SOMERVILLE, NJ - The borough's Recreation Department has been forced to cancel the fifth annual Somerville Turkey Trot, but runners will still have the opportunity to complete in the virtual version of the 5K event online.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday reinstated restrictions on public gatherings because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and renewed caution in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday which led to the cancellation of the outdoor event, which had signed up 400 runners.

The Recreation Department posted the following notice online:

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"Due to the increase of positive COVID-19 cases in Somerset County and the announcement that Governor Murphy will be signing an Executive Order reducing outdoor gatherings to 150 people, the Borough of Somerville has decided to move the Somerville 5K Turkey Trot to a 100% virtual race.

"The Race Committee had limited the amount of in-person entries this year in preparation that a second wave of cases were predicted. However, the rapid increase this past week raised significant concerns and to ensure the safety of the volunteers, vendors and participants we have made the responsible decision to move the race to 100% virtual.

"Many of you have trained hard and while you will not be running next to hundreds of participants, you are able to achieve your goals by competing virtually. We encourage you to participate virtually.

Registrations will automatically be transferred to the virtual event. No action is required at this time. The virtual 5k will be held from Nov 26-29. Additional details will be provided to participants within the next few days regarding shirt pickups, race instructions, etc."

Further information is available online at www.facebook.com/somervillerecreation.