The move follows an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases statewide as well as overcrowding at multiple establishments with “a complete disregard for social distancing” and “very few, if any, face coverings,” Murphy said Monday. Cases also continue to increase throughout the country, and areas including New York City and Philadelphia have also paused the planned reopening of indoor dining. “Restaurants across New Jersey spent real time, funds, and labor preparing for a safe and responsible indoor reopening, only to find their efforts callously dismissed. We owe it to them – to the livelihoods of their employees and their families, and to the long-term health of these small businesses – to help them through these unprecedented times and make them whole again,” Gopal said. In Monmouth County specifically, the case total reached 9,305, including Atlantic Highlands, 37; Colts Neck, 87; Fair Haven, 29; Highlands, 34; Holmdel, 321; Little Silver, 40; Middletown, 754; Monmouth Beach, 21; Oceanport, 66; Red Bank, 259; Rumson, 47; Sea Bright, 12; and Tinton Falls, 232. Some elected officials who have fought to bring back indoor dining are frustrated with the setback. Sen. Vin Gopal, for example, said that while he understands why the governor took the action, restaurants are struggling and need help. As of Wednesday, July 1, there were 171,928 total COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, with 13,224 lab-confirmed deaths. Murphy said the state anticipates an additional 1,854 COVID-19-related deaths which have not been lab-confirmed. The daily positivity rate was 2.29 percent, recorded June 27. The total number of hospitalizations increased to 1,080. “Given the current situation in numerous other states, as I mentioned, we do not believe it is prudent at this time to push forward with what is, in effect, a sedentary indoor activity, especially when we know that this virus moves differently indoors than out, making it even more deadly,” said Murphy June 29 during a press conference. “We have seen spikes in other states driven in part by the return of patrons to indoor dining establishments where they are seated and without face coverings for significant periods of time. We do not wish to see New Jersey experience a similar spike.” NEW JERSEY – This week Gov. Phil Murphy put a temporary pause on indoor dining which was originally scheduled to partially reopen July 2. By Allison Perrine Additionally, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso and Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) issued a joint statement Monday following Murphy’s rescindment of indoor dining. The two called the move “a real slap in the face” to the restaurant and hospital industries. The article originally appeared in the July 2 – 8, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. “With this removal of indoor dining hundreds of thousands of restaurants will need even more money as they laid out supplies, staff, and cleaning in anticipation of a reopening. We are killing them with this crushing decision only three days before reopening,” the statement read. “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,” said Murphy. “They are the ones who ruin it for everyone else. Compliance is not a polite suggestion. It is required. Selflessness, not selfishness. So unfortunately, the national situation, compounded by instances of knucklehead behavior here at home, are requiring us to hit pause on the restart of indoor dining for the foreseeable future.” Murphy acknowledged that most bars and restaurants have been doing “the right things” and have been enforcing social distancing policies. But it only takes one to ruin it for the others, he said, as he criticized The Factory Restaurant and Lounge in Jersey City for not following the orders. In the local area, people on social media called out Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright and D’Jais Oceanview Bar and Cafe in Belmar for doing the same. “Don’t be the match that starts a COVID wildfire,” Murphy said Wednesday. “Use your common sense for the common good.” Other scheduled reopenings for July 2 were allowed, including casinos, outdoor amusement parks and water parks, museums and libraries, indoor recreation and gyms and fitness centers for individualized training or by appointment only.