Gov. Phil Murphy today signed an executive order that will allow wedding receptions to proceed at 35% of an indoor venue’s capacity up to 150 people. The order takes effect this Friday at 6:00 a.m. Additionally, Murphy said that sleep-away camps will also be allowed to safely resume this summer, and separately, added that he is extending the pause of utility and internet shut offs through June 30.
“When you look at summer camps and wedding receptions they have one thing in common, they take months to plan,” Murphy said. “We are not declaring victory here in relation to the coronavirus, but these things need a long runway, and that is why we are making these decisions and announcements now.”
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in New Jersey. Since then, the state has seen nearly 800,000 additional positive cases, and has suffered 21,052 confirmed deaths at the hands of the virus.
“At that time, I don’t think any of us sitting here today were necessarily surprised that the coronavirus had found its way to New Jersey,” Murphy said today at what was his 169th COVID-19 press briefing since the pandemic began. “But none of us could even imagine what it was we ultimately were up against.”
On March 9th, 2020, Murphy first declared the public health emergency that still remains active to this day.
“Over the past 12 months, just under 800,000 of our fellow New Jerseyans have tested positive for COVID-19,” Murphy said. “We are grateful that the overwhelming number of those who tested positive have survived. Many we know are now back home and back to their lives.”
Still today, Murphy noted that 1,921 New Jerseyans are currently hospitalized, with 403 individuals needing intensive care with 243 on ventilators.
“We have had to take extraordinary and painful steps to beat back this virus and save lives,” Murphy said. “We have asked a lot from you. We had to issue a statewide stay-at-home directive, and prohibit residents from gathering together in large groups, even for funerals for those we lost in this virus. … To every New Jerseyan who has joined our fight over the past year, I say on our behalf, simply thank you.”
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