November 15, 2020
As coronavirus infections continue to surge across the region, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy met this weekend with their fellow Northeast governors over how the neighboring states can work together to combat the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
News of the “emergency summit” was announced on Friday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the goal of the meeting would be to “discuss aligning policy in light of rising COVID-19 cases in the region and throughout the country.”
The governors of Connecticut and Delaware were on the call as well. Massachusetts and Vermont's respective governors were also scheduled to take part in the virtual meeting, according to NJ Advance Media.
Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have worked with their neighbors on several measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus across the region since the pandemic began in March.
Just spoke with @NYGovCuomo, @GovNedLamont, @GovernorTomWolf, and @JohnCarneyDE about how we can continue working together to beat back the second wave of #COVID19. Together, we will follow the science, keep our region safe, and save lives. pic.twitter.com/ubyBjlsy2B— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 16, 2020
In April, both states joined a regional council tasked with developing a blueprint for reopening the Northeast. The coalition was responsible for considering economic, social and scientific data to develop a plan that reopens the economy while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Both states joined a regional supply chain in May for PPE, medical equipment, and COVID-19 testing supplies.
In June, New Jersey implemented a travel advisory alongside New York and Connecticut. The 14-day quarantine for travelers from states with high COVID-19 rates is still in effect.
Pennsylvania has yet to enact any new statewide restrictions as COVID-19 infections continue to spike. However, the commonwealth recorded 5,551 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, increasing the statewide total to 259,938 since the pandemic began in March. The statewide death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 9,274.
Of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, 60 are currently experiencing substantial community spread of COVID-19, according to state data.
The state deems counties as having substantial risk if they have a test positivity rate of at least 10% or an incidence rate of at least 100 cases per 100,000 residents. Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties all qualify.
Starting this past Thursday, restaurants and bars in New Jersey had to stop indoor dining service between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. every night. Bar seating is also now prohibited across the state. The measure also impacts clubs, lounges, and casinos.
Additionally, all out-of-state travel for New Jersey youth and high school sports that take place indoors has been banned.
New Jersey recorded 4,395 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, increasing the statewide total to 274,736 since the public health crisis began in March.
Murphy said that the state’s latest number of COVID-19 infections was “alarming and concerning.”
The statewide death toll due to COVID-19 is 14,747 lab-confirmed fatalities.