During the height of the pandemic, did you ever think that COVID wouldn't be a part of life?

With the help of vaccines and boosters, COVID numbers have been going down, and thus mask mandates have gone away for the most part. Are we going back in time?

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COVID guidelines haven't been changed since February, and if I'm being honest it kind of went to the back of my head.

I'll never forget COVID, but I just got used to ditching the mask.

I still have masks ready to go just in case I'm around someone who is compromised, or when I have to go to the doctor's office.

New Jersey confirmed 5,309 coronavirus cases on Friday, which is the first time over 5,000 daily cases have been reported since January.

January is when the omicron variant rocked our lives.

Because of these spiking numbers, the CDC has elevated nine New Jersey counties into its "high risk" category.

What does it mean when a New Jersey county is at high risk for COVID?

According to the CDC, to stop the spread, those in high-risk counties should wear masks indoors in public places and on public transportation.

The counties that are now considered to be high-risk for COVID are:

  • Atlantic
  • Burlington
  • Camden
  • Cape May
  • Gloucester
  • Monmouth
  • Morris
  • Ocean
  • Sussex

Counties in the medium-risk category include:

  • Bergen
  • Essex
  • Hudson
  • Hunterdon
  • Mercer
  • Middlesex
  • Passaic
  • Salem
  • Somerset
  • Union

The CDC does not make mask recommendations for medium and low-risk counties.

The only New Jersey county in the low-risk range is Warren.

What do these high COVID cases mean for schools and other public places? Only time will tell. We are only two weeks away from Memorial Day weekend. Let's hope this is just a blip and case counts lower soon.

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