Spectators allowed at youth and high school sporting events under new order
Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order that will allow some spectators at youth and high school sporting events, several months after the governor barred spectating because of the pandemic.
Under the order, two parents or guardians will be allowed at practices and games. Those events must adhere to the 35% capacity limits or up to 150 people – whichever is less. Spectators will need to wear masks and be socially distant.
“I know many parents, especially those of our senior athletes, have been anxious to get back into the stands to cheer on their student athletes in what may, for many, be their final season of competition,” Murphy said. “And as the metrics in our hospitals and elsewhere continue to trend more positively for us, we feel confident in being able to allow them to do so.”
The order went into effect Friday. But school districts can ultimately make the decision on when to start.
RELATED: Tracking US COVID vaccinations
Murphy made the announcement Friday at his COVID-19 briefing. He also announced that vaccine distribution is accelerating in the state. There have now been three days in a row with over 50,000 shots administered. More than 1.2 million doses have been given out overall – 933,000 were first doses and 310,00 were second doses.
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that her department and Microsoft are working to clear up “continued glitches” in the state’s vaccination scheduling system. This week, one glitch that delayed scheduling past midnight meant people received cancellation notices in the middle of the night. Persichilli said the state Health Department aims to resolve all scheduling issues the same day they happen.
Some people whose vaccine appointments were canceled showed up to the centers anyway and were still able to get the vaccine. But the governor says people should not do that, since there is a good chance they'll be unsuccessful.