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Customers order to-go drinks outside a restaurant in New Jersey. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that the state will indefinitely postpone indoor dining — originally set to resume Thursday — as coronavirus cases surge in states that moved quickly to reopen their economies.

What he's saying: "We have been cautious throughout every step of our restart," Murphy said. "We’ve always said that we would not hesitate to hit pause if needed to safeguard public health. This is one of those times."

  • "We’re also moved to pause indoor dining because of what we’ve seen in some establishments across the state," he continued. "Overcrowding. A complete disregard for social distancing. Very few, IF ANY, face coverings. The scenes we see in our newspapers and on social media CANNOT CONTINUE."
  • "The carelessness of one establishment can completely undo the good work of many others. We will not tolerate outlier bars and restaurants – and, frankly, patrons – who think the rules don’t apply to them. They are the ones who ruin it for everyone else."

The big picture: As new infections surge in states around the country, Texas and Florida — two of the new hotspots — have reversed reopening guidelines centered around bars and restaurants.

  • This is in part because the number of new infections in young people has increased significantly.
  • Indoor dining has been shown to pose more risks compared to restaurants with outdoor seating.

Earlier Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will decide Wednesday whether to halt the reopening of indoor dining in New York City.

  • "One of the issues we're working on in New York, indoor dining has shown that it has been problematic. That a virus spreads in closed, indoor areas that have air-conditioned systems. We know that indoor dining has been problematic," Cuomo said at a press conference.

By the numbers: New Jersey was one of the original hubs of the coronavirus in the U.S., but successfully flattened its curve after months of restrictions.

  • The state is now reporting a seven-day moving average of around 350 daily new cases, compared to a peak of nearly 3,700 in April.
  • As of Sunday, New Jersey reported 978 coronavirus hospitalizations and 225 patients in either critical or intensive care.

Go deeper: Texas governor regrets opening bars during coronavirus pandemic

Go deeper

Oct 6, 2020 - Health

D.C. reports most new COVID cases since June amid White House outbreak

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. reported 105 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest number of new infections since June.

Why it matters: A cluster of at least 20 cases has been tied to the White House, raising concerns that the virus may be spreading into the surrounding community.

Oct 7, 2020 - Health

The cost of Washington's coronavirus failures

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump’s cavalier attitude toward the coronavirus is already making the pandemic worse in his own backyard, and the failure to reach a deal on a new round of stimulus will likely make it worse all across the country, for months.

Why it matters: Heading into the winter months without a new round of stimulus in place will leave vulnerable workers without a financial safety net if they get sick — and because of that, experts say, it will likely make the pandemic itself worse.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California — America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron — CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers.
  2. Politics: Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come — Meta removes accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  4. World: Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people — Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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