Murphy announces changes to outdoor gatherings, organized sports

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced a new limit on outdoor gatherings and a stop to some organized indoor sports as the number of COVID cases continues to rise in the state and is expected to spike post-Thanksgiving.

The change to outdoor gatherings with a limit of 25 people goes into effect Dec. 7. It does not include weddings, religious events, political activities, funerals, and outdoor dining.

Speaking from Trenton on Monday, Murphy said all indoor youth and adult organized sports were being placed on a "full pause." Beginning Dec. 5 at 6 a.m., only collegiate-level and professional teams will be allowed to play. The pause runs through Jan. 2, 2021.

"We know of at least 28 outbreaks impacting 17 individuals," said Murphy. "We know that as a minimum. High school football season is over. It's time to bring that outdoor limit down as well. Where we see transmission we try to understand why and put the right policy in place up against it."

There were 3,199 new cases of COVID-19 reported across the state.

Atmosphere during CMX Sports Celebrity Christmas Basketball Game at Atlantic City High School in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

"This is all a simple and direct matter of cause-and-effect," said Murphy. "Over the past eight weeks, as the number of daily reported cases has increased, so has the number of hospitalizations."

On Sunday, New Jersey reported 2,961 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 including 378 new patients. Of those hospitalized, 575 patients were in ICUs with 332 on ventilators. Twenty-six patients died in hospitals across the state.

COVID statistics for Sunday, November 29, 2020. (NJ GOV)

There was one new case of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children bringing the state total of children with the COVID-related illness to 62. One child is hospitalized with MSIS.

"We have lost nearly 17,000 of our fellow New Jerseyans to this virus," said Murphy. "We lost 18,300 New Jerseyans in both World Wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War COMBINED. Take this seriously."

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