New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on Tuesday over a spike in cases from the COVID-19 omicron variant, according to The Hill.
The decision allows hospitals to access state resources more easily as the state is recording almost 35,000 new COVID 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,'' Murphy, a Democrat, said in a video announcement.
''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,'' the governor added.
Murphy then reassured residents that the state of emergency would not mean any new universal mandates, lockdowns, business restriction, or gathering limits.
''I am certain that there are some who are going to do their best to continue to spread misinformation about what this means, so I want you to hear it from me,'' he said.
''It does not mean going backward from any of the progress we've made together over the past 22 months,'' he added. ''In fact, in your day-to-day life, this step won't have any new impact at all. What it does mean is that we can continue moving forward with our coordinated and responsible approach to putting omicron and COVID behind us.''
New Jersey joins Maryland and Virginia in declaring a state of emergency due to the new variant, as the U.S. records its highest hospitalization rate since the beginning of the pandemic, according to The Hill.
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