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Princeton NJ Local Government Announcements

State Lowers Gathering Limits as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Gov. Phil Murphy today announced that he will sign an executive order retightening restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Effective 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, general indoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people; effective Monday, Nov. 23, general outdoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 150 people.

The governor said that indoor weddings, funerals, performances, religious services and political activities may continue under the existing rules – limited to 25 percent of a room's capacity, up to 150 people. Also, the new restrictions do not affect the current 25 percent capacity limits on indoor dining, he said.

Indoor sports practices or games will be allowed to exceed the 10-person limit but only for people who are necessary for competition, such as players, coaches and referees. In most cases, where those necessary individuals exceed 10 people, spectators will not be permitted, the governor said. For outdoor sports practices and games, the new 150-person limit will include players, coaches, team personnel, officials and spectators.

There is no limit on outdoor gatherings for religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment, he said.

The governor stressed that even outdoor gatherings remain subject to social-distancing restrictions, and that people must wear a face mask when social distancing isn't possible.

"Right now, with the numbers we are seeing, we have to take these steps to preserve and protect public health -- as best we can – to try to slow the spread of the virus," Gov. Murphy said.

He said the statewide number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by the state Department of Health on Saturday (4,395) and Sunday (4,540) were the first- and second-highest daily counts recorded since the pandemic hit New Jersey in early March. The statewide total of new daily cases reported over just the past four days -- 14,566 -- represents 5 percent of the state's cumulative total since the pandemic began, he said.

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