By Stephanie Stahl

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New restrictions go into effect today in New Jersey as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb across the state. New Jersey is increasing the limits on the number of people who are allowed to gather in groups.

Also on Monday, the governor renewed his warnings about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Outdoor activities in New Jersey are now limited to 150 people which is down from 500. There are exemptions for religious services and political activities but not sporting events.

And private indoor gatherings can’t exceed 10 people.

“Let’s be safe, let’s be smart,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

With more than 3,500 new coronavirus cases, the numbers are increasing across the state with health officials identifying a new trend.

“The highest positivity are in the 19- to 49-year-old age group. It appears that younger individuals are exposing older, more vulnerable loved ones,” state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.

Hospital cases are up 35%, mostly for the elderly, and the growing death rates are also among seniors. Because of that infection trend, officials are renewing warnings about Thanksgiving.

“We urge you, if you haven’t done so already, to plan for only a small immediate family gathering,” Murphy said.

With the virus spreading mainly in close contact, people are being reminded about precautions to wear masks and stay at least six feet from others.

“The best option is to host outdoors rather than indoors as much as possible. Even outdoor, require guests to wear a mask when not eating or drinking. And if you do host indoors, increase the ventilation by opening the windows and the doors,” Persichilli said.

The governor already reduced indoor service hours at bars and restaurants and he hasn’t ruled out another statewide shutdown.

Murphy also talked about the holidays being especially stressful for many this year and urged people to reach out to mental health professionals if they need help.


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Stephanie Stahl