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New Jersey Gives Contact Sports The Green Light To Resume In Outdoor Settings

CBS Philadelphia logoCBS Philadelphia 7/20/2020 Syndicated Local – CBS Philly

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Monday allowing the resumption of high-risk contact sports in outdoor settings only. The state will also try to keep track of people flying in from COVID-19 hot spots.

New Jersey launched an electronic survey to collect info from airline passengers arriving from COVID-19 hot spots. People coming from those 22 states into New Jersey are supposed to self-quarantine for two weeks.

While the state still is not in the third phase of reopening, sports were given the green light.

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There’s finally something for athletes to cheer about in New Jersey after months of wrestling with boredom during the shutdown. High-risk contact sports will be allowed to resume outside in New Jersey. This includes things like football, soccer and basketball.

“All sports will have to abide by a number of health and safety protocols, including screenings for athletes, coaches and staff, limited equipment sharing and strong requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing equipment,” Gov. Murphy said Monday.

In announcing his executive order, Murphy said he was slowly allowing activities to resume. This comes as cases of COVID-19 continue an overall decline in New Jersey, which had been hard hit early in the pandemic.

The positivity rate is now 2.8%, one of the lowest in the county.

“Many states are right now living in what we lived throughout March and April so we cannot let up because we know this virus can rebound,” Murphy said.

There have been some sporadic increases, mainly related to crowds at the beach, young people not wearing masks or social distancing.

The governor again reminded people that masks are mandated in New Jersey.

“Only through continued hard work and progress can we move forward in our economic restart and recovery,” he said.

With the resumption on contact sports, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say that athletes should try to stay six feet apart when possible, limit full contact to gamedays and avoid high-fives, handshakes, fist bumps and hugs.

Non-contact practices and drills can resume in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Also today, Murphy said the Department of Education would be releasing guidance later this week allowing parents to choose all remote learning for their children.

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