New Jersey to reopen state and county parks, governor announces after protests over coronavirus restrictions

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In one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, parks will reopen this weekend.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the change Wednesday on Twitter after hundreds of protesters gathered in Trenton, upset with the Garden State's near-lockdown orders. New Jersey has had more than 114,000 confirmed cases and at least 6,442 deaths.

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"Today, I will sign an executive order to: Reopen New Jersey’s state parks Allow golf courses and county parks to reopen," Murphy tweeted. "This order will take effect at sunrise on Saturday, May 2nd. Social distancing will continue to be mandated."

Currently, New Jersey is the only state in the Northeast to close its parks after Murphy signed an executive order affecting state parks, forests and county parks to support social distancing measures.

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Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber of New Jersey's 26th Legislative District started an online petition to reverse the order, which garnered more than 12,500 signatures.

Webber told Fox News he reached out to the governor’s office and requested data that supported the reasoning behind the park closures, but never received any documentation.

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“When you don't produce the documents that are supposed to be supporting this data-driven or science-driven decision, I don't know what to say other than it's been a bad decision,” said Webber.

The governor said on April 28 that the state is “a number of weeks away” from reopening.