‘This is not going to be a normal Thanksgiving’: Gov. Murphy tightens indoor, outdoor gathering limits
Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday he will be reducing indoor and outdoor gathering limits because of the COVID-19 resurgence.
The governor said hew he will order indoor gatherings to fall from 25 to 10 and outdoor get-togethers from 500 to 150 people. The new indoor limit goes into effect today, while the outdoor level kicks in Nov. 23.
The lower levels come just before Thanksgiving, and ahead of the winter holidays.
There are some exceptions to the limits, and among them are religious services, political activities and weddings.
"We're urging everyone to keep their Thanksgiving plans as small as possible because we know that indoor gatherings and homes are particularly dangerous places for COVID-19 to spread," says Gov. Murphy.
Murphy said he understood that the new limits would lead to frustration, but said little about this year has been normal. Murphy said the tighter limits are aimed at limiting house parties, which he said contribute to climbing COVID-19 rates.
“We've been saying for weeks that this is not going to be a normal Thanksgiving. It's not a normal school year, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Hanukah or Christmas, and 2020 won't be normal, period."
Click or tap on the photos below to view the governor's COVID-19 briefing
Changes for indoor sports practices and games include teams being allowed to exceed the 10-person limit only for those who are necessary for competition, which includes players, coaches, and referees. In most cases, Murphy said, spectators will not be permitted at indoor events when the cap is exceeded.
For outdoor high school sports practices and games, the 150-person limit includes players, coaches, team personnel, and officials. Murphy said that means the number of spectators allowed will be lower than 150.
Crowds at outdoor college and pro sporting events will be capped at 150 people, but athletes, coaches, referees, and other personnel needed for pro and college sporting events will not count toward that amount.
The average increase over the first seven days of this month reached roughly 2,135, up from about 590 cases a day in early October. The average caseload increase for the first week of September was nearly 340 cases, according to state Health Department figures.
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.