New Jersey will still need indoor masks despite new CDC guidelines


Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey, second from left, greets the police sergeant during a tour of the Morris County Covid-19 vaccination site at Townsquare Mall in Rockaway, New Jersey, United States, Friday, January 8, 2021.

Sarah Blesener | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Friday the state is keeping its indoor mask mandate in place, despite recently relaxed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The CDC updated its policy on Thursday, saying it is safe for fully vaccinated Americans to ditch their masks in most settings, whether they are outdoors or indoors.

While fully vaccinated New Jersey residents can take off their masks outdoors, Murphy said those who are not vaccinated should continue to wear masks outdoors when they are “around” others.

The announcement comes as other states move to incorporate new CDC guidelines into state policy.

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Hawaii Governor David Ige has said his state’s mask mandate will remain in effect for everyone, vaccinated or not, despite new recommendations from the CDC.

Texas lifted its mask mandate in March, two months ahead of the CDC’s announcement. Texas State Department Health Services told TBEN the agency agrees with the CDC’s new guidelines and is in the process of updating its recommendations.

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In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio hailed the move as “a monumental day in the fight against Covid-19” and said the city was reviewing its own guidelines.