goes equally whether you’re a visitor to our state, or a New Jersey resident returning from one of these states,’ Murphy said.

Responding to a reporter’s question, he also announced that it’s “more likely than not” that outdoor high school sports would return in the fall.

MVC

“We know that there continues to be some long wait times at numerous MVC agencies,” the governor said. “MVC is working hard to mitigate these delays. In less than a month, they’ve worked through more than half of the backlog created by the agency’s three-month closure.”

The governor urged everyone with business at the MVC to check online to see if your transaction can be done from the comfort of your home. He reiterated, as he has done several times previously, that deadlines for numerous documents have been automatically extended.

Small Business Support

The governor boasted that the state is investing an additional $15 million into the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

“With this latest investment, we will have now put a total of $70 million into direct assistance for our small business community,” Murphy said.

COVID-19 Numbers in New Jersey

Gov. Murphy reported 489 new positive COVID-19 test results, pushing the statewide cumulative total since March 4 to 180,766. The governor announced a total of 761 patients in New Jersey hospitals (361 who were known to be COVID-19 positive and 400 listed as “Persons Under Investigation” pending the return of test results). A total of 116 patients are in either critical or intensive care, and 49 ventilators are in use.

The spot positivity rate for tests from July 25th is 2.42% in New Jersey, while the rate of transmission remains 1.14. The governor said that “We need to keep these numbers down.”

Murphy reported an additional confirmed 18 COVID-19 deaths, which brings the confirmed death total to 13,923. Meanwhile, the governor said that the number of “probable deaths” has been lowered to 1,875.

“All of the metrics in our health care system continue to trend positively. We’re seeing our standing in the national rankings continue to improve,” Murphy said. “But, we’re not out of the woods yet. We still need to practice personal responsibility and common sense.”

“I want to thank each of you for all you are doing, every day, to help us defeat COVID-19. Please don’t let up,” Murphy said. “Keep wearing your masks and practicing social distancing. Don’t attend any crowded house parties.”

“I know it’s been a long four months. But, we cannot become complacent and take irresponsible risks that put our families and communities at risk,” Murphy said. “We’ve worked too hard to get to where we are now – we can’t slide backward. Keep it up.”

Schools and Sports

The governor fielded questions about the reopening of schools in the fall. He reiterated that each school district has different circumstances and that in some districts faced challenges in implementing remote learning because of the "digital divide" in which the residents of some communities can afford to have computers and internet access at home, while others cannot.

He restated that his three priorities in battling COVID-19 are: "Health, education, and equity."

Responding to a reporter’s question, he also announced that it’s “more likely than not” that outdoor high school sports would return in the fall. However, he avoided answering a question about whether sports could be played if school was doing in-class instruction. Murphy said that it will be easier for outdoor sports to return, but winter indoor sports, such as basketball, wrestling, and hockey, face additional challenges.