The governor of New Jersey announced Tuesday that he’s issuing an executive order extending the state’s public health emergency by an additional 30 days amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Phil Murphy initially declared the public health emergency last month on Mar. 9 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Extending this order ensures we will continue to take appropriate steps to protect the public health and welfare of New Jerseyans,” Murphy said in a tweet.
The governor also announced that he’s closing all county and state parks, as well as public forests, in order to “further social distancing” and stem the spread of the deadly virus.
“We’ve seen far too many instances in our parks where people are gathering and socializing in groups,” Murphy said in another tweet. “We need to #FlattenTheCurve.”
Murphy said that he does not “take this action lightly.”
“Some of my fondest memories with my own children are beautiful spring days in parks playing soccer and enjoying our family,” the governor tweeted. “But my focus, and my sole mission in life right now, is the health of every New Jersey family.”
Murphy also said that he signed an executive order to keep the state’s schools closed indefinitely amid the virus outbreak, the New Jersey Herald reported.
Testing requirements for eighth- and 12-grade students in the state will also be waived for the 2019-2020 school year under an executive order, Murphy said.
New Jersey had a total of 44,416 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,232 deaths from the virus as of Tuesday afternoon.