CORONAVIRUS IN NJ: 311 new deaths bring toll to 7,538, cases surpass 120,000 as state prepares to reopen parks

1010 WINS Newsroom
May 01, 2020 - 1:13 pm

    NEWARK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday that the number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey had surpassed 120,000 as he reported hundreds more deaths and warned "we're not out of the woods yet" as the state prepares to reopen parks and golf courses.

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    There were 2,651 new cases between Thursday and Friday, bringing the total number statewide to 121,190.

    The number of deaths rose by 311 to 7,538, Murphy said.

    Murphy said the rate of doubling of cases in the state continues to slow and that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was also on the decline.

    There were 5,972 people hospitalized statewide, Murphy said, with 1,724 in critical care. That included 532 new hospitalizations.

    "This number happily continues to decrease," Murphy said, warning that the declining number hinges on people continuing to social distance.

    The governor said this weekend, when warm weather is in the forecast, will be a "test" as the state reopens parks and golf courses Saturday.

    "We will not hesitate to re-close the parks," Murphy warned, urging people to wear masks and practice social distancing.

    "This weekend is going to be an important one for us and an important sign of how we move forward," Murphy said. "When the parks reopen tomorrow, please act responsibly and follow all rules and precautions."

    He said he wants people to enjoy the parks "even if we have to remain 6 feet apart and even if we have to speak to each other through face coverings."

    As for schools, which have been closed statewide since March 18, Murphy said a decision on the rest of the school year will come before May 15. He said he hoped to have a decision as early as Monday or Tuesday of next week.

    Murphy also announced that he's signing an executive order relaxing in-person requirements for both the solemnization of marriage licenses and working papers for minors. 

    He said wedding ceremonies will be allowed to be held using video-conferencing with some safeguards. He said municipalities are still permitted to allow in-person ceremonies, subject to social distancing, but are not required to do so.

    When it comes to working papers for minors, Murphy said the requirement that a school district–designated individual give in-person sign off has been waived during the coronavirus emergency. 

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