TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today was asked if he’d once again shut down the entire state if a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic begins to spread across New Jersey as the state is seeing sharp increases in positive test cases. Murphy said he and his administration have a plan, but it may not include a total shut down as he enacted this spring.
“Listen, we’ve come a long way but our numbers are up, there’s no question about it for the past several weeks,” Murphy said during an interview on CNBC today. “We have 700 to 1,000 new positive cases every day. There are hot spots, so I can’t say it’s everywhere, but there’s a fair amount of community spread.”
Murphy blamed recent outbreaks on communal indoor activities at colleges, universities and with large families adding that he has dispatched additional resources to help those towns and colleges such as contact tracing and increased testing capability.
“It’s a developing consensus, folks are doing the right thing outdoors, but it’s in homes, frat houses, where people are living close to each other with a certain amount of fatigue setting in,” Murphy said of the latest increase that has hit the Jersey Shore particularly hard. A large outbreak at Monmouth University and a large outbreak growing in the town of Lakewood are both on the Governor’s radar.
When asked if he would consider a second shut down, said he hopes not.
“I hope not, we’re less likely to use blunt instruments that we used in March and April when we shut the garage doors down on everything,” “We’re much more likely to use a scalpel and go into a particular community or higher education, which has been a challenge,” he added. “I sure as heck hope if we’re taking action it’s a scalpel as opposed to the blunt instrument we used in the spring.”