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NJ Gov. Murphy Is ‘Alarmed' as Coronavirus Cases Rise

New Jersey leadership is begging people to avoid large indoor gatherings and wear masks in public as the state is seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and transmission

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What to Know

  • Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey’s coronavirus caseload and the rate of transmission have climbed higher and are “setting off alarms."
  • Murphy said Friday there were 699 new positive cases reported, up from 261 on Thursday. The rate of transmission, which indicates the number of people an infected person passes the virus to, climbed to 1.35 from 1.14. 
  • Murphy didn’t announce any rollback to the second of three stages of reopening, but he said the administration wouldn't “sit and take it much longer.”

With nearly 700 new cases of coronavirus reported in New Jersey Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy is saying he is "alarmed" that the virus is spreading quicker.

The first-term Democrat is putting people on notice and calling out people not wearing masks in public and hosting indoor house parties. He noted that a rate of transmission of 1.35 makes it look like more cases will be reported in the coming days.

Murphy announced 699 new cases of coronavirus at his Friday news briefing. There were just 261 cases reported Thursday. The uptick in new cases along with the rate of transmission - how many new cases are stemming from a positive case - "are setting off alarms," Murphy said.

"The only way to silence these alarms is by taking this seriously," Murphy said. "Wear a mask. Stop hosting house parties. Now."

Murphy said, however, that New Jersey remains in better shape than many other states.

"Even with the increases we’ve seen in the latest case numbers, New Jersey remains among the 10 states nationwide with the lowest number of active cases per capita," he said.

Nearly 182,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in New Jersey to date. At least 13,944 people are confirmed to have died from coronavirus-related complications with another nearly 1,900 deaths suspected to be from COVID-19.

New Jersey was particularly hard hit by the virus earlier on in the pandemic, but had seen far fewer cases and deaths for several weeks.

However, there were about 550 new COVID-19 cases daily this week, up around 200 more from where the state was at the end of June, Murphy said.

"The number of positive cases is meaningfully higher right now, on average, than it was a month ago," Murphy said.

He noted that deaths could go up in the coming weeks as its a lagging indicator. On Friday, 10 new deaths were reported, but none of the deaths occurred in a hospital over the past 24-hour period.

Murphy paused reopenings in his state as the rate of transmission and other data points have remained higher than he would like in recent weeks. He has yet to reveal when New Jersey will enter the third phase of reopening from coronavirus closures and said Friday that his administration wouldn't “sit and take it much longer" when it comes to possibly rolling back some parts of the economy.

"I am not announcing any specific action today, but consider this as being put on-notice," Murphy said. "We will not tolerate these devil-may-care, nonchalant attitudes any more."

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