Murphy eases COVID-19 restrictions by reopening child care, youth activities for summer

KYW Staff
May 29, 2020 - 2:13 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday the dates in June and July that child care services, organized non-contact athletics, and summer recreation programs could resume in the state, signaling positive trends in COVID-19 data and a further gradual easing of public health restrictions.

Before his Friday coronavirus media briefing, the governor tweeted that child care centers can reopen June 15, organized non-contact sports can restart June 22, and youth day camps and municipal summer programs can begin July 6.

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“This is an important step forward in New Jersey’s reopening strategy ensuring a safe, stable and seamless child care infrastructure for New Jersey’s returning workforce, not just those designated as essential. And it probably comes as a welcome relief for parents who did not know how they were going to juggle summer care or child care needs with their job responsibilities,” said Christine Norbut-Beyer, commissioner of state Department of Children and Families.

Murphy said also that horse racing would resume, with the first competitions — and the accompanying online gambling — happening as soon as next weekend, though he stressed that no spectators would be allowed in the grandstands yet.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who heads up the Department of Community Affairs, said those who are low-income will soon be able to apply for checks that’ll be issued to landlords.

“We have heard the calls for help from renters loud and clear, and we understand the enormity of the problem. Therefore, we are very pleased to be able to announce that relief is on the way,” Oliver said 

That relief could last up to a year for the hardest hit, while most will enter a lottery to get up to six months assistance. Applications will be taken online starting in July.

Murphy said he expected to be able to ease the limitations on indoor gatherings, which would allow religious services to proceed on June 12.

State health officials on Friday confirmed another 1,117 new positive COVID-19 test results, and 131 more New Jersey residents dead from the disease.

As of Friday afternoon, the total number of COVID-19 that have been recorded in the state stands at 158,844, with death toll now at least 11,531.

In South Jersey, there are 1,069 fatalities among more than 18,600 cases.

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KYW Newsradio's David Madden contributed to this report.