TRENTON, NJ — While there will be no widespread state shutdown due to rising coronavirus numbers, Gov. Phil Murphy is bringing back a 25-person limit on outdoor gatherings and pausing all indoor youth and adult sports until the new year.

In taking this "surgical approach" to stopping the COVID-19 surge, he said the focus is being placed on "activities that have proven to have the greatest risk of transmission."

"We continue to be driven first and foremost by science and by data," Murphy said at his November 30 press briefing. "Our overarching aim is to ensure the stability of our health care system and in the ability of our state's 71 hospitals to ensure proper treatment for all who need care."

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However, he also hedged that the possibility of a statewide shutdown "has to stay on the table." 

As of Saturday, December 5, all indoor youth and adult sports — both practices and competitions — will be prohibited through January 2. Collegiate-level and professional sports are exempt. 

And starting December 7, the maximum number of people who can gather outdoors will drop from 150 to 25 — just a week after it was reduced from 500 to 150. This restriction will not apply to outdoor dining, religious or political activities, funerals, memorial services or wedding ceremonies.

“Let me reiterate that separate groups who are dining outdoors at our restaurants do not constitute a single gathering. Outdoor dining is unaffected by today's announcement it continues to be governed by the health and safety regulations already in place,” Murphy said.

“As you start to make your holiday plans, please recognize that the gathering limits are back to what they were in May and June, when we all came together and crushed the curve as much as any state in the United States,” Murphy said. “We continue to urge you to keep gatherings as small as possible, particularly with individuals outside of your household. As I've said our steps continue to be dictated by careful analysis of science and data.” 

In Other Coronavirus News

Residents in the Garden State, which has more than 3,000 on-the-ground contact tracers, is still seeing nearly 70 percent of people either not responding or not being cooperative.  

Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick Callahan announced that since November 24 there have been 10 executive order violations, nine of which took place at establishments in Newark and one in South Orange.

N.J. Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) investigators — who were sent out on November 24 and 25 — cited businesses in Neptune City and Tuckerton as well. According to social media reports, that local business was identified as Patrick's Grille on West Sylvania Avenue, which claimed it received a violation for having high-top tables near its bar. While a letter on its Facebook page said the restaurant would be closed "for the foreseeable future" following the incident, it began offering take-out service on November 30.

As part of their sweep, ABC workers conducted 67 inspections, citing 11 establishments for violations over failing to wear faces inside and being over capacity, according to Callahan.

New Cases, Deaths and Hospitalizations 

There were 15 more deaths attributed to the coronavirus as of November 30 for a total 16,993 (1,829 of which are considered “probable.”) This figure does not include the 26 people who are suspected to have died due to respiratory virus, but for which additional testing is required. 

Murphy confirmed another 3,199 new positive cases for a total of 337,304.

The state has 2,961 COVID-19 hospitalizations, taking into account 263 residents discharged and 378 patients admitted. From the hospital census: 757 people are in intensive care and 332 are on ventilators. 

The positivity rate is at 11.34 percent and the rate of transmission (Rt) is 1.11.  The governor noted that the positivity rate numbers refer to a "relatively small" number of tests done on Thanksgiving Day, and thus the figures should be taken "with a grain of salt."

In Monmouth County on November 30, there were 210 new positive cases of COVID-19 — the eighth highest total in the state — and three new deaths related to the virus. Since March, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Monmouth is 20,626.

In addition, there are 344 patients hospitalized due to coronavirus in Monmouth, including 48 in intensive care and 32 on ventilators.

Here is the breakdown of cumulative positive COVID-19 cases by municipality:

  • Aberdeen: 544 
  • Allenhurst: 31
  • Allentown: 30
  • Asbury Park: 541
  • Atlantic Highlands: 95
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 52
  • Belmar: 131 
  • Bradley Beach: 127
  • Brielle: 149
  • Colts Neck: 297
  • Deal: 138
  • Eatontown: 569
  • Englishtown: 82
  • Fair Haven: 126
  • Farmingdale: 29
  • Freehold Borough: 653
  • Freehold Township: 1,209
  • Hazlet: 639
  • Highlands: 96
  • Holmdel: 537
  • Howell: 1,562
  • Interlaken: 31
  • Keansburg:338
  • Keyport: 215
  • Lake Como: 53
  • Little Silver: 140
  • Loch Arbour:10
  • Long Branch: 1,413
  • Manalapan:1,180
  • Manasquan: 134
  • Marlboro: 1,153
  • Matawan: 406
  • Middletown: 1,810
  • Millstone Township: 223
  • Monmouth Beach: 72
  • Neptune City: 159
  • Neptune Township: 1,071
  • Ocean: 964
  • Oceanport:167
  • Red Bank: 681
  • Roosevelt: 18
  • Rumson:166
  • Sea Bright: 50
  • Sea Girt: 56
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 161
  • Shrewsbury Township: 31
  • Spring Lake: 64
  • Spring Lake Heights:114
  • Tinton Falls: 489
  • Union Beach:129
  • Upper Freehold: 179
  • Wall: 819
  • West Long Branch: 522
  • Unknown: 2


Below is Gov. Murphy's November 30 press briefing:


  • Click here for the New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • Click here for Monmouth County’s latest coronavirus information.
  • Click here for COVID-19 testing information.

READ MOREMonmouth County Offers Free COVID-19 Testing for All Residents in December


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