As COVID cases continuing to grow in a predicted second wave, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday that his administration is “close” to ordering new restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus in New Jersey. The governor, however, didn’t give any details on what steps he may take or whether that would include a new round of business restrictions or closures. Instead, he said his administration reviewing multiple options.
New Jersey reported an additional 2,104 coronavirus cases and 12 deaths Thursday — the first time there were two consecutive days with more than 2,000 cases since the start of May. Over the past three days, the state has reported 6,408 additional cases. The statewide positivity rate for all tests recorded Nov. 1 was 7.74% and the rate of transmission is currently 1.26. Rising hospitalizations continue to be a concern. Hospitalizations reached 1,224 — the highest number since mid-June — with 238 patients in critical care.
“I hope it will be action that balances all the various challenges and interests that we have,” Murphy said. “We’re looking at a number of different steps that we’re going to need to take.” He made the statement the same day he announced 2,104 new COVID-19 cases and 12 additional deaths, marking the first time the state had back-to-back days with more than 2,000 positive tests in six months. As the cases increased in October, state health officials sent hot spot teams to increase testing, contact tracing and education to individual towns and college campus, Murphy said. That included Lakewood in early October, and more recently in Newark, where the testing positivity rate has risen to 12.3%. But with 10 of New Jersey’s 21 counties reporting more than 100 cases on Wednesday and eight counties with more than 100 cases on Thursday, there may need to be more widespread action, he said.
“Hot spot teams will continue to be center stage. We’ve have really good success,” Murphy said. “We need to augment that with some broader steps.”
Wednessday, The Governor issued Quarantine Advisory for Individuals Traveling to New Jersey, Bringing New Total to 43 States and Territories. Neighboring states Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware now meet the criteria for New Jersey’s travel advisory. Due to the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between New Jersey and the three states, a 14-day quarantine is not reasonable in all instances. Non-essential travel to and from these states, however, is highly discouraged at this time. Connecticut is also discouraging non-essential travel to and from New Jersey, but are not mandating that travelers quarantine due to the interconnected nature of the region and economy. Massachusetts will be included on New Jersey’s advisory, but not Connecticut’s based on the same criteria. “As a second wave of COVID-19 has begun across the nation and our state, we must do everything possible to stop the further spread of COVID-19.” said Governor Murphy.