Several weeks after Gov. Phil Murphy presented a "worse case scenario" of the pandemic stretching into the summer,  what New Jersey is now experiencing is even better than his best-case scenario.

During the Monday COVID update in Trenton, the governor announced 1,935 confirmed new coronavirus cases with 2,062 hospitalizations and fewer patients on ventilators and intensive care.

“When you have over 6 million shots in the arms, the weather getting a little bit better to allow us to live more of our lives outside, that’s all cause for quiet, cautious optimism,” Murphy said.

Nevertheless Murphy stressed it’s too early to declare victory.

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He said discussions about expanding capacity limits and re-openings are taking place “but too early to give you an answer on proms, graduations and other summer stuff."

State Epidemiologist Tina Tan said with regard to expanding the re-opening, “it might be a little too early to predict what our trajectory is right now but I think we can be cautiously optimistic.”

She pointed out while the New Jersey numbers are moving in the right direction, “we have to remember that nationally we’re seeing about 67,000 new cases a day ... so that’s a lot of disease activity.”

She added vaccination numbers continue to increase but it’s important to still “keep up our guard” with masking, social distancing and hand washing until vaccine coverage is more profound.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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