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Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Pinelands Visitors Center
To preserve the Pine Barrens ecosystem, promote wide public awareness of the values of Pinelands resources and issues involved in their preservation, and advance permanent acquisition of land and development rights by private and public conservation agencies.
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People wearing protective face coverings hike at Shark River Park in Wall Township, N.J., Saturday, May 2, 2020. Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New Jersey. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page. 1 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy held his daily COVID-19 briefing. Watch live below. State funding assistance
Murphy implored Congress to provide funding to state and local governments in the next coronavirus stimulus package, warning that New Jersey is weeks away from financial devastation. "A fiscal disaster is not months away – hard decisions will be on our doorstep in just a few weeks," he said.
Sen. Bob Menendez joined the governor's briefing to discuss his push in Congress for more federal aid for New Jersey.
The senator is sponsoring legislation with Sen. Bill Cassidy that would provide $500 billion to state and local governments to ensure essential services like law enforcement, education and health care can continue.
Menendez said he is optimistic about securing funding for "front-line states" as more Republicans are seeing outbreaks in their states and Democrats have continued to support the aid.
Several Republicans who previously were not supporting state funding are expected this week to cross the aisle and join Democrats' push.
COVID-19 outbreak indicators
New Jersey reported 59 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 9,310.
There are 1,453 new positive cases, for a statewide total of 139,945.
The statewide positivity rate was 26% on May 7: “We’re seeing real progress in declining positivity rates,” Murphy said.
Of those sick, 4,195 are hospitalized, 1,255 are in ICUs, and 970 are on ventilators. While 179 people were hospitalized on Sunday, an additional 227 were discharged.
In nursing homes statewide, 26,397residents are positive for coronavirus and 4,890 have died since the outbreak began.
Murphy said he is "hopeful" to be able to give "hard dates" on the state's reopening plan later this week.
On Tuesday, more details will be revealed regarding testing and contact tracing, which is key to reopening.
COVID-related syndrome affecting kids
Since the state issued an alert last week about pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, officials have received eight reports of possible cases.
The investigations are still in the very early stages and it’s not yet confirmed all eight are pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome or if they are all connected to COVID-19.
Federal government will cover 100% of the costs of National Guard orders through June 24.
Parks police reported an "inordinate amount of urine and feces being left behind in parks" over the weekend, State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan said.
There is a "zero tolerance" policy for anyone who is caught in such a situation, Callahan said.
"We understand restrooms are closed but people should be planning accordingly instead of urinating in bottles and leaving them behind," Callahan said.
Callahan warned access to state parks could change if this behavior continues.
Murphy added he’d like to see more face coverings in parks.
Clarity on "Wave Parades"
Callahan offered some clarity on a letter he sent out over the weekend that warned school officials to cancel or dissuade people from organizing so-called "wave parades" for senior students graduating this spring.
Police cannot or would not prevent people in vehicles from driving by the home of a graduate and waving from inside their vehicle while the student stands in the yard with his or her family, Callahan said.
What cannot be permitted is gatherings of students on school grounds, in school stadiums or outside of town group "wave parade," which would violate state executive orders, Callahan said. Latest official numbers: As of Sunday night, New Jersey had 138,532 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the state's death toll rising to 9,255. For a list of drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in New Jersey, click here. Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks Call New Jersey's coronavirus hotline at 1-800-222-1222. You can also click here for additional information.
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Reopening State Parks and Golf Courses
Order Restores County Authority to Open or Close County Parks. Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 133, reopening state parks and golf courses, and restoring the authority of county governments to determine whether county parks will be open or closed. The order takes effect at sunrise on Saturday, May 2.
“We understand that New Jerseyans want to get outside and get some fresh air as the weather warms up,” said Governor Murphy. “However, this should not serve as an open invitation to rush back to normalcy and break the necessary social distancing measures we’ve put in place. This approach will also bring New Jersey in line with our neighboring states, which will discourage residents from needlessly crossing state lines for recreation.”
State Parks and Forests: The order allows State parks and forests to open to the public for passive recreation, including fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing, hiking, walking, running or jogging, biking, birding, and horseback riding. Picnic areas, playgrounds, exercise stations and equipment, chartered watercraft services and rentals, swimming, pavilions, restrooms, and other buildings and facilities, such as visitor centers, interpretive centers, and interior historical sites, shall remain closed at this time. To limit physical interaction, the State parks and forests must implement reasonable restrictions that include:
Limiting parking to 50% of maximum capacity and prohibiting parking in undesignated areas;
Requiring social distancing to be practiced except with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners; and
Banning organized or contact activities or sports; and gatherings of any kind.
The order also recommends that people wear a cloth face covering while in public settings at the parks and forests where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
“More than ever, we know how important it is for the people of New Jersey to take a break from the ongoing self-quarantine and that there are few options for outdoor recreation,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Just as the decision to close parks and forests was not made lightly, the decision to reopen them has also been made with careful thought and consideration for the health and well-being of the public. We urge visitors to only visit their closest parks, keep their distance from others while outdoors, wear masks and follow the guidelines established to protect public health.”
County Parks: The order opens county parks to the public, except any parks closed by the county prior to Executive Order No. 118 that required all county parks be closed (the county will now have the ability to reopen its parks if it chooses). This will treat county parks the same way as municipal parks – the locality gets to determine whether they are open or closed. County and municipal parks that remain open must abide by the restrictions placed on State parks in today's Order.
All recreational campgrounds and transient camp sites at campgrounds shall remain closed to the public. Residential campgrounds, including mobile home parks, condo sites, and existing/renewing 2020 yearly seasonal contract sites may remain open.
Counties and municipalities can also place restrictions on the ability of residential campgrounds, including mobile home parks, to accept new transient guests or seasonal tenants, as defined by Administrative Order Nos. 2020-08 and 2020-09.
Golf Courses: The order also opens golf courses so long as they adopt minimum social distancing policies that include:
Implementing electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems while still providing options for populations that do not have access to internet service or credit cards;
Extending tee times to sixteen minutes apart;
Limiting the use of golf carts to one person unless being shared by immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
Requiring frequent, and after each use, sanitization of high-touch areas such as restroom facilities, range buckets, golf carts, and push carts;
Restricting the touching of golf holes and flags;
Closing golf center buildings, pro shops, and other buildings and amenities;
Removing bunker rakes and other furniture-like benches, water coolers, and ball washers from the course;
Discontinuing club and equipment rentals;
Prohibiting the use of caddies; and
Limiting tee times to two players unless the foursome consists of immediate family, caretakers, household members or romantic partners.
The golf course may impose additional restrictions as necessary to limit person-to-person interactions. The order also recommends, but does not order, that employees, players, and other individuals on the golf course wear cloth face coverings while on the golf course. Additionally, the order clarifies that miniature golf courses and driving ranges must remain closed.
Businesses and employers can prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Employers should plan to respond in a flexible way to varying levels of disease transmission in the community and be prepared to refine their business response plans as needed. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most American workers will likely experience low (caution) or medium exposure risk levels at their job or place of employment.
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-2019)
The New Jersey Department Education is working closely with the New Jersey Department of Health to monitor to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our school community. Resources to help our districts, schools, parents, and students stay prepared, healthy and safe can be found below.
News and Guidance
New Jersey Cancels Statewide Student Assessments (March 24, 2020)
Updated Guidance and Resources Regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus (February 3, 2020)
New Jersey Coronavirus Related School Closures (Updated March 17, 2020 at 12 PM)
Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19 School Closures (March 23, 2020)
NJDOE Coronavirus County Resource Sheet (March 17, 2020)
NJDOE Checklist for Emergency Preparedness Plans (March 13, 2020)
The long-awaited American Dream entertainment and retail center in East Rutherford has opened and is loaded with an awe-inspiring mix of family-friendly activities, and indoor attractions! Opening in chapters through Spring of 2020, there will be shopping and entertainment across 3 million square feet of real estate, however there’s plenty to experience now!
Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park—the Western Hemisphere’s largest indoor theme park—opened, boasting more than 35 rides, roller coasters and attractions, including The Shredder, The Shellraiser and Nickelodeon’s Skyline Scream. Simultaneously, The Rink at American Dream also opened, offering an NHL-regulation size ice skating rink with open skating, hockey tournaments, figure skating and more.
DreamWorks Water Park, opening soon, will be North America’s largest indoor water park housed beneath an 8-acre glass dome. Make a splash in the largest indoor wave pool, the longest hydro-magnetic coaster, and the tallest indoor body slide in the world. The park will also feature cabanas with views of Manhattan designed by New Jersey-native Jonathan Adler.
The grand opening in March 2020 will unveil hundreds of retailers, including fast-fashion brands such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo, as well as a high-end collection of labels such as Hermès and Dolce & Gabbana. Also featuring many carefully curated dining destinations – ranging from casual and cool to memorable experiences from the world’s most celebrated chefs. After you’re done shopping at one of the numerous stores or watching a fashion show on the runway, explore Merlin Entertainments’ SEA LIFE New Jersey Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, CMX Luxury Movie Theater, Kidzania, a 300-foot observation wheel overlooking New York City, two indoor mini-golf courses, and many more. With something for everyone, American Dream truly is a destination for the whole family!
Deadlines This Week!
"Joker," the newest addition to the Batman franchise, has footage shot throughout New Jersey:
Universal Television, Al Pacino, Sopranos, The Plot Against America finish filming in NJ this summer...