CORONAVIRUS IN NJ: 1,394 new cases, 146 new deaths; outdoor gathering limit increases to 25 people, recreational campgrounds reopen

Maya Rajamani
May 22, 2020 - 11:29 am

TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed an executive order that increased the limit on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people and reopened recreational campgrounds effective "immediately."

Murphy reported 1,394 new COVID-19 cases and 146 new deaths during his daily briefing Friday morning, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 152,719 and the state’s death toll to 10,985. 

The “key indicators” the state has been tracking, however, have all fallen "dramatically,” he said. 

As of Friday, 3,049 state residents were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 151 who were admitted on Thursday, he said. A total of 259 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals on Thursday.

“We are able to confidently make this decision today because of the hard work each and every one of you have put in through social distancing to relieve the stresses on our health care system,” Murphy said of the executive order.

While the order Murphy signed Friday increased the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings, indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 people. Residents attending gatherings of any sort should still socially distance and wear masks, he said. 

The order applies to outdoor recreational businesses including charter and fishing boats, outdoor batting cages, and outdoor driving ranges, he noted. It does not apply to outdoor or indoor dining.

“Please don’t mistake what I’ve said about increasing the allowed gatherings to 25 persons,” he said. “I hope to get to outdoor dining sooner than later, but we’re not there yet.”

Murphy on Friday also said the state would release guidance on outdoor graduation celebrations early next week.