Brian Bergen: Indoor Sports Should Mean Expanded Indoor Dining

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Assemblyman Brian Bergen

MORRIS COUNTY — Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order Monday allowing indoor contact sports, such as basketball and hockey, to resume as long as capacity is limited to 25 percent. The stated reason for capacity limits is to enforce social distancing, but sports require constant close contact with heavy breathing.

Assemblyman Brian Bergen says that is further proof that Murphy’s orders are arbitrary.

“If we can allow indoor contact sports, we can allow indoor dining. The separation of the two is absolutely ludicrous,” contended Bergen (R-Morris). “Kids and coaches represent the same amount of families that most restaurants can serve at one time, with a constant flow of people in each instance. In fact, restaurants have a leg up on their ability to keep things clean.”

Murphy signed the executive order yesterday, a month and a half after allowing gyms and other indoor health clubs could reopen with 25 percent capacity. Though those activities seem to hold the same concerns as indoor sports, there has not been a resulting surge of outbreaks since select indoor activities resumed.

“We should move to fifty percent occupancy for indoor dining today and proceed to one-hundred percent as quickly as possible thereafter. The selective application of science is getting tiring,” Bergen concluded.