New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that he would be issuing a temporary statewide suspension of indoor high school and youth sports, while also putting a new limit on the size of outdoor gatherings, in an attempt to curb new cases of the coronavirus.
The ban on sports goes into effect on Saturday at 6 a.m. and will be in effect until January 2, Murphy revealed at a local press briefing.
“I’m a huge sports fan, and all of our kids play sports,” Murphy said. “I hope and intend to see the winter sports season in January. I want to see especially that high school senior get to play her or his last season. And I value the importance of sports for the physical and mental well-being of our children.”
NEW: All indoor youth and adult sports are being placed on a full pause – effective 6:00 AM on December 5th through January 2nd, 2021.
We’re seeing outbreaks related to indoor sports, and this will help slow the spread.
Only exceptions: collegiate-level and professional teams.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 30, 2020
Dr. Edward Lifshitz, medical director at the state’s department of health, said there have been 20 outbreaks and more than 100 cases of coronavirus tied to youth hockey.
Youth and high school basketball, ice hockey, and swimming are among the sports that will be affected. Murphy said the new rule will not affect indoor collegiate and professional sports.
The new rules will also limit outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 25 people, down from the 150-person limit put into effect earlier this month ahead of Thanksgiving.