'Alarms are going off': Murphy warns NJ could return to lockdown if COVID-19 cases spike

Gov. Phil Murphy said coronavirus cases are starting to climb in the Garden State, and it could go the way of Texas and Georgia unless residents comply to COVID restrictions.

News 12 Staff

Jul 27, 2020, 12:52 PM

Updated 1,360 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy said coronavirus cases are starting to climb in the Garden State, and it could go the way of Texas and Georgia unless residents comply to COVID restrictions.
"We are standing at a very dangerous place. As I said, the alarms are going off," Murphy said Friday.
With the statewide rate of coronavirus transmission increasing, Murphy said he could soon start to reimplement parts of New Jersey's COVID-19 lockdown from earlier this year.
"What's a red line that we might be at, which would trigger potential policy or enforcement steps? I think you should assume we're there," Murphy added.
The administration will be taking a close look at coronavirus case numbers from this weekend, but they've said that it's possible that increases in the indoor gathering limit could happen soon.
At the same time, officials marked New Jersey's first zero death day from coronavirus in the state's hospitals in 142 days, more than four months.
"Our hospitals reported, as of 10 p.m. last night for the prior 24-hour period, no deaths for the first time since March," said Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli.
Murphy said outdoor dining is not likely a cause of a statewide spike in cases. Instead, health officials are pointing to indoor gatherings, like house parties, as well as travelers who arrive from states where transmission rates of the virus are higher.
"The numbers are setting off alarms that we take very seriously. We still may be among the leaders in having the lower case numbers and daily positivity rates, we don't take that for granted," Murphy added. "But we're putting up the alarms and the flashing lights right now, whether it's enforcement or changing our policy, you should assume we're not going to sit and take this much longer."
Of the 10 COVID-19 deaths reported on Friday, seven took place in the last five days, while three happened on July 27.
For more on today's briefing, click here.
PHOTOS: COVID-19 Impacts the World
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