CAMDEN, NJ — Residents will have their first real chance to enjoy the warm weather this spring when parks re-open throughout Camden County on Saturday — as part of the lifting of Gov. Phil Murphy's statewide mandates.

That doesn't ignore the guidelines set in place to limit novel coronavirus exposure, Freeholder Jeff Nash said Wednesday.

“This is welcome news for the thousands of county residents who are eager to enjoy the early spring weather outdoors and in their favorite parks,” said Nash, liaison to the Camden County Parks Department.

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“It is critical to recognize that although we are all excited for any return to normalcy, this does not change social distancing guidelines intended to prevent the spread and contraction of COVID-19," he said.

Nash said parkgoers should wear a mask or face covering, maintain a distance from others of at least six feet, and "avoid anyone who appears to be sick or ill.”

Per Murphy's order, playgrounds, pavilions, visitor centers, and restrooms will still be closed. 

Parking at the county's parks will be limited to 50 percent capacity. Picnics, organized activities and team sports will remain prohibited as well.

The county announced the latest COVID-19 death toll in the county this evening. In reference to park's re-opening, Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said "it is critical that we do not mistake progress for mission accomplished."

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