Gov. Murphy: Outdoor graduation ceremonies can take place starting July 6

New Jersey schools can hold outdoor graduation ceremonies starting July 6.

News 12 Staff

May 26, 2020, 1:57 PM

Updated 1,425 days ago

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New Jersey schools can hold outdoor graduation ceremonies starting July 6.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the latest relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in a tweet before his regular news conference on the outbreak.
“To the class of 2020: I am proud to say that you will have your opportunity to join with your classmates and families to celebrate your graduation,” Murphy said.
Schools are closed through June because of the outbreak, but this is the latest easing of restrictions, which have included opening parks and golf courses, along with the state’s beaches.
“Our goal is to ensure that our students are given the sendoffs they richly deserve,” said Murphy.

The ceremonies must be outdoors and comply with social distancing requirements. The restrictions could mean that schools with larger populations may have to hold multiple ceremonies.
New Jersey now has nearly 156,000 positive cases and 11,191 deaths from the virus. But the governor says that the trends are moving in the right direction. Hospitalizations were down by nearly 1,500 compared two weeks ago, according to officials. 
Officials also said that Memorial Day weekend was a success.
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“About a dozen compliance issues, but…12 incidents over four nights,” said State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan.
Officials say that the weekend’s less-than-stellar weather helped.
“I have to admit, Mother Nature helped because the weather was God-awful…so there weren’t many people on the beach,” Murphy said.
The governor also said that he spoke with President Donald Trump on Friday after the president ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare that houses of worship are providing essential services. Houses of worship are currently closed in New Jersey.
Police cited two southern New Jersey churches this weekend after having Sunday services attended by more than 100 people. Indoor gatherings are capped at 10 people under Murphy’s order.
“I’m all for getting there. We want to get there. We’re going to get there outdoors before we get there indoors,” Murphy said. “But we’ve got to be very careful. We’re not holding back for some, some crazy reason. We’re holding back because we want to do it responsibly and we don’t want to kill anybody.”
Murphy said that he would announce on Wednesday the maximum number of attendees for the graduation ceremonies.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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