TRENTON, NJ - The resumption of contact sports practices and new state guidance for all-remote learning were announced by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy during his COVID-19 briefing Monday.
Murphy said he has signed an executive order allowing for sports practices that require contact drills and competitions for "high risk" sports at outdoor venues only. Last month, the governor announced he would permit such activities as long as he believed it was supported by health data. High risk sports include football, rugby, boxing, martial arts, wrestling, and cheerleading among others for which the state Department of Health has released guidelines, the governor said.
"All sports will have to abide by a number of health and safety protocols including screenings for athletes, coaches and staff," Murphy said, noting teams and groups would have to limit equipment sharing and sanitization and ensure proper disinfection practices.
Sports teams and clubs under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) must abide by those associations' rules, Murphy added.
"We feel confident in an outdoor setting and with the proper public health and safety protocols in place and being followed these sports, as we predicted, may resume," the governor said.
Murphy also announced that his administration would soon be releasing detailed guidance for parents who want their school-aged children to participate in all-remote learning when the new school year commences in September. He did not share any other information, only to note that the state Department of Education would be releasing its plan later this week.
The Murphy administration has previously announced that individual school districts would be developing their own plans for re-opening doors to students in the fall. Those plans can include continuation of remote learning, but also had to include some provision for in-school instruction as well. Parents have the option of keeping their children at home. "There are a lot of moving parts to this. We want to get it right, and we want to do it responsibly," Murphy said.