TRENTON, NJ -- The reopening process for the State of New Jersey continues as Gov. Phil Murphy on Frday announced that he has lifted restrictions for daycare centers, summer camps, and non-contact youth sports. The reopening dates are:

  • Child care centers (June 15)
  • Non-contact organized sports activities (June 22)
  • Youth day camps, including municipal summer rec programs (July 6) 

"As we prepare to take the first true steps of our restart and recovery, and as more and more workers prepare to get back out to their jobs, we must ensure a continuum of care for their children," Murphy said in announcing the June 15 reopening for childcare centers.

Organized sports will be able to restart on June 22. However, at that time, activities will be limited to sports activities conducted outdoors, and there can be no contact drills or activities for the time being.

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"For the countless kids who have been looking forward to playing baseball or softball or soccer or other sports, we are proud to take this step," Murphy said. "We want you to have an active summer with your friends, playing the sport you love, but at the same time while protecting your health."

Beginning Monday, July 6, day camps -- including municipal summer recreation programs -- will be allowed to operate. However, some towns across the region, including Raritan Borough, had already announced the cancellation of its summer camp. 

Raritan Mayor Zachary Bray said Friday afternoon that he doesn't anticipate any changes in the borough regarding camp.

"We want our children to be able to enjoy their summer with friends, participating in the activities that create lifelong memories. And we know day camp is one of those memory-building places. Our camps are also places that give older kids a chance to have their first jobs as counselors," Murphy said. "We are pleased that these opportunities for growth and leadership will also be open this summer. In each of these instances, sports leagues and day camps, the Department of Health will be releasing the health and safety standards that will allow for this Order to be properly followed."

Additionally, the governor announced that horse racing will resume with the first competitive races as early as next weekend. Fans will not yet be allowed back at racetrack grandstands. However, online betting will take wagers.

"The data continues to move in the right direction, and continues to be FAR DOWN from the peak. We remain confident in our overall direction," Murphy said. "We are able to take these steps because the data we are receiving every day from our hospitals and through testing are allowing us to determine these dates."

The governor also said that his administration has been working closely with faith communities in the state to set a timetable for the return of indoor worship services. 

"As long as our health metrics continue to trend in the right direction, I anticipate being able to raise the limits on indoor gatherings in a way that will allow for greater indoor religious services beginning the weekend of Friday, June 12, two weeks from today," Murphy said.

By the numbers:

New Jersey had an additional 1,117 positive test results, bringing the statewide total to 158,844, according to the governor. He also reported that hospitals on Thursday night treated 2,707 patients for COVID-19, down 90 from Wednesday. Meanwhile, the number of patients in either critical or intensive care was 720, and the number of ventilators in use was 544. There were 183 new hospitalizations on Thursday, versus 231 live discharges.

"The 183 is a welcome, meaningful decrease from yesterday's number," Murphy said. "We want to see that to continue to go in the right direction."

The governor also announced another 131 deaths due to COVID-19 related complications.

"Our statewide total stands at the almost unfathomable 11,531 precious lives lost," Murphy said.

New Jersey Deaths Due to COVID-19: 11,531 (by County)
Atlantic: 158 • Bergen: 1,567 • Burlington: 286 • Camden: 327 • Cape May: 48 • Cumberland: 69 • Essex: 1,647 • Gloucester: 147 • Hudson: 1,168 • Hunterdon: 58 • Mercer: 466 • Middlesex: 972 • Monmouth: 587 • Morris: 610 • Ocean: 721 • Passaic: 917 • Salem: 34 • Somerset: 411 • Sussex: 147 • Union: 1,060 • Warren: 131

Total Positive Cases of COVID-19: 158,844 (by County)
Atlantic: 2,154 • Bergen: 18,223 • Burlington: 4,519 • Camden: 6,350 • Cape May: 611 • Cumberland: 2,209 • Essex: 17,546 • Gloucester: 2,198 • Hudson: 18,287 • Hunterdon: 981 • Mercer: 6,775 • Middlesex: 15,734 • Monmouth: 8,100 • Morris: 6,367 • Ocean: 8,627 • Passaic: 16,045 • Salem: 602 • Somerset: 4,552 • Sussex: 1,106 • Union: 15,610 • Warren: 1,153 • Under Investigation: 1,095