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Murphy allows full contact sports to resume for New Jersey

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 168, allowing the resumption of contact practices and competitions in outdoor settings for organized sports defined as “high risk” by the New Jersey Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities.” Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 149 on May 29, 2020, allowing organized sports to resume on a phased-in schedule as defined by the Department of Health as “low,” “medium,” and “high risk” activities.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, my Administration has been committed to using all of the available science, data, and facts guide New Jersey’s strategic reopening and resumption of activities,” said Governor Murphy. “Today, our data gives us confidence, that in outdoor settings and with the proper public health and safety protocols in place, contact sports can resume while protecting players, coaches, and staff.”

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The order stipulates that practices and competitions must be held in outdoor settings only, and encompasses sports including football, cheerleading, group dance, rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, and wrestling. All sports will have to abide by a number of health and safety protocols, including screenings for athletes, coaches, and staff; limited equipment sharing; and strong requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing equipment. Additionally, sports under the oversight of either the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association or the NCAA must abide by those associations’ rules. All sporting activities are subject to the “Guidance for Sports Activities,” and such activities must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders.

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The order will take effect immediately.

Photo by Mike Benson on Unsplash

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