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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is holding his daily press conference on the Covid-19 outbreak, which has infected more than 116,300 people in the state as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Earlier Thursday, Murphy met with President Donald Trump to discuss Covid-19 testing and financial assistance for states. “I thank you for the enormous help in our darkest hour of need,” he said to Trump during their meeting.
Murphy signed an executive order Wednesday to reopen the state’s parks, golf courses and county parks. The order will take effect on Saturday, but visitors still need to follow social distancing rules.
“For passive recreation, including running and hiking, biking, fishing, boating, kayaking and horseback riding, come Saturday morning our state parks will be open once again,” he said.
Visitors to these recreational areas must follow several health measures. All parks — state, county or municipal — will have parking capped at 50% of capacity, and public spaces such as playgrounds, pavilions, visitor centers and restrooms will remain closed, he said. Picnics, organized activities and team sports will continue to be prohibited.
Murphy also strongly recommended the use of face coverings.
After declaring a statewide stay-at-home order on March 21, the New Jersey governor shut down all state and county parks April 7 to help contain the coronavirus outbreak across the state.
In addition to reopening recreational areas, Murphy also signed an executive order Wednesday that will allow petitions seeking to place municipal or county initiatives or referendums on the ballot to be signed electronically.
“No one should be going door-to-door, either campaigning or collecting signatures, and we should ensure that initiative and referendum campaigns can proceed but in a way that is consistent with public health,” he said.