COVID: 25 more cases in Morristown; local bar cited; Gov imposes new dining, sports restrictions

Col. Pat Callahan, superintendent of the State Police, announces COVID violations by Morristown's Horseshoe Tavern, Nov. 9, 2020. Screenshot by Kevin Coughlin


Amidst promising news of progress on a COVID-19 vaccine, there were many reminders on Monday that the virus remains a potent threat, in Greater Morristown and across the United States.

As the nation topped 10 million infections, after a week with more than 100,000 new cases per day, Morristown saw 25 new cases over the weekend– a weekend in which police cited the Horseshoe Tavern for violating capacity limits imposed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The Horseshoe Tavern was cited over the weekend for exceeding capacity limits set by the governor. Photo: Horseshoe Tavern/Facebook

“It was well over the 25 percent capacity, and patrons were not wearing masks,” Col. Patrick Callahan, superintendent of the State Police, said at Murphy’s press briefing on Monday.

Noting that New Jersey exceeded 1,500 COVID hospitalizations for the first time in five months, Murphy announced new dining restrictions, effective this Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020:

  • All indoor indoor restaurants must close by 10 pm, and cannot reopen till 5 am.
  • Barside seating is prohibited at all hours.
  • Casinos cannot serve food or drink past 10 pm, though gaming can continue.

Indoor tables now can be closer than 6 feet– if separated by barriers. Outdoor dining and takeout and delivery may continue past 10 pm, and heated outdoor dining tent “bubbles” are allowed for one group of patrons at a time, with thorough cleaning and sanitizing of these tents between seatings.

Murphy also banned all interstate games and tournaments for indoor youth sports, up to and including high school, to prevent spreading the virus among teams.

The governor welcomed news from Pfizer indicating studies show its vaccine to be 90 percent effective. But even with swift federal approvals, he said the vaccine won’t be ready for distribution until spring. He urged citizens to fight off “pandemic fatigue” and adhere to safety guidelines to beat back this second surge.

“This virus has not gone away and it is posing its greatest threat to us in many months,” said Murphy, who spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci about the vaccine on Saturday.


State Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26th Dist.) criticized the new restrictions, asserting they should be tried first in counties with higher infection rates than Morris.

“The governor needs to use a scalpel not a shotgun,” DeCroce said in a statement, suggesting the state allocate federal CARES Act funds to help restaurants owners comply.

“With the capacity limits already in place on bars and restaurants, the burden placed on business owners to finance more state-imposed regulations is prohibitive,” DeCroce said.

Murphy reported 11 more COVID deaths statewide, bringing New Jersey’s total to 14,640 confirmed fatalities and 1,800 more probably caused by the virus. On Monday, 309 COVID patients required intensive care, and 94 were on ventilators, Murphy said.

Weekly new cases for NJ, NY, PA and CT combined. Source: Coronaviral.FYI.

Morris County recorded 408 new cases over the weekend, surpassing the 10,000 mark: So far, 10,336 residents have tested positive, and 697 have died. Another 145 deaths likely were the result of COVID-19.

Morristown’s latest confirmed cases bring the town’s pandemic total to 747, according to Morris County statistics. Morris Township’s infections increased by 16 over the weekend, for a total of 439. In Morris Plains, nine more cases were reported, for a total of 109.

Death totals for each town have not been released.

In Morristown, slightly more males than females have been infected.  The average age is 49;  44 percent are within ages 18-46. About one-in-five cases are from long term care facilities.

“This is really exploding,” Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said in his daily message to residents.

Commending police for the weekend crackdown at the Horseshoe Tavern, he added:

“We take it serious here in Morristown… There is a governor’s executive order on capacity and it’s going to be enforced.”

Counties with significant growth in coronavirus cases since May 16, 2020. Source: Coronaviral.FYI

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  1. @KB
    There is no Covid. Its an aggresive flu. A strain slightly more harmful than the seasonal flu and its long run its course, thats why they are focusing on infection rates and not death rates drom an overly sensitive PCR test

    A bigger question is why.are we.following the edicts of a governor. When is the next election?

  2. This is completely idiotic.

    Sweden never lockeddown, no quarantine, no masks. Theyve lost 5800 people to “Covid” which is double the 2900 or so that die each year due to the seasonal flu. And its still mostly the elderly in old age homes.

    Florida FULLY opened up last month. If this was a pandemic, theyd be tripping over death people in the streets. Same with Georgia. Abd its not happening. This is a SCAMdemic.

    At the end of this years flu season in July, we went from fretting about deaths (which were no longer increasing) to fretting about “infection rates” from a PCR test known for generating FALSE positives

    People are getting exposed, “infection rates” are rising DEATHS ARE NOT

    Warning label on the box the masks come in tell you its useless

    Fauchi before he “turned”

    CDC research on masks – they dont work

    Other info

    This is just the nanny state run amok. They havent learned a anything from.the days of prohibition (when alcohol still exchanged hands). Human nature is human nature. You have to respect personals and the right of human beings to enjoy their life and ASSUME whatever risks their are.

    These curfews mean nothing, “speakeasy” type parties are still going to take place and people will find a way including partying in neighboring states.

    Trying to impose a 10pm restriction on a viral agent is idiotic. They know this; so this is nothing more than a test of our compliance.

    Say no, live your life.
    In the end we all die even if you lock yourself at home in a bubble

    The joys of life and memories are from the risks we took to LIVE IT not shy away from it

  3. The alternative is a total lockdown. Pick your battle. And if DeGroce wants to complain about Governor Murphy’s newest regulations, come up with a better plan. Because if we don’t contain the virus, the alternative is total lockdown or thousands more die. Take your pick but stop complaining. If anything, you should be criticizing the establishments that aren’t following the guidelines for making a bad situation worse.

  4. We all get that the virus is contagious all the time. The NJ restrictions are of course intended to limit the amount of time and behavior of people during that time. You’re not eating dinner past 10pm- You’re drinking with friends at the bar and if you’re like most of us, being less socially distant with each round.
    I do think it’s unfortunate that the state is picking winners and losers without much regard for the science. Too many small businesses were shuttered for too long while big box stores could stay open early on. Hopefully we acknowledge and learn from mistakes.

  5. Starting on Thursday (but not until), the virus becomes significantly more contagious the moment the clock strikes 10. It goes back to being its regular old contagious self at precisely 5 am. Casinos are spared from the increased contagion *only* if they stop serving food and drinks during those same hours. The science here is truly amazing!