NJ Lifts Stay-At-Home Order: What Does it Mean for Graduation?

In Employer Resources, Legal Updates by Porzio

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Authored by: Matthew J. Donohue, and Kerri A. Wright

On June 9, 2020, Governor Murphy announced that the State of New Jersey would begin to lift the limitations on outdoor social gatherings.  Effective immediately, outdoor gatherings may include up to 100 people.  Governor Murphy predicted that by July 3rd, outdoor gatherings could have upwards of 500 individuals if there is not a spike in COVID-19 infections. However, all other previous restrictions on outdoor gatherings, including those set forth in the May 28, 2020 memo from the Department of Education, still apply.  Any school district, which includes both public and private schools, that plans to hold a modified, in-person graduation ceremony occurring on or after July 6 must complete a certification to the New Jersey Department of Education that the ceremony will comply with all applicable requirements for gatherings, including, but not limited to, social distancing requirements. The form, when released by the Department of Education, must be submitted no later than seven (7) days prior to the scheduled date of the ceremony.  The Department of Education also recommends that schools notify municipal officials, including the local Office of Emergency Management, local law enforcement, first responders, and local health officials of the school’s plan for the ceremony.