Murphy: New Jersey parents don’t have to send kids back to school, can use remote learning

(The Center Square) – New Jersey parents will have the option to allow their children to stay home from school through remote learning, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday.

The details have not been worked out but will be announced later this week, Murphy said.

“This is about as complex a step we will take or any other state will take, and we want to get it right,” the governor said. “We want to respect public health but we also want to do everything we can to try to recapture that magic of some semblance of in-person education that no state does like New Jersey.”

The governor also issued an executive order allowing contact sports to resume outdoor practices. The order went into effect immediately and is applicable to state high school sports and college sports. The sports include football, rugby, boxing, martial arts, wrestling and cheerleading, the governor said.

“All sports will have to abide by a number of health and safety protocols including screenings for athletes, coaches and staff, limit equipment sharing and strong requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing equipment,” the governor said.

Murphy’s orders come as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to fall in the state. On Monday, 177 new cases and nine new deaths were reported.

However, numbers from the past two days could be low due to an issue with a testing site, he said.

“Over the weekend, we were alerted to an issue with one of the private labs which has delayed some test results, and which we believe continues to impact today’s report,” Murphy said in his report.

The number of hospitalizations, in the thousands during the peak, was at 798 and is split between patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and those suspected positive, Murphy said.

“The trend in our health care system continues to track the right direction,” Murphy said. “Our standing in comparison to our peer states continues to improve, but we’re not where we need to be in all areas. We cannot become complacent. We know this virus can rebound.”

The state has issued a travel advisory for visitors from 22 states that has seen a spike in cases. Anyone entering New Jersey from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Monday was the first day the state implemented a voluntary online survey. The survey is available at the state’s airports, online and by text.

The Article was originally published on Murphy: New Jersey parents don’t have to send kids back to school, can use remote learning.

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