TRENTON, NJ — The COVID-19 pandemic has not relented on New Jerseyans since March, claiming loved-ones, putting families in financial ruts, and setting change the fabric of the holiday season to come. 

With three days to go until Thanksgiving, Gov. Phil Murphy shared resources for those feeling overwhelmed.

“We recognize that with everything that we have already endured, plus the fact that our holidays have to look differently this year to protect ourselves, our families and our communities…the stress may become too much for some to bear,” Murphy said Monday afternoon during a coronavirus press briefing from the George Washington Ballroom in Trenton. “Please know that help is available.”

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If you need to reach out for resources call 1-866-202-4357, text “NJHOPE” to 51684 or video conference at 973-870-0677 (for the deaf and hard-of-hearing).

“I would stress absolutely the ability to be anonymous, as it relates to those numbers…,” Murphy said, noting that state workers will keep your personal information secure. “Again, they're professionals, and they’re live. So this is not press one, if you want X, press two if you want Y.”

The governor continued to caution residents against holding “multi-generational gatherings” Thursday, saying they are prone to exceed the indoor limits and put people at risk. State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, noted that since October the highest coronavirus positivity rate has been in people between 19 and 49 years of age.

“It appears that younger individuals are exposing older, more vulnerable loved-ones…your grandmother, your grandfather, a vulnerable older neighbor. This has to stop," Persichilli said before pausing. “You need to be more careful. You need to be safe, not only for yourself, but also for your loved-ones.”

She provided the following Thanksgiving Day tips:

  • You should celebrate only with members of your immediate household
  • If you gather with others, please limit the number of attendees to allow people from different households to remain at least six feet apart
  • The best option is to host outdoors rather than indoors as much as possible
  • Even if you are outdoors, require guests to wear face masks when not eating or drinking
  • If you do host indoors, increase the ventilation by opening the windows and the doors or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation
  • If you are hosting, provide attendees with supplies to help everyone to stay healthy and safe
    • Have extra hand sanitizer that contain at least 60% alcohol, stock bathrooms with enough hand soap and single-use towels and remind attendees about washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

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