TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday reported 1,735 new COVID-19 cases and 83 new deaths — after announcing that batting cages, golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, private tennis clubs, horseback riding venues and community gardens would be allowed to reopen later this week.
An executive order allowing those outdoor venues to open will take effect this Friday, May 22 at 5 a.m., Murphy said during his daily briefing. Golfers will also be allowed to tee-off in foursomes, as opposed to pairs.
“If we see a backslide we will not hesitate — we will take no joy in it — but we will not hesitate to take action,” he said.
A total of 148,039 New Jersey residents have now tested positive for COVID-19, and 10,435 have died, Murphy said, noting that Monday’s data could include “catch up” numbers that weren’t previously counted.
As of Monday, 3,509 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 334 who were admitted on Sunday, he said. The number of patients on ventilators dropped to 819, and the number of patients in either critical or intensive care dropped to 1,053.
Murphy on Monday also released guidance for New Jerseyans who are starting to return to work. Employees who can work from home should continue to do so, he said.
Those with “low-to-moderate contact” with coworkers and customers, including construction workers, landscapers and factory workers, should adopt “safeguarding practices,” including masks, disinfecting surfaces and handwashing.
Those who frequently come into contact with coworkers and customers, including bartenders and restaurant workers, should also adopt safeguarding practices, while working to restrict capacity and reduce density, Murphy added.
“Until a proven vaccine is widely available, we cannot firmly enter the ‘new normal,’ when life will once again return to all our workplaces downtowns and main streets,” he said.
The state is currently working to get to its second stage of reopenings — which will be a “broader reset” of the economy,” he said.
New Jersey will move into “Stage 2” when it sees “sustained improvements” in public health indicators, a “substantial increase” in testing and contact tracing, widespread workplace safeguarding, “continued public compliance” and “sufficient capacity of safeguarded child care, schools and transit,” one of Murphy’s PowerPoint slides indicates.
“The protocols that will get us to the new normal… are what allow us to thrive once we get there,” Murphy said.
New Jersey on Monday reported a total of 527 long-term care facilities with a combined 28,136 COVID-19 cases, but Murphy said the rate of new cases at those facilities has decreased. A total of 5,408 COVID-19 deaths in the state happened at long-term care facilities.
“While an out-sized proportion of our statewide COVID-19 deaths are related to our long-term care facilities, we also see the 7-day average showing a SLOWING rate,” Murphy tweeted.