New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says he will issue an executive order Wednesday requiring people to wear face masks outdoors when they can’t socially distance, in addition to the existing rules for indoor masks.
“There’s no question that face coverings are game changers. I think we were the first state in America to require them indoors, they’ve been strongly recommended out of doors. We’re going to turn that up a notch today and say we’re going to ask you if you can’t socially distance then we’re gonna, it’s gonna be required,” he said in an MSNBC interview.
Murphy said an outdoor mask mandate at places like Jersey Shore boardwalks, while difficult to police, was necessary given the rising number of cases in most of the country. (The state recently saw its infection rate hit a 10-week high, and Hoboken reported a cluster of new cases tied to out-of-state travelers.)
“If you’re congregating with a lot of other folks and there’s no social distancing, you can at least get a warning, if not something stronger. Admittedly, this is harder to enforce,” Murphy said.
As of Tuesday, New Jersey reported almost 174,000 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed since early March, with more than 15,000 confirmed and probable deaths.