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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy warns state could enact new virus restrictions amid surging case counts

‘How close are we to doing something? Close,’ governor says

By Nikita Biryukov, November 05 2020 2:29 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy warned his administration could soon enact new restrictions amid a continuing surge in cases of COVID-19

“How close are we to doing something? Close,” Murphy said at Thursday’s virus briefing. “So, bear with us, we will clearly be taking action, and I hope it’ll be action that balances all the various challenges and interests that we have.”

The state on Thursday reported 2,104 new confirmed infections, bringing the total since election day to 6,408. Positivity rates are up across the state, with the worst numbers again coming from urban North Jersey.

The figures are the worst since the height of New Jersey’s pandemic. There’s little clarity about what steps Murphy’s administration will take, and the governor gave no details Thursday.

“We’re looking at a bunch of different steps we’re going to need to take,” he said.

At the very least, he signaled intent to adopt a more strenuous virus briefing schedule. He recently dropped down to two briefings a week, from three. In the early stages of the pandemic, Murphy sometimes gave six in-person briefings each week.

“If the numbers continue to go in the wrong direction, I suspect we may be seeing you more frequently,” Murphy said. “And I hope that does not happen.”

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