Gov. Murphy issues new school safety guidance, says all NJ schools should be in-person by fall

Gov. Phil Murphy says there should be no option for remote learning and all students should be back in the classroom when the new school year starts in September.
The governor said Wednesday that unless there's a big resurgence of COVID-19, the state’s school districts should move ahead with Monday-Friday in-person instruction. Murphy made the announcement during his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
The governor also announced new Health Department guidelines for schools. The new guidance calls for allowing full-time, in-person education now if masking and frequent hand-washing can be maintained. It also calls for a 3-foot distance between students in the classroom. Schools in high-risk areas can still use 6-foot social distancing.
“The guidance reiterates that for all schools – regardless of grade or risk factor – 6 feet of distance is critical in indoor common areas when masking is not an option, such as when students are eating and drinking,” Murphy said.
Currently, there are 143 New Jersey school districts open for all in-person instruction. There are 534 districts that are open for hybrid instruction. And another 121,600 students are in 44 districts that are mixing in-person, hybrid or all-remote learning. There are 90 districts that are still using all-virtual learning.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.