Gov. Phil Murphy Signs Order Opening Summer Camps in New Jersey for 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order permitting Summer youth overnight and day camps to be open for the 2021 season as they follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols outlined in guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Health.

“As cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations continue to decline, coupled with millions of New Jerseyans rolling up their sleeves to be vaccinated, we are able to move forward with reopening programs across our state,” said Murphy at a press briefing April 28. “We are committed to a safe and fun Summer for our kids, guidance from the Department of Health ensures that we will have the proper safeguards in place for a rewarding summer camp experience.”

“With strong adherence to public health precautions, New Jersey had a successful camp season last year and we are looking forward to another Summer where children can safely enjoy camp,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “This year, with additional layers of vigilance, sleepaway camps will also be operational, allowing another opportunity to engage in outdoor activities with friends.”

Guidelines for Staff, Campers

Department of Health guidance includes; daily health screenings for staff, campers, and volunteers; the use of infection control protocols such as face masks, social distancing, cleaning, and disinfecting; and policies and protocols for when a staff member or camper receives a positive COVID-19 test result.

For overnight camps, unvaccinated staff and campers must receive a negative test result within 72 hours of arriving on-site. All staff and campers will be required to receive a test within three to six days of arrival. Operators should strongly encourage staff and campers to quarantine prior to arrival at camp.

Summer camps were also open in 2020, and Persichilli explained that “multilayered use of public health interventions…were successful in mitigating transmission of [the] virus at these camps last Summer,” and that there were no reported outbreaks during that time.

Metrics Approve

“All camps must conduct staff training on basic principles of infection control, hand-washing practices, personal protective equipment and symptoms of COVID-19. Healthy hygiene practices should be taught and reinforced to all campers and staff,” said Persichilli.

Gov. Murphy expressed optimism that the policies in place will allow children to safely enjoy Summer camp activities. For the full text of Executive Order No. 237, click here.

“Again, we are pleased—I know I speak on behalf of all of us—that our health metrics are allowing our Summer camps to plan for the season ahead, and we hope everyone can make the most of the Summer and take away some great Jersey summer memories,” said Murphy.

Vaccine Distribution

The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 6,991,176 as of April 30. Of those who have received the vaccine, 4,231,429 residents have received their first dose with 3,011,118 receiving their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose. 

Demographically, 55% of those vaccinated are women and 45% men. As for ethnicity, 55% are White, 11% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 9% other, 8% unknown and 6% Black. In regards to age of those having received the vaccine, 33% are 65 years old or olders, 29% are between the ages of 50-64, 27% are between the ages of 30-49, and 12% are between the ages of 16-29.  

In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 776,573 doses (338,554 fully vaccinated), Essex 553,157 doses (229,799), Morris 477,394 doses (209,805), Hudson 457,217 doses (184,796), Passaic 332,965 doses (139,190), Sussex 108,310 doses (46,295), and Warren 68,878 doses (29,498). 

Daily Data

As of April 30, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 872,927 with 1,6862 total new PCR cases reported. There were 355 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 124,296. The total number of individual cases for the state is 997.223. Gov. Murphy previously noted there is some unknown overlap due to health officials urging those taking a rapid test to get a PCR test.

As for those that have passed, the state reported 26 new deaths, bringing that total to 22,929. The state listed probable deaths at 2,625, bringing the overall total to 25,554. State officials noted 19 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.  

For North Jersey counties on April 30, Bergen had a total of 137 new confirmed cases and 42 probable cases, Essex 157 new cases and 38 probable cases, Hudson 176 new cases and 32 probable cases, Morris 56 new cases and 16 probable cases, Passaic 130 new cases and 22 probable cases, Sussex 35 new cases and 13 probable cases, and Warren 20 cases and three new probable cases.

There are a total of 2,959 coronavirus variants being reported in the Garden State. State officials documented 2,721 cases of the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), 141 cases of the California variants (B.1.429 and B.1.427), 91 cases of the Brazilian (P.1) variant, and six cases of the South African (B.1351) variant. 

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,604, followed by Bergen at 2,530, Hudson with 2,006, Passaic at 1,667, Morris at 961, Sussex at 228 and Warren County at 209.

In regards to probable deaths reported April 28, Essex has 295, Bergen has 295, Morris has 251, Hudson has 212, Passaic has 195, Sussex has 67 and Warren has 25.

State Testing 

As for the rate of transmission, it declined to 0.63 from 0.72 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested as of April 26, was 4.9%. Officials reported 1,564 patients were hospitalized; by region, there were 768, in the North, 425 in the Central and 371 in the South.

Of those hospitalized, 348 are in intensive care units and 221 on ventilators. A total of 250 patients were discharged, while 205 were admitted.

Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 88,041, followed by Essex at 83,795, Middlesex at 83,624, Hudson at 77,766, Monmouth at 66,378, Ocean at 64,642, Passaic at 64,378, Union at 59,473, Camden at 47,552, Morris at 41,434, Burlington at 37,435, Mercer at 30,960, Gloucester at 25,778, Atlantic at 24,421, Somerset at 23,788, Cumberland at 14,218, Sussex at 11,365, Warren at 8,655, Hunterdon at 8,642, Salem at 5,345, and Cape May at 4,471.  

In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 12,947, followed by Union at 10,766, Ocean at 9,933, Essex at 9,212, Hudson at 8,986, Morris at 7,981, Monmouth at 7,909, Middlesex at 7,230, Passaic at 7,092, Atlantic at 6,514, Burlington at 6,321, Camden at 6,312, Somerset at 5,617, Cape May at 4,462, Gloucester at 3,836, Mercer at 2,299, Cumberland at 2,211, Sussex at 2,189, Warren at 986, Hunterdon at 866 and Salem 523.

Another 746 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 263 outbreaks involving 1,157 cases have been reported, with 18 new outbreaks accounting for 63 cases in the weekly update on April 27. 

For North Jersey, Bergen County has 52 confirmed outbreaks with 198 cases, Passaic County has 16 confirmed outbreaks with 52 cases, Sussex has 14 confirmed outbreaks with 55 cases, Warren has 14 confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Morris County has five confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Hudson County has five confirmed outbreaks with 23 cases, and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 92 cases.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 220 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 5,711 of the cases, broken down between 2,436 residents and 3,275 staff. 

Cumulatively, 1,422 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,825 residents and 22,069 staff, for a total of 54,894 cases. 

The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,028 on April 30. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,874 residents deaths and 143 staff deaths.

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