New Jersey’s day and sleepaway camps will be open this summer.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed an executive order allowing the camps to operate this coming season. They also were allowed to open last summer as the state began relaxing restrictions after the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are all committed to a safe and fun summer for our kids,” Murphy said during the state’s COVID-19 briefing in Trenton. “The guidance of the Department (of Health) includes many of the protocols that allowed our day camps to operate last summer, especially for indoor masking and daily health screenings.”
Unvaccinated overnight campers must be tested for the coronavirus before the camp begins and within the first few days of camp, Murphy said. The new guidance also will allow for day trips and other off-camp activities.
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In other news, just over half of the staff at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities have gotten COVID-19 vaccinations, compared with 84% of residents, the state’s top health official said.
Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said about 56% of the staff at the state’s almost 400 nursing homes and long-term care facilities have gotten vaccinated.
Persichilli said some staff members from such facilities come from ethnic groups in which concerns have been raised over vaccines, and a number of younger staffers have gotten misleading information online that wrongly suggested certain vaccines could impact fertility.
“We have a lot of education to do,” she said. “I think we will get those percentages up. it’s imperative that we do.”
The state reported 1,838 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday for a total of 869,344. There were also 35 new deaths for a total of 22,884 and 2,625 probable deaths.
Additionally, the rate of transmission has dropped to an average of 0.80 people infected by each infectious person. A rate under 1 indicates the spread of the disease is slowing.
As of Wednesday, New Jersey had 1,768 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 375 in critical or intensive care and 232 on ventilators.
So far, 6,834,212 vaccine doses have been administered, with 4,167,316 people having at least one dose and 2,915,754 having been fully vaccinated. The state has completed roughly 62% of its initial goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million adult residents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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