COVID in NJ today: New Jersey set to increase restrictions on outdoor gatherings and youth sports

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TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) – Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced several new restrictions for New Jersey, but said rumors of a complete shutdown similar to the measures taken in the spring are just rumors. says all options remain on the table.
Instead, Murphy said he plans to take more targeted action like those announced on Monday: putting indoor sports on hiatus and limiting outdoor gatherings to 25 people. “We are seeing epidemics related to indoor sports and this is a prudent short-term step to slow the spread,” Murphy said during a COVID-19 briefing in Trenton.

Starting this Saturday at 6 a.m., indoor sports for young people and adults will be suspended until January 2. This means that there can be neither practice nor game. It does not affect college or professional sports teams.

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Pennsauken School District officials say this won’t affect many sports, as most of their winter sports seasons were already adjusted to begin after the holidays. The only sport that will be affected at Pennsauken is ice hockey, which is said to have started in two weeks.

“The initial (start) date of December 14 is now directly impacted by Governor Murphy’s statement. It will therefore be postponed. It gives us a little more time to prepare and talk to the kids, find out what they want. do with their season, ”said Billy Snyder, athletic director of Pennsauken High School.

Murphy says some of the hockey leagues that have practiced have helped spread COVID-19. State health officials said 20 outbreaks and 100 cases were linked to youth hockey.

Young athletes outside the Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken dressed up on Monday knowing their days on the ice are numbered.

“It’s actually devastating since the only thing the kids have right now is come to the rink and skate,” said Nicole Selody of Skillman.

Some parents try their best to understand, but are unsure of the decision.

“Why wait until Saturday? What if it’s such a big deal? Why are we waiting for Saturday? And why it only lasts until January 2, ”said Jerry King of Foxchase.

State officials also offered vacation advice on Monday.

“It is strongly recommended that people consider alternatives to visiting Santa Claus in indoor places such as virtual tours or socially outdoor distance tours and photos with Santa Claus,” said Dr Edward Lifshitz, director of Communicable Diseases from the New Jersey Department of Health.

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Officials say any visit from Santa inside must be made by appointment. Masks should be required, and no sitting knees.

Earlier this fall, a new socially distant setup was launched by PREIT, the operator of the Cherry Hill and Moorestown malls. Santa Claus is separated from the children by plexiglass.

Murphy also announced that the outdoor gathering limits will be lowered from 150 to 25 people. This reduced limit takes effect on Monday, December 7.

“When you start planning your vacation, know that the meeting limits have returned to what they were in May and June,” Murphy said.

These new assembly limits do not affect political or religious gatherings, wedding ceremonies or funerals.

Murphy announced on Monday 3,199 new cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey. There are a total of 2,961 people hospitalized, including 575 in ICU. Another 15 deaths were reported, bringing the statewide death toll to 15,164.

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