After 256 briefings on the state’s response to the pandemic, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will hold his final COVID-19 update at 1 p.m. Friday. It will also mark two years since the first reported coronavirus case in the state. Murphy said he understood the importance of the briefings, to educate and update residents. But he also understood the need to move on. “As we move into our new normal and transition from a pandemic stance to an endemic one, there is no longer the need for us to gather here at a set time every week,” the governor said last week. The weekly platform is no longer needed, according to Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University — especially if Murphy is trying to convey politically that we are entering a sense of normalcy again. To read the full article.