New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the state recorded the highest number of novel coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period as hospitalizations continue to decline.
In the 24-hour period from 10 p.m. Sunday and 10 p.m. 379 deaths occurred Monday, bringing the total number of deaths related to the virus to 4,753. Murphy announced 3,643 new positive cases for a total of 92,387 statewide.
Murphy said the number of hospitalizations in the state appear to be leveling off, but he stressed that the state at home order and the closure of nonessential businesses must remain.
As several other states announced reopening strategies, Murphy said New Jersey´s reopening will depend on the capacity of testing.
“There are still at least weeks to go, and even when we begin to reopen it’s not going to be all at once. We’re punching above our weight and working with all partners including our state’s flagship university at Rutgers University,” Murphy said during his daily news conference, referring to a quick testing protocol under development by the university.
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A federal relief package announced late Tuesday afternoon includes $25 billion that will be used for testing in the states.
Recently there have been protests across the country against lockdown orders. In an interview after his briefing, the Governor said New Jersey needs to see the curve of cases and hospitalizations drop, as well as broader testing and contact tracing, before he can begin to gradually lift his orders.
Gov. Phil Murphy said he knows what would happen if he lifted New Jersey’s lockdown restrictions to fight the coronavirus and allowed businesses to reopen now, as some protestors and critics want.
“Nobody would show up, people are a lot smarter than some of these folks are giving them credit for,” he assured.