Gov. Murphy: Most schools in New Jersey planning hybrid start

The lion's share of New Jersey's school districts are planning a hybrid start to the academic year, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. 

Of the state's more than 700 public districts and private schools, 436 proposed to the state to start the year with a mix of in-person and remote education, Murphy said. 

The first-term Democrat said 180 districts are seeking to start entirely remotely, while 59 are planning in-person starts. Fewer than a dozen schools will pursue a mix of all of those approaches, Murphy said. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has ensured that the start of the school year won't look like it usually does across the state. 

Murphy earlier had required in-person instruction in the fall, but recently changed course to allow schools to petition for a remote start if they couldn't certify they met all the health and safety requirements. 

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The governor also on Monday said the state reported some 200 additional positive cases, putting the total at nearly 190,000. There were three more deaths reported overnight, leaving the overall death toll at 14,120 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, Murphy said. There are an additional 1,829 deaths believed to be linked with the virus. 

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.