Gov. Murphy: State is trying to find a way to reopen gyms, indoor dining

Gov. Phil Murphy says that reopening gyms and moving to indoor dining is closer than ever before.

News 12 Staff

Aug 14, 2020, 11:53 PM

Updated 1,347 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy says that reopening gyms and moving to indoor dining is closer than ever before.
While the governor was taking questions at his COVID-19 briefing, his staff was huddled behind closed doors with the Gym Owners’ Association trying to devise a plan to reopen gyms and fitness centers safely across the state.
“We are trying to find a way to get to both indoor dining and get gyms open,” Murphy said. “We take their concerns very seriously.”
The governor’s executive order forced gyms and fitness centers to close on March 16. Since that time, only outdoor training and one-on-one fitness classes have been allowed to restart.
A pair of gym owners in Bellmawr have become minor celebrities for refusing to shut down their gym. They had their license revoked by the town.
Murphy says that he cannot yet offer a timeline on when gyms can reopen.
“My guess is that we’re going to have to continue to see good numbers and that there will be significant parameters,” he said.
Murphy’s executive order also gradually shut down indoor dining through the end of March. An attempted restart on July 2 was postponed at the last minute as COVID-19 cases rose in other states. Out-of-state travel may be bringing the virus back to New Jersey even now.
“Over the past two days, however, we have seen an increase in new cases,” Murphy said. “Those cases are still under investigation and we continue to encourage individuals to mask up, socially distance and avoid in-house parities and mass gatherings.”
The governor warned New Jersey residents to refrain from throwing large parties, after several were busted earlier this month.
"We will be unsparing and merciless if you're having an indoor house party. And that will be enforced to the very best of our abilities,” Murphy said. "We're going into a hot summer weekend. We want everyone to enjoy it, just wear your darn face covering, stay away from each other. Celebrate outdoors but do it responsibly, folks."
Murphy also announced during his briefing that $150 million of federal CARES Act funds will be given to public and private colleges and universities. The money will be used to reimburse the intuitions for pandemic-related costs like disinfecting, cleaning and transitioning to remote learning.
 


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