Supply chain concerns in New Jersey

New Jersey reported more than 6,200 infections on Thursday, December 16th.  That’s the highest number of positive tests in one day since last winter’s surge.

Governor Phil Murphy addressed growing concerns over COVID-19 and the Omicron variant at a news conference on Friday morning in Newark.

"Let me say without any amount of joy, that the pandemic is still in our midst," Murphy said.  "The one thing we cannot allow is our healthcare system to get overwhelmed and the good news is we’re nowhere near that. We’ve got about 1,758 people in the hospital right now. I think, at the peak in April 2020, it was 8,270, so we’re at a fraction of that."

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When Murphy was asked if he would follow in New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s footsteps and issue an indoor mask mandate, he responded by telling reporters nothing is off the table.

As coronavirus cases rise this holiday season, many are also concerned about ongoing supply shortages.

Roughly 40% of the U.S. population is dependent on the Port Authority of NY and NJ (PANYNJ) for foreign goods.

Local officials insist that Christmas gifts are on the way, and will arrive on time.

"Since 2011, Port Newark containment terminal has executed infrastructure investments of $425M. Those investments have allowed PNC to increase capacity by 80%," said Jim Pelliccio, Port Newark Container Terminal President and CEO.

"The port facilities have been able to handle that level of volume without those delays offshore," added Bethann Rooney, PANYNJ Port Department Deputy Director.

Future plans to alleviate supply chain issues include a project that will reconstruct roads to make room for more traffic, and another to improve freight transportation.