New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy holds a news conference regarding the COVID-19 cases at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. on Saturday, April 11, 2020. (Photo: AP)
New Jersey’s governor said Sunday there are models that suggest the state’s coronavirus crisis is reaching its peak, but others indicate the worst impact may still be weeks away.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy told CNN that health care recovery must occur before economic recovery takes place, and he’s concerned that reopening and relaxing social distancing too early could backfire.
“And I fear if we open up too early, and we have not sufficiently made that health recovery and cracked the back of this virus, that we could be pouring gasoline on the fire, even inadvertently,” Murphy said.
The governor said his administration devoted significant attention this weekend to plan about how to keep people safe once restrictions begin to be lifted.
Murphy told CBS that he supports a regional approach to reopening and that he has been having “discussions with our neighboring states on the whole question of testing, contact tracing, what are the rules of the road going to be for things like bars and restaurants.”
Murphy said New Jersey is “fighting to stay ahead” regarding bed capacity, ventilator supply, personal protective equipment, and health care workers.
Murphy announced Sunday that another 168 people in his state have died, bringing the COVID-19 death toll for New Jersey to 2,350. He said there were also 3,733 new cases of infection, making it nearly 62,000 to be sickened since the pandemic began.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.