New Jersey to increase capacity limits for proms, graduations, more

Indoor and outdoor capacity limits are set to increase in New Jersey under a new executive order Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign.

Beginning May 10, indoor room capacities can increase to 50% or a maximum of 250 individuals for private catered events including weddings, school proms, political events, funerals and memorial services.

Citing improved COVID-19 statistics across the state, Murphy also announced that the general outdoor gathering limit would increase to 500 individuals.

Indoor religious services maintain a 50% capacity limit with no restriction on the overall number.

"Should our public health metrics continue to trend as they have been, we would hope to increase this limit yet again before Memorial Day," said Murphy from Trenton.

The NJ Department of Education was expected to announce further guidance on school proms and graduations later Monday.

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The definition of a large venue and its capacity limit will also change. Beginning May 10, the outdoor capacity limit for venues with 1,000 or more fixed seats (up from 2,500) will increase to 50% as long as six feet of distance can be maintained between seated groups.

As of Sunday, there were 1,797 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in NJ including 398 patients in ICU, and 246 ventilators in use. Thirty in-hospital deaths were reported.


The demand for vaccines has begun to drop some, with more appointments becoming open, according to Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.

New Jersey opened up vaccinations to everyone 16 and older a week ago. So far roughly 2.8 million people in the state have been fully vaccinated.

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The state has seen 33.9% of the population fully vaccinated, compared with 28.9% for the country overall.

Persichilli said New Jersey would meet its goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult population, or 4.7 million people, by June 30.

The drop in demand, which was expected, stems from people seeing the state's COVID-19 numbers go in the right direction, Murphy offered Monday as an explanation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report