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US Coronavirus fight in New Jersey escalates as all state and county parks and forests ordered closed

22:52  07 april  2020
22:52  07 april  2020 Source:   foxnews.com

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Those looking to practicing social distancing in the Garden State will soon have fewer options after New Jersey's governor ordered all state and county parks closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a news conference that in order to "further social distancing," he signed an executive order closing all state parks and forests in addition to county parks.

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"We’ve seen far too many instances in our parks where people are gathering and socializing in groups," Murphy said.

CORONAVIRUS IN THE US: STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWN

Under the governor's new order, residents are still allowed to go outside for exercise but Murphy insisted they "must do this close to home."

"I do not take this action lightly," Murphy tweeted. "Some of my fondest memories with my own children are beautiful spring days in parks playing soccer and enjoying our family."

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The governor said his "sole mission in life right now" is the health of every family in the Garden State.

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The decision on whether local town parks may remain open is left up to those municipalities, NJ.com reported.

New Jersey reported an additional 3,325 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 229 deaths.

The governor also extended his previously declared public health emergency by 30 days.

"Extending this order ensures we will continue to take appropriate steps to protect the public health and welfare of New Jerseyans," the governor tweeted.

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Across the U.S., the death toll neared 12,000 on Tuesday with around 380,000 confirmed infections. Some of the deadliest hot spots include Detroit, New Orleans and the New York metropolitan area, which includes parts of Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

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As of Tuesday, New Jersey has the second-highest number of COVID-19 in the country with 41,090 reported. At least 1,232 deaths have been recorded, according to a tall by Johns Hopkins University.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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