Murphy says COVID-19 “on fire” statewide lockdown back on the table as New Jersey sets new daily case record

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TRENTON, NJ – Indoor dining was capped at 25%, indoor sports have been canceled, New Jerseyans stayed home on Thanksgiving Day and everyone is continuing to wear a face mask when in public, but still, the state announced today that a record number of cases has been recorded.  5,673 positive cases were reported on Friday, one week after the Thanksgiving weekend and now, Governor Phil Murphy said a second statewide lockdown is not out of the question.

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At the height of the first wave of the pandemic, on April 3rd, 4,305 positive cases were reported.

Now leading the northeast region with a 10.2% positivity rate, Governor Phil Murphy is starting to walk back his ‘scalpel’ approach.

After denying this as a rumor in recent meetings, today Murphy said, “Everything has to be on the table. I’d be abrogating my responsibility if we didn’t have every option on the table. Is it beyond that manageable risk? We don’t see that yet.”

Last week Murphy dismissed claims about his administration planning an impending statewide lockdown. Shortly afterward, Murphy shut down indoor youth sports and capped outdoor gatherings to just 25 people.

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Governor Murphy once bragged that his state was among the lowest in the nation when it came to positivity.  That was just weeks ago, but today he said the state was on fire and blamed the state’s high density and behavior of residents for the increase.

New Jersey was once lower than neighboring New York and Delaware, but now leads the regional coalition of states led by Democrat governors formed three weeks ago.  New Jersey’s positivity rate is 10.2%.  New York is 5%. Connecticut is 6%.  Maryland is 6.2%.  Massachusetts is 4.8%.

“Listen, New Jersey was lower than New York for a significant period,” Murphy said. “When it starts to go on fire, we have the densest state in America…our density is the big driver.”

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Murphy also said his initial projections and models for the second wave of COVID-19 were not wrong, but the personal behavior of residents changed the model because of poor decisions made.  Murphy said he hopes people continuing wearing face masks and reducing their contact with individuals outside their homes.