Murphy, shooting down rumor, says NJ schools will not be closed
Gov. Phil Murphy says he will not be closing the state's schools for two months, even though many teachers continue to say that they should not have been reopened in the first place.
Murphy and administration officials came out with the assurances after a freelance reporter on Wednesday morning tweeted that a "source" claimed Murphy would be doing just that. The reporter soon deleted the tweet and retracted his unverified reporting, calling it premature.
Dan Bryan, a senior advisor to Murphy, told the New Jersey Globe that the reporter had set off an "ill-informed panic."
On NBC's "Today" on Thursday morning," Murphy said that shutting down schools is "something that could happen but at the moment, back to school two months in has worked quite well. So far so good."
The leader of the Newark teachers union says schools should remain on remote-learning status until it is safe for everybody to return to a classroom.
According to the state Department of Health on Thursday morning, 146 positive COVID-19 cases have been linked to 36 outbreaks in schools. Several school districts have moved to all-remote through at least the Thanksgiving break after large numbers of students tested positive for COVID-19.
Montclair schools Superintendent Jonathan Ponds said on Wednesday that "regional risk factors" and increased community spread of coronavirus have delayed a return to classrooms on Nov. 16.
After 23 students tested positive after attending events outside school where social distancing was not practiced, Westfield schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan delayed a resumption of in-person instruction.
Cherry Hill schools Superintendent Joseph N. Meloche reported 36 cases throughout the district, preventing a hybrid schedule from starting until after Thanksgiving.
Most of the schools in Woodbridge went all-remote after several employees needed to quarantine due to close contact resulting from travel, according to Superintendent Robert Zega.
Two weeks before the scheduled start of their season, the Seton Hall men’s basketball program has “paused all team activities” due to positive COVID-19 tests for several student athletes, coaches, staff and managers. The school did not specify how many cases. Seton Hall is the fourth Big East program to have COVID-19 cases after Villanova, Marquette, and UConn. The school will go to all-oline learning starting Thursday because of the state’s recent rise in cases. Essex County is the state’s leading “hotspot” with 360 new cases as of Wednesday, the most reported by the state.