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New Jersey Tightens Restrictions On Indoor Gatherings To 25 People As COVID-19 Rate Of Transmission Climbs

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) -- New Jersey is tightening up its restrictions on indoor gatherings as the coronavirus rate of transmission continues to climb. Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that indoor gatherings are now limited to 25% of the room's capacity with a maximum of 25 people until further notice.

New Jersey had previously relaxed its restrictions allowing 100 people at indoor gatherings.

The new capacity includes indoor house parties.

"We believe some of this is attributable to the number of indoor house parties and other events which we have been seeing across the state," Gov. Murphy said. "Today we are retightening the restrictions on indoor gatherings, which until further notice, are now limited to 25% of a room's capacity but with a maximum of 25 people."

Health officials reported 264 new coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the statewide total to 182,614. There were also another 10 coronavirus-related deaths as the death toll nears 14,000.

Murphy says the state has not seen this high of a rate of transmissions since early April.


The reinforcement of gathering restrictions does not apply to weddings, funerals, religious gatherings or memorial services, which are capped at 100 people. The is governor not mincing words on implementing more rollbacks if positive case counts don't begin to trend downward.

"Until we begin to see the numbers of cases decrease -- ot just for a day or two but over at least a seven-day trend and our rate of transmission drop appreciably over a sustained period of time -- these restrictions will remain in place," he said.

New Jersey is in the second of three reopening phases, but Murphy warned last week that virus trends are heading in the wrong direction and setting off alarm bells. The rate of transmission, which indicates the number of people an infected person spreads the virus to, has climbed from below 1 to 1.49 on Sunday.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.

CBS3's Natasha Brown contributed to this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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