By CBS3 Staff

NEWARK, N.J. (CBS/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Sunday that the state’s first COVID-19 vaccines will be administered Tuesday morning. Murphy says this will happen at University Hospital COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Murphy says he will be there with University Hospital President and CEO Dr. Shereef Elnahal, New Jersey Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli, and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Dean Dr. Robert Johnson.

The governor also said the first 76,000 doses will be for health care workers and long-term care residents and staff.

The governor said he believes that by April or May, everyone in the state will have access to one of the vaccines. He’s urging people not to relax efforts to stem the spread of the virus, especially limiting holiday celebrations to immediate family, since he said 60 to 80% of transmission is now occurring in private settings.

New Jersey, like the rest of the country, has seen a resurgence of the virus, with daily caseloads climbing above their highest points in the spring. The rolling weekly average has also ticked up steadily.

During a press conference on Friday, Gov. Murphy struck an optimistic tone.

“No one can dampen the real sense that we are now in the opening scenes of the end of this pandemic,” Murphy said. “It’s not going to be overnight, it won’t be a light switch, but we can finally begin to sense the end in real time.”

Despite the optimism, Murphy still warned that work needs to be done to stem the surge of coronavirus cases. The state’s moderate impact models show a significant increase of COVID cases if New Jerseyans don’t do their part to stop the spread.

“We have to protect our health care system,” Murphy said.

More than 6,200 new cases were reported Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 396,496, and more than 3,500 people are hospitalized across the state.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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