The pause began at 6 a.m. Saturday and goes until Jan. 2.
NEW: All indoor youth and adult sports are being placed on a full pause – effective 6:00 AM on December 5th through January 2nd, 2021.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 30, 2020
We’re seeing outbreaks related to indoor sports, and this will help slow the spread.
Only exceptions: collegiate-level and professional teams.
Governor Phil Murphy said Monday it covers all youth and adult sports, but excludes college and professional athletics.
"We do not take this step lightly," said Murphy, a father of four. "As folks probably know I'm a huge sports fan and all of our kids play sports. I hope and intend to see the winter sports season in January."
The Democratic governor also said that the outdoor gathering limit would be reduced from 150 to 25 people beginning Monday, Dec. 7. The change won't affect outdoor dining, he said.
Murphy has tightened restrictions on indoor gatherings recently in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Indoor dining is restricted to 25% of a restaurant's capacity, and no indoor dining is allowed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, with exceptions for events such as religious ceremonies.
Travelers from out of state are urged to quarantine for 14 days, but Murphy has said the state is relying on the honor system for compliance.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement that the indoor youth sports order would affect only the start of high school ice hockey.
NJSIAA Statement - Governor's Pause of Indoor Sports pic.twitter.com/XGbGr1Wvmv— NJSIAA (@NJSIAA) November 30, 2020
"We're hopeful that, with schedule modifications, the ice hockey season will be viable when the state's pause is lifted," the association said in an emailed statement.
New Jersey, like much of the country, has seen spiking cases and hospitalizations.
Nearly 15,000 new cases of the virus were reported in the first three days of December alone.
On Friday, New Jersey reported 5,673 new cases for a statewide total of 356,662. There were 48 new deaths for a statewide total of 15,419.
🔷COVID-19 UPDATE🔷Today we are reporting 5,673 new cases, 356,662 total and 48 new deaths for a statewide total of 15,419.— NJDOH (@NJDeptofHealth) December 4, 2020
🔹3,315 hospitalizations - 3,073 COVID-19 positive, 242 PUI
🔹615 individuals in critical care
🔹63% of ICU patients on ventilators pic.twitter.com/qsA3jlzhry
MORE NEW JERSEY COVID NEWS
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.