NEW JERSEY - All schools in New Jersey will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
Initially, Murphy had closed schools until May 15, but had suggested that reopening was not likely.
"To every student: We want you to be safe. We want you to be healthy. We want you to continue your educational journey, wherever it takes you. To ensure all of these things, we have to take this step," said Murphy during his daily coronavirus briefing.
School sports across the state would also remain suspended for the 2019-2020 school year.
"We’re leaning on the guidance from the NJSIAA against the resumption of spring sports for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The NJSIAA Medical Board concluded that due to a lack of testing, viable treatments, and a vaccine, that spring sports were not a viable option," said Murphy.
Graduating students could have some semblance of a graduation ceremony, according to Murphy, from virtual graduations or in-person graduations down the road.
"We need to get more information on social distancing," said Dr. Lamont Repollet, Education Commissioner. "As they provide the standard of minimum guidelines that we have so right now, there have been a variety of ideas tossed out. Whether it is to have a graduation in August or to have a virtual graduation. I think it's a more individualized decision however we are going to continue to work with the Department of Health to ascertain more standards for opening schools and anything that has to do with social distancing."
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all schools and universities in New York would be closed for the rest of the school year. Neighboring Pennsylvania had closed schools last month for the remainder of the year.
"We’re working with the principle that public health creates economic health – or in this case, educational health. If the standards are high to reopen our workplaces are high, they are even higher when it comes to schools filled with our children," said Murphy.