What to Know
- New Jersey saw a record number of daily coronavirus cases reported over the weekend.
- On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy reiterated the need for people to take social distancing and safety precautions to stop the spread of the virus.
- He also noted that nearly three out of four people contacted by contact tracers aren't cooperating.
With the second wave of coronavirus surging to new records in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy is asking for individuals to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
On Sunday, New Jersey broke 6,000 daily COVID-19 cases for the first time with 6,046 new cases announced. On Monday, the state reported another 3,573 cases to bring the statewide total to nearly 372,000. State health officials noted that numbers could go up and down following the Thanksgiving holiday.
With 17 new deaths reported Monday, the state's confirmed death total related to coronavirus complications pushed to 15,500.
There were more than 3,300 patients being treated for COVID-19 at New Jersey hospitals entering Monday, with 637 patients in intensive care.
The rate of positivity on Dec. 3 was 11.4%, Murphy said at his Monday news briefing.
"Do not think the worst of this pandemic is in the past," the first-term Democrat said.
With colder temps forcing people indoors and coronavirus fatigue in effect, new restrictions like a 25-person limit on outdoor events and a pause on indoor sports, are now in place but likely won't be enough to stop the spread unless people wear masks and don't gather, Murphy said.
"We can’t get into every living room so we gotta plead with people, keep your guard up,” Murphy told CNN Monday morning.
He later reiterated that call on MSNBC where he said "no amount of enforcement" can get into homes. "Not just do the right thing when you're in a restaurant or a gym, but do the right thing when you're in your own home."
Murphy also noted at his Monday coronavirus news briefing that the state's contact tracers aren't getting cooperation in nearly three-quarters (74%) of the calls made.
"This is not a witch hunt," Murphy said. "We’re only trying to stop the spread of this virus. Work with our contact tracers."
State Medical Director Ed Lifshitz urged people to exercise caution this holiday season with Hanukkah and Christmas on the way. He suggested no one gather for large parties with extended families and among various generations inside.
He said masks should be worn at all times at holiday celebrations outside of when eating and drinking. Also limit touching of communal surfaces.
Murphy had advice for the days to come before vaccines become widespread.
"We know that we’re just months away from pulling ourselves out of the darkness," Murphy said. "But, this virus is still as deadly as ever. We can’t let up yet. Mask up. Social distance. Wash your hands. Use commonsense."