Gov. Murphy says schools still on track for reopening in September; continues to urge social distancing

Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that the plan to reopen New Jersey schools in September is still on, but he is urging that all New Jerseyans practice social distancing.

News 12 Staff

Jul 13, 2020, 9:02 PM

Updated 1,381 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that the plan to reopen New Jersey schools in September is still on, but he is urging that all New Jerseyans practice social distancing.
“We won’t be beaten or bludgeoned. We’re convinced we can protect all lives – the parents, the students, the teachers and those they will go home to,” Murphy said. “We have a strong bias on getting back to school.”
But the New Jersey teacher’s union is questioning the wisdom of gathering students in classrooms together indoors.
“I don’t begrudge the educators for wanting…to have the confidence they need to come back in and do their craft…but also doing it without putting their personal health at risk,” Murphy said.
The Murphy administration released guidance last month for the resumption of in-person learning. It included a strong advisory that students wear face coverings in situations where it was difficult to maintain social distancing. It is an advisory that the governor has since applied to everyone in the state.
“We have to keep wearing our face coverings, even when the muggy July days make them uncomfortable,” he said.
The governor and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that no one is immune to COVID-19.
“People at any age can get severe illness from COVID-19…It is vital young people understand they are part of the solution to COVID-19,” Persichilli said.
 
The governor and health commissioner urged New Jerseyans not to crowd bars and clubs – like Infiniti Lounge in Trenton that purportedly had large crowds over the weekend.
“Parties among young people are leading to an uptick in coronavirus cases,” Persichilli said.
Despite lowering infection numbers, at least 20 people died from virus-related causes over the weekend. Murphy said that the crisis is far from over.
“Public health creates economic health and if that’s not important, we can’t jump the gun,” he said. “Keep up the great, extraordinary work. We’re all in this together.”
Phase three of New Jersey’s reopening plan is still on hold. The governor did not say when it would move forward.
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