South Orange COVID-19 Update – Latest Numbers, Outdoor Mask Mandate Lifted

by The Village Green
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From the Township of South Orange:

As of 8:30 a.m. 13,667 South Orange residents have received access to COVID-19 testing and of that number, 941 tests have returned positive. Based on the last ten days, we are averaging 0.9 cases a day in South Orange. To date, ten members of our community have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Please keep their families in your prayers.

Local testing sites are available here.

Local Updates

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to all residents ages 12 and up. Residents should go to to learn about where to get vaccinated. Those wishing to visit a county site may do so at

State Updates

On Monday, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order lifting the outdoor mask mandate. Individuals in outdoor public spaces are no longer required to wear masks, regardless of their ability to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals or groups, and regardless of their vaccination status. This order does not apply to child care centers, other child care facilities, youth summer camps, and public, private, and parochial preschool program premises, and elementary and secondary schools.

The indoor mask mandate still remains until further notice.

Barring an unexpected uptick in COVID-19 numbers, the following changes will go into effect on Wednesday, May 19, largely in line with actions taking place in the neighboring states of New York and Connecticut:

    • Complete removal of outdoor gathering limit– Attendees at outdoor gatherings will still be required to remain six feet apart from other groups.
    • Indoor gathering limit – The general indoor gathering limit will be raised to 50 persons, up from 25 persons. The limit applies to general social gatherings, such as birthday parties and events in people’s homes. Commercial gatherings and gatherings organized and operated by an overseeing entity (e.g. conferences, expositions, meetings of fraternal organizations, job trainings, events hosted by senior centers) will be subject to the 250-person indoor gathering limit that applies to indoor catered events, as long as all attendees can remain six feet apart.
    • Complete removal of all percentage capacity limits for indoor and outdoor businesses, and houses of worship– Any business, whether indoors or outdoors, that is subject to a percentage capacity limitation will instead be guided by the rule regarding six feet of distance between persons or groups of persons. This would include:
      • Indoor dining – Currently, indoor dining is limited to 50% capacity. This change will remove the 50% limitation but maintain the six feet of required distance between tables, except that tables will still be permitted to be closer than six feet where restaurants use partitions that comply with DOH requirements. Additionally, the prohibition on tables of more than 8 persons will be lifted. As a reminder, outdoor dining has never been bound to a capacity percentage.
      • Houses of worship and religious services, which are currently at 50% capacity. Retail businesses, which are currently at 50% capacity.
      • Gyms, which are currently at 50% capacity.
      • Personal care services, which are currently at 50% capacity.
      • Indoor and outdoor amusement and recreation businesses, which are both currently limited to 50% capacity.
      • Indoor and outdoor pools, which are both currently limited to 50% capacity.
      • Indoor catered events, funerals, memorial services, performances, and political activities – Per today’s Executive Order, these events will be limited to 50% of a room’s capacity, up to 250 individuals. Beginning on Wednesday, May 19, the 250-person limit will remain in place, but there will be no percentage-based capacity restrictions. Individuals and groups will need to remain six feet apart.
    • Indoor large venue capacity– The capacity limit for indoor large venues will increase from 20% to 30% and the definition of a large venue would shift from those with 2,500 fixed seats to those with 1,000 fixed seats. The requirement that individuals or groups of individuals that purchase tickets together remain six feet apart would remain in place.

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