CORONAVIRUS IN NJ: Murphy order reopens state, county parks and golf courses Saturday

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 29, 2020 - 12:52 pm

    NEWARK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that he is signing an executive order to reopen New Jersey state parks

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    Murphy said the order will allow county parks and golf courses to reopen Saturday as well.

    The order takes effect at sunrise on Saturday, May 2, Murphy said.

    "Come Saturday morning, our state parks will be open once again," Murphy said at his daily briefing.

    However, Murphy said social distancing will continue to be mandated and golf course personnel will be expected to enforce this requirement.

    And all parks—state, county or local—will have their parking capped at 50 percent, he said.

    Murphy urged people heading out to stick to parks near their homes. He said team sports, picnics and other organized activities are still prohibited.

    The governor also said officials are strongly recommending that everyone wear face coverings. This has not been mandated by the executive order, Murphy said, but it could be mandated in the future if people aren't seen wearing masks when parks reopen.

    "If we don’t like what we see, I reserve the right to reverse the executive order that I’m issuing today," Murphy said.

    New Jersey golf course
    Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Murphy said Wednesday that there were 2,481 new positive cases in the state, bringing the total statewide to 116,264 cases.

    He said more people were discharged than admitted to hospitals from Tuesday to Wednesday—474 discharges versus 426 new hospitalizations.

    However, the governor said 329 more deaths were reported since Tuesday, bringing the state death toll to 6,770.

    The number of hospizaliations for coronavirus in New Jersey has been steadily declining in recent weeks.

    Murphy said the rate of doubling of new cases has also continued slowing in most counties.

    The governor said Tuesday that a 21-member commission will begin to advise state government on reopening the economy.

    The panel includes a number of national figures. Among them are former Obama administration officials Jeh Johnson, former Homeland Security Secretary, and Lisa Jackson, one-time Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Also on the commission is former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    The state must first meet meet four criteria, including boosting testing and contact tracing, along with seeing downward trends in cases and deaths, the governor said as part of a six-point plan to reopen the state.

    Among the Commission’s first tasks will advising on the timing of the restart, Murphy said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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