Gov. Murphy: NJ May Stop Reopenings If COVID-19 Cases Keep Rising

Tom Davis
·11 min read

NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking to CNBC on Monday, said New Jersey may have to suspend further reopenings if cases continue to rise. Murphy made the comments two days after the Garden State had its highest daily number of new cases in four months.

He also made the comments after a President Trump fundraiser in Bedminster on Thursday raised fears that as many as 206 people were exposed to COVID-19.

Trump has since been hospitalized with the coronavirus, and contact tracing is underway. Read more: More Warnings For Possible COVID-19 Exposure From Trump NJ Visit

Murphy told CNBC that "all options are on the table" and that includes "suspension of any further reopenings" if New Jersey doesn't find a way to keep a lid on the recent rising number of coronavirus cases.

On Saturday, New Jersey had 954 new cases – the most since May 29th – after months of averaging 300 to 400 new cases daily (see list of daily cases below).

Murphy suggested that he would not do a rewind and shut down what's already been opened, such as indoor and outdoor dining and schools.

But it does mean that the state would hold off on expanding indoor dining – something that lawmakers and merchants have pushed hard for. They don't believe restaurants can survive when they can only open to 25 percent of their capacity.

Murphy did say that school openings are going well, and New Jersey is focusing on specific gatherings and events that have helped create local "hotspots" with a spike in cases.

"We do need folks to take this seriously," he said.

Murphy said New Jersey would likely approach the situation on more of a town-by-town basis since cases are rising largely because individual communities – such as Lakewood – have become hotspots and not the state at-large.

The governor said it's been sending additional contact tracers and taking other steps to try to quell the steep rise in cases in Lakewood and surrounding Ocean County. He said that gatherings and ceremonies have been largely responsible for the sharp uptick in that region. Read more: Murphy: NJ Takes Steps As Ocean County's COVID Cases Skyrocket

"If we still see the numbers we've seen over last couple days," Murphy said, "we'd probably use a scalpel."

Another one of those potential hotspots is Trump's Bedminster event on Thursday, where as many as 100 people may have had too-close contact with the president and another 100 may have been exposed.

Murphy said people who were at that event should "take themselves off the field" and quarantine for 14 days.

The state Department of Health said it has received information from the management of Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster and the White House. The White House gave New Jersey officials the names of at least 206 people who attended the events.

The DOH has reached out to these people to make them aware of possible exposure and recommend that they self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine if they were in close contact with the president and his staff, officials said.

State health officials are interviewing staff members of the club and assessing the level of contact they had with the president and his staff, and providing public health recommendations accordingly, officials said.

Attendees who are seeking a test should consider waiting at least five to seven days from the event. While the risk is low, a negative test earlier than that time cannot definitively rule out that COVID-19 will not develop, health officials said.

Murphy also spoke after former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and has been hospitalized. Read more: Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Here is a look at new coronavirus cases by day:

  • October 5: 522

  • October 4: 637

  • October 3: 957

  • October 2: 796

  • October 1: 663

  • September 30: 722

  • September 29: 505

  • September 28: 561

  • September 27: 712

  • September 26: 760

  • September 25: 612

  • September 24: 588

  • September 23: 430

  • September 22: 457

  • September 21: 396

  • September 20: 457

  • September 19: 489

  • September 18: 519

  • September 17: 617

  • September 16: 447

  • September 15: 498

  • September 14: 346

  • September 13: 306

  • September 12: 487

  • September 11: 518

  • September 10: 507

  • September 9: 356

  • September 8: 284

  • September 7: 344

  • September 6: 360

  • September 5: 370

  • September 4: 478

  • September 3: 455

  • September 2: 329

  • September 1: 365

  • August 31: 352

  • August 30: 306

  • August 29: 388

  • August 28: 372

  • August 27: 374

  • August 26: 288

  • August 25: 346

  • August 24: 225

  • August 23: 288

  • August 22: 427

  • August 21: 313

  • August 20: 302

  • August 19: 399

  • August 18: 400

  • August 17: 316

  • August 16: 329

  • August 15: 464

  • August 14: 585

  • August 13: 699

  • August 12: 484

  • August 11: 498

  • August 10: 258

  • August 9: 378

  • August 8: 379

  • August 7: 384

  • August 6: 411

  • August 5: 378

  • August 4: 416

  • August 3: 264

  • August 2: 331

  • August 1: 393

  • July 31: 699

  • July 30: 261

  • July 29: 489

  • July 28: 565

  • July 27: 446

  • July 26: 512

  • July 25: 547

  • July 24: 488

  • July 23: 344

  • July 22: 390

  • July 21: 424

  • July 20: 177

  • July 19: 144

  • July 18: 309

  • July 17: 202

  • July 16: 254

  • July 15: 396

  • July 14: 423

  • July 13: 231

  • July 12: 349

  • July 11: 438

  • July 10: 367

  • July 9: 354

  • July 8: 335

  • July 7: 310

  • July 6: 216

  • July 5: 398

  • July 4: 303

  • July 3: 386

  • July 2: 539

  • July 1: 423

  • June 30: 461

  • June 29: 156

  • June 28: 354

  • June 27: 347

  • June 26: 524

  • June 25: 406

  • June 24: 317

  • June 23: 382

  • June 22: 359

  • June 21: 411

  • June 20: 446

  • June 19: 516

  • June 18: 442

  • June 17: 330

  • June 16: 470

  • June 15: 274

  • June 14: 305

  • June 13: 523

  • June 12: 495

  • June 11: 539

  • June 10: 611

  • June 9: 375

  • June 8: 356

  • June 7: 426

  • June 6: 606

  • June 5: 864

  • June 4: 603

  • June 3: 652

  • June 2: 708

  • June 1: 509

  • May 31: 868

  • May 30: 910

  • May 29: 1,117

  • May 28: 1,261

  • May 27: 970

  • May 26: 703

  • May 25: 965

  • May 24: 1,065

  • May 23: 443

  • May 22: 1,394

  • May 21: 1,304

  • May 20: 1,670

  • May 19: 1,055

  • May 18: 1,735

  • May 17: 1,272

  • May 16: 1,239

  • May 15: 1,297

  • May 14: 1,216

  • May 13: 1,028

  • May 12: 898

  • May 11: 1,453

  • May 10: 1,503

  • May 9: 1,759

  • May 8: 1,985

  • May 7: 1,827

  • May 6: 1,513

  • May 5: 2,494

  • May 4: 1,621

  • May 3: 3,144

  • May 2: 2,912

  • May 1: 2,651

  • April 30: 2,633

  • April 29: 2,481

  • April 28: 2,887

  • April 27: 2,146

  • April 26: 3,730

  • April 25: 3,457

  • April 24: 3,047

  • April 23: 4,427

  • April 22: 3,551

  • April 21: 3,644

  • April 20: 3,528

  • April 19: 3,915

  • April 18: 3,026

  • April 17: 3,250

  • April 16: 4,391

  • April 15: 2,625

  • April 14: 4,049

  • April 13: 3,219

  • April 12: 3,733

  • April 11: 3,599

  • April 10: 3,627

  • April 9: 3,748

  • April 8: 3,088

  • April 7: 3,361

  • April 6: 3,663

  • April 5: 3,482

  • April 4: 4,331

  • April 3: 4,372

  • April 2: 3,489

  • April 1: 3,649

  • March 31: 2,196

  • March 30: 3,347

  • March 29: 2,316

  • March 28: 2,289

  • March 27: 1,982

  • March 26: 2,492

  • March 25: 736

  • March 24: 846

  • March 23: 935

  • March 22: 590

  • March 21: 442

  • March 20: 155

  • March 19: 318

  • March 18: 162

  • March 17: 89

  • March 16: 80

  • March 15: 31

  • March 14: 19

  • March 13: 21

  • March 12: 21

  • March 11: 8

  • March 10: 4

  • March 9: 5

  • March 8: 6

  • March 7: 1

  • March 6: 1

  • March 5: 1

  • March 4: 1

Here is a look at coronavirus deaths by day:

  • October 5: 2

  • October 4: 1

  • October 3: 4

  • October 2: 4

  • October 1: 5

  • September 30: 9

  • September 29: 10

  • September 28: 1

  • September 27: 3

  • September 26: 6

  • September 25: 7

  • September 24: 10

  • September 23: 7

  • September 22: 7

  • September 21: 2

  • September 20: 3

  • September 19: 3

  • September 18: 5

  • September 17: 3

  • September 16: 9

  • September 15: 9

  • September 14: 3

  • September 13: 4

  • September 12: 4

  • September 11: 9

  • September 10: 5

  • September 9: 7

  • September 8: 5

  • September 7: 2

  • September 6: 4

  • September 5: 7

  • September 4: 7

  • September 3: 9

  • September 2: 11

  • September 1: 7

  • August 31: 8

  • August 30: 4

  • August 29: 4

  • August 28: 9

  • August 27: 7

  • August 26: 11

  • August 25: 5

  • August 24: 3

  • August 23: 3

  • August 22: 3

  • August 21: 13

  • August 20: 8

  • August 19: 11

  • August 18: 10

  • August 17: 4

  • August 16: 4

  • August 15: 7

  • August 14: 10

  • August 13: 8

  • August 12: 9

  • August 11: 14

  • August 10: 4

  • August 9: 5

  • August 8: 9

  • August 7: 12

  • August 6: 8

  • August 5: 8

  • August 4: 11

  • August 3: 10

  • August 2: 6

  • August 1: 11

  • July 31: 10

  • July 30: 16

  • July 29: 18

  • July 28: 24

  • July 27: 17

  • July 26: 11

  • July 25: 16

  • July 24: 36

  • July 23: 23

  • July 22: 24

  • July 21: 21

  • July 20: 9

  • July 19: 11

  • July 18: 16

  • July 17: 20

  • July 16: 32

  • July 15: 27

  • July 14: 28

  • July 13: 22

  • July 12: 16

  • July 11: 49

  • July 10: 31

  • July 9: 28

  • July 8: 53

  • July 7: 52

  • July 6: 20

  • July 5: 23

  • July 4: 25

  • July 3: 58

  • July 2: 27

  • July 1: 45

  • June 30: 47

  • June 29: 18

  • June 28: 30

  • June 27: 36

  • June 26: 44

  • June 25: 26

  • June 24: 48

  • June 23: 57

  • June 22: 27

  • June 21: 17

  • June 20: 25

  • June 19: 37

  • June 18: 38

  • June 17: 47

  • June 16: 51

  • June 15: 52

  • June 14: 40

  • June 13: 103

  • June 12: 48

  • June 11: 70

  • June 10: 74

  • June 9: 91

  • June 8: 40

  • June 7: 79

  • June 6: 60

  • June 5: 79

  • June 4: 92

  • June 3: 112

  • June 2: 51

  • June 1: 27

  • May 31: 66

  • May 30: 113

  • May 29: 131

  • May 28: 66

  • May 27: 148

  • May 26: 54

  • May 25: 16

  • May 24: 52

  • May 23: 96

  • May 22: 146

  • May 21: 98

  • May 20: 168

  • May 19: 162

  • May 18: 83

  • May 17: 107

  • May 16: 116

  • May 15: 201

  • May 14: 244

  • May 13: 197

  • May 12: 198

  • May 11: 59

  • May 10: 140

  • May 9: 166

  • May 8: 162

  • May 7: 254

  • May 6: 308

  • May 5: 334

  • May 4: 45

  • May 3: 137

  • May 2: 205

  • May 1: 311

  • April 30: 460

  • April 29: 329

  • April 28: 402

  • April 27: 106

  • April 26: 75

  • April 25: 249

  • April 24: 253

  • April 23: 307

  • April 22: 314

  • April 21: 379

  • April 20: 177

  • April 19: 132

  • April 18: 231

  • April 17: 323

  • April 16: 362

  • April 15: 351

  • April 14: 365

  • April 13: 94

  • April 12: 168

  • April 11: 251

  • April 10: 233

  • April 9: 198

  • April 8: 275

  • April 7: 232

  • April 6: 86

  • April 5: 71

  • April 4: 200

  • April 3: 113

  • April 2: 182

  • April 1: 91

  • March 31: 69

  • March 30: 37

  • March 29: 21

  • March 28: 32

  • March 27: 27

  • March 26: 19

  • March 25: 18

  • March 24: 17

  • March 23: 7

  • March 22: 4

  • March 21: 5

  • March 20: 2

  • March 19: 4

  • March 18: 3

  • March 17: 0

  • March 16: 1

  • March 15: 0

  • March 14: 1

  • March 13: 0

  • March 12: 0

  • March 11: 0

  • March 10: 1

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This article originally appeared on the Holmdel-Hazlet Patch