Governor Phil Murphy this afternoon said the rate of COVID-19 transmission exceeds 1.0 for the first time in ten weeks – 1.03 to be precise.
“This means for every new case, that case is leading to at least one other case,” Murphy said at his daily COVID-19 briefing. “This is an early warning sign that means frankly we need to do more. “This thing is brutal, folks. Yes it crushes older folks more frequently, but it also takes out younger folks.”
He underscored the critical need for face coverings.
“COVID-19 doesn’t care about the weather, it only cares about finding another person to infect. Don’t be a willing host,” Murphy urged.
He pointed to another 216 positive COVID-19 test results for a total of 173,611 cases in New Jersey since the start of the crisis.
Twenty more deaths.
It’s not all bad, he insisted. Hospitalizations are down. Infections are far down from the nightmare epicenter of the spring. Deaths are down.
But the governor – going to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday biefing schedule starting this week – expressed continuing concern about drastic upticks in other states and travel by New Jerseyans outside the state.
Backdropped by sand dunes at the Jersey Shore, Murphy on Sunday said there should be a “national requirement” that everyone wear face masks amid the coronavirus.
“It’s become almost not even debatable,” the governor told NBC TV’s “Meet the Press.” “Certainly when you’re going out and absolutely indoors. As I mentioned, this virus is a lot more lethal inside than outside. But if you’re leaving your house, put on a mask. I think it ought to be a national, a national requirement.”
New Jersey has lost 15,211 people owing to complications arising from COVID-19.
Standing on the beach as – “the gem of the Jersey Shore” – he spoke to Andrea Mitchell, Murphy said, “This thing is lethal. New Jersey’s paid an enormous price. …We’re starting to see small spikes as people come back from Myrtle Beach. There was a wedding in Myrtle Beach. We have absolutely have evidence of folks – Jersey folks – who were at that wedding and they came back to New Jersey. We’re only as strong as our weakest link.”
Murphy called for a “national strategy” with masks at the core.