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NOTE: The Cape May County Herald is offering full coverage of the COVID-19 / coronavirus emergency to all, with no payment required. We are committed to ensuring our readers can make critical decisions for themselves and their families during this ongoing situation. To continue supporting this vital reporting, please consider a digital subscription or contribution. For more coverage, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

COURT HOUSE - Aug. 8: Cape May County reported five new COVID-19 cases today, two community based and three non-residents.

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According to a release, New Jersey has 184,429 total COVID-19 positive cases and 14,016 deaths. Total positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Cape May County is now 1,008, including 82 deaths.

Can I still get married during the COVID-19 pandemic? Are wedding venues open?

Yes, so long as ceremonies and receptions comply with the limits on gatherings and other safety guidelines.

At this time, indoor wedding ceremonies may be held so long as they comply with the limits on gatherings. Weddings, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment must be limited to 100 people or 25% of a room's capacity -- whichever number is lower. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.

However, indoor wedding receptions may not be held and indoor wedding venues, indoor catering halls, and indoor banquet halls remain closed in New Jersey.

To save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick. Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

WEDDING CEREMONIES AND VENUES

Outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions may be held so long as they comply with the limits on outdoor gatherings, which limits events to 500 people at one time, and social distancing must be practiced.

Unfortunately, dance floors at venues are closed due to the high-risk of spreading COVID-19 in these spaces, where many individuals may be in close contact with one another.

Indoor wedding ceremonies may be held so long as they comply with the limits on indoor gatherings, which limits events to 100 people or 25 percent of a room's capacity, and all attendees are required to wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.

However, to save lives and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, indoor wedding receptions may not be held at this time, and indoor wedding venues, indoor catering halls, and indoor banquet halls remain closed in New Jersey along with all indoor dining.

Safety Tips for Gatherings

During this difficult time, we understand everyone wants to spend time with family and friends. To ensure we don't inadvertently spread COVID-19 and needlessly put our loved ones at risk, the NJ Department of Health has offered some safety tips that can help reduce the risk of transmission when we gather in-person.

  • Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days, are showing COVID-19 symptoms, or recently travelled to an area or a state with high COVID-19 infection rates.
  • Ask guests to wear face coverings when they cannot social distance.
  • Make hand sanitizer available for guests.
  • Limit the number of people handling or serving food—for example, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between uses when feasible.
  • Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs. If you are called by a contact tracer, it's critical that you answer the call to protect us all. Your help is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.
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