NJ sets date for large venues to allow spectators, ups capacity at houses of worship to 50%

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TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday set a date for large New Jersey venues to reopen to spectators — and said houses of worship could start operating at 50 percent capacity.

Indoor sports and entertainment venues with a fixed-seating capacity of more than 5,000 people will be allowed to open to spectators at 10 percent capacity on March 1, Murphy said at a news briefing.

Outdoor venues with that seating capacity will be allowed to open to spectators that day as well, at 15 percent capacity, he said.

Murphy on Monday also said houses of worship and religious services would be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, with masks and social distancing, "effective immediately."

Two parents or guardians per athlete, meanwhile, will now be allowed to attend both indoor and outdoor collegiate sports practices and competitions as spectators, “as long as these numbers don’t exceed 35 percent of the indoor room’s capacity and social distancing can be maintained outdoors," the governor said.

New Jersey reported 17 new COVID-19-related fatalities on Monday, bringing the state’s death toll to 20,585.

As of Sunday night, 2,023 New Jerseyans were hospitalized with COVID-19, 438 of whom were in intensive care units and 289 of whom were on ventilators.