New Jersey Outdoor Graduations Permitted Starting July 6

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -
new jersey graduation
Signs enforcing social distancing are posted along the beaches in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Monday. (Reuters/Jessica Kourkounis)

New Jersey schools can hold outdoor graduation ceremonies starting July 6, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

Murphy, a Democrat, announced the latest relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in a tweet before his regular news conference on the outbreak.

“To the class of 2020, I am proud to say that you will have your opportunity to join with your classmates and families to celebrate your graduation,” Murphy said at the news conference.

The events must be held outside and adhere to social-distancing guidelines, Murphy said. It’s possible such restrictions will mean that graduation ceremonies must occur over a couple of days, he said. It’s not clear yet how many people will be permitted to attend the ceremonies, he said, but added that the state education and higher education departments will issue guidance on Wednesday.

Schools are closed through June because of the outbreak, but this is the latest easing of restrictions, which have included opening parks and golf courses along with the state’s beaches.

Murphy reported there were 703 new positive cases of COVID-19 overnight, putting the total at nearly 156,000. There were 54 deaths overnight, pushing the death toll to 11,191.

A look at other developments:

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MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

The chilly weather contributed to a “decent”weekend of people complying with the state’s stay-home order, Murphy said.

The state’s beaches were open for the unofficial start of the summer season. There were plenty of people acting “responsibly” in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, said Murphy, who was there over the weekend.

State Police Superintendent Col. Pat Callahan said there were a dozen violations of COVID-19-related executive orders from Friday to Monday.