Larger outdoor gatherings will be allowed in New Jersey starting Friday

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"We are comfortable at this time to keep to the timetable we set. So on Monday when outdoor graduation ceremonies are slated to begin and games to be played, schools will be able to accommodate them,” Murphy said. 

Indoors, though, the limit of 25% capacity with a maximum of 100 people remains.

Murphy said it was the fact the virus was much more easily transmitted indoors that made him pull back on resuming indoor dining. 

He urged anyone at a holiday gathering to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering. And at his daily briefing, he encouraged people at outdoor bars to use common sense.

"If you feel uncomfortable at an establishment because of overcrowding, leave. We cannot have an overcrowded bar become a COVID-19 tinderbox," he said. 

Murphy announced that 27 more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the total death toll to 13,251. The state now has a total of 172,356 positive cases. 

Since April, U.S. flags in New Jersey have been at half-staff in memory of those who have died. Murphy said on the day before the Fourth of July, flags will go back to full staff as a sign of rebirth.