After some notable “knucklehead” indoor house parties last week that had large groups, no social distancing and limited face mask use, including one in Jackson with more than 700 people that took local authorities hours to break up, Governor Phil Murphy has issued more restrictive rules about indoor gatherings.
Indoor gatherings (particularly those at someone’s home) will be limited to 25 percent of a room’s capacity with a maximum of 25 people. This does not apply to weddings, funerals and memorial services and religious and political activities under the first amendment. They are still limited to 25 percent of a room’s capacity, but have a maximum of 100 people allowed.
“To be clear, this caps indoor house parties at 25 people. Period,” said Murphy in his daily press briefing. “The actions of a few knuckleheads leave us no other course, we have to go back and tighten these restrictions once again.”
The move follows an increase in New Jersey’s rate of transmission of COVID-19, which has been steadily increasing. It’s currently at 1.48 percent, which is up from .70 percent in mid-June. One house party in Middletown alone has been linked to more than 50 cases of coronavirus of people aged 14-19.
Murphy also mentioned that Airbnb is working with the state to remove problem properties across NJ. Almost 30 homes had become party houses, allowing for problematic large indoor gatherings.