As thousands of New Jersey businesses remain either shuttered or open for curbside pickup, Gov. Phil Murphy said today that “professional sports teams which train or play in New Jersey are allowed to practice and engage in games or matches, if their leagues resume competition.” A complete copy of Executive Order No. 148 may be found here.
“We had been in constant discussions with these [professional sports] teams about the protocols they will have in place to protect the health and safety of the players, coaches and team personnel,” Murphy explained at today’s COVID-19 press conference.
He added, “We know they have facilities where proper sanitation and hygiene practices can be readily maintained.”
Separately, Murphy said today that as of July 6, high schools and colleges/universities will be permitted to hold socially-distanced graduation ceremonies outdoors, with yet-to-be-determined crowd-size limits.
The New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) will issue specific guidance, with the State more broadly announcing today, for example, that “Caps, gowns, diplomas, and other materials must be mailed to individual student homes, sent electronically where possible, or otherwise distributed in a manner that complies with social distancing guidelines.”
Schools will also need to coordinate with their municipalities, including but not limited to local health officials and law enforcement.
Regarding public health, Murphy said New Jersey hospitalizations stood at 2,723, a decrease of approximately 1,500 patients when compared to two weeks ago. Intensive care unit patients likewise declined by about 450 over the same time period, to 786 patients. There are now just 578 patients on ventilators, down 350 from two weeks ago.
Murphy said, “To be sure, we continue to see many signs that we can keep moving forward. The key metrics from our hospitals continue to move in the right direction. We are way down from our peak, and key indicators keep falling. The progression across the past two weeks has been constant and undeniable.”
In unrelated news, the Federal Railroad Administration will provide $91.5 million to Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT toward facilitating the portal bridge’s replacement, the latter a two-track bridge crossing the Hackensack River in both Kearny and Secaucus.
Murphy said at the press conference, “Replacing the antiquated and unreliable portal bridge with a modern and reliable span will mean fewer headaches for commuters and travelers, better on-time performance for our mass transit system.”
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