Gov. Murphy urges New Jersey residents to adhere to parks, golf course guidelines

CAMDEN COUNTY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- At Cooper River Park in Camden County, there was no shortage of people taking advantage of warm weather Saturday.

"Oh, this is our first time out in a while," said Bruce McGuigon visiting over from Ridley Park.

McGuigon is not alone, as many marked Saturday as the first step in getting back to some sense of normalcy amid of COVID-19.

The park opened up at the discretion of the county following Governor Phil Murphy's green light to reopen state parks as well as golf courses.

Despite those doing seemingly their best to keep social distance, undoubtedly some large group gatherings filled the park according to sources.

While the orders allow for passive recreation like walking, running, biking and jogging, the playgrounds, pavilions, visitor centers, restrooms and dog parks will remain closed.

Picnics, organized activities and team sports will remain prohibited while parking will be limited to 50%.

As far as golf courses, there are limitations to tee times, the use of golf cars, frequent sanitization of carts and high-touch areas, and no touching of holes and flags are allowed.

"'You see how beautiful this golf course is?' There's hardly anyone on it right now because we have to," said Woodcrest Country Club Director of Golf Jason Howard. "Doing everything we can following the guidelines."

For those in dire need of some time on the golf course, it makes all the difference.

"The best part about it is just being outside man," said golfer Andrew Carrigan from Morristown.

Governor Murphy made clear that a lot is riding on the behaviors crowds set forth this weekend.

"If we hear minimal reports of knucklehead behavior at our parks, and we see the metrics that we need to meet being met in the next couple of days and weeks, we will know that you all have taken to heart your responsibility," said Murphy. "Continue to take to heart I might add, and you've done an extraordinary job so far in helping us mitigate this pandemic."

While face covering is not mandatory, New Jersey officials say it is being strongly recommended.
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