New Jersey Allowing State Parks, Golf Courses to Reopen

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy speaks at an election night rally on November 7, 2017 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Murphy was projected an early winner over Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

State parks and golf courses across New Jersey will reopen this weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced on Wednesday.

Murphy is signing an executive order allowing state parks and golf courses to reopen, effective Saturday, May 2. However, the governor stressed that they cannot “have everyone rush out to a park or a golf course” and added that social distancing “will be strongly enforced”:

“You’ve got to behave in a certain way,” Murphy said. “You can’t congregate.”

Parking lots at state parks, for instance, will only be able to operate at 50 percent capacity, and while “passive recreation” will be permitted,  Murphy said he will be watching the state closely this weekend.

“We’re going to be looking very, very closely up and down the state this weekend,” he said. “I reserve the right to reverse the executive order I’m signing today”:

Murphy’s executive order comes as state leaders craft plans to safely and responsibly open their states, with some taking more aggressive actions than others.

New Jersey has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and had 116,264 total cases as of Wednesday. Murphy said 1,327 ventilators are currently in use but added that the total is “still significantly lower than one week ago”:

Overall, Murphy said, the trend line “continues to point in the right direction”:

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