As New Jersey marked the first day of a new school year while the pandemic rages on, Gov. Phil Murphy praised residents and visitors for taking advantage of the holiday without trouble.
"It's back to school, this is a big week," Murphy said.
New Jersey public and charter schools were given the clearance to reopen Tuesday with it up to the schools and districts if to go full in person, fully virtual or a hybrid of both.
On Tuesday, Murphy reiterated that it would be a school year "unlike any we’ve ever seen."
More than 700 schools had finalized reopening plans as of Tuesday morning. More than half of the schools planned on a hybrid model of in-person and virtual learning.
Overall, Murphy saw a positive Labor Day weekend throughout the state as indoor dining resumed and cinemas began showing movies again.
"This past weekend, with the return of limited indoor dining and limited-capacity movie showings, among everything else, we had very few reported cases of knucklehead behavior," Murphy said.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
The first-term Democrat thanked people for taking measures like masking in public, social distancing and hand hygiene to keep coronavirus in check.
"Now, with Labor Day behind us, we’re looking forward with more and more of our economy reopened," Murphy said. "Let’s keep pulling together and moving forward."
As of Tuesday, more than 194,000 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in New Jersey with at least 14,213 confirmed deaths attributed to the coronavirus. Five new deaths were announced Tuesday.
The rate of transmission had ticked up to 1.1 Tuesday. That means that each infected person is spreading the virus to slightly more than one other person.