Gov. Murphy Announces Schools Closed to End of Academic Year
By Donald GIlpin
Gov. Phil Murphy announced today, May 4, that all public and private schools in New Jersey will be closed for the rest of the academic year. Murphy’s decision, “guided by safety and science,” means continued remote learning through the last weeks of the school year for the state’s school children.
Parks, beaches, and golf courses re-opened last weekend, as Murphy took the first step toward lifting restrictions, and New Jersey residents won praise for their compliance with social distancing rules. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan noted that there were challenges caused by the large crowds visiting parks and beaches, but there were no significant enforcement issues, according to law enforcement in all 21 counties. The re-opening of recreational areas came off largely without incident.
There were big crowds at state, county, and local parks, with some parks having to turn away additional visitors after reaching capacity. In addition, the attorney general’s office reported, some people had to be reminded that picnicking is not allowed under the emergency orders, and that, consistent with CDC guidelines, team sports and the use of playgrounds are also prohibited.
At his daily coronavirus press briefing today, Murphy also announced that the death toll in New Jersey has risen to 7,910 with an additional 45 deaths, and 1,621 additional cases of COVID-19 for a total of 128,269 positive tests. Today’s numbers may be understated because of an outage that affected the state’s computer systems over the weekend.
COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to decline, a factor that state health officials have noted as the best indicator of the outbreak leveling off.
The Princeton Health Department (PHD) on May 1 announced the 10th Princeton death from COVID-19. The victim was a male in his 90s, the second death of an Acorn Glen assisted living facility resident from COVID-19 complications.
Fourteen patients at Acorn Glen have tested positive for coronavirus infections, while Princeton Care Center had 30 confirmed cases at last report with five COVID-19-related deaths. The PHD continues to maintain daily contact with the assisted care facilities in helping with the ongoing outbreak response.
The PHD reported today, May 4, a total of 124 COVID-19 cases in Princeton, with 52 active cases in isolation and 62 cases that have recovered.
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) reported today 4,594 Mercer County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 256 deaths from COVID-19 complications.
Actual numbers of COVID-19 infections probably surpass confirmed case numbers because of testing back-ups and the fact that the state is testing only symptomatic residents.