New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday on CNBC he hopes to avoid broad economic lockdowns to deal with rising coronavirus cases in the state and the nation.
“I think we’re less likely, and please God that this is the case, we’re less likely to use blunt instruments we used in March and April when we shut the garage doors down on everything, and much more likely to use a scalpel and go into a particular community,” Murphy told “Squawk Box.”
The governor acknowledged that new Covid-19 cases in New Jersey have been moving higher between 700 and under 1,000 per day recently. “We’ve come a long way but our numbers are up, there’s no question about it, over the past several weeks,” he said. “For instance, higher education has been a challenge,” adding he’s putting more resources behind contact tracing and testing at state colleges and universities.
Murphy described the escalation of coronavirus cases in the state as “hot spots” and not everywhere. “But there’s a fair amount of community spread,” he said, explaining people are mostly following virus mitigation measures, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, when they are out in public. However, people are letting their guards down at homes and in “frat houses,” he stressed.
Murphy urged people feeling ill to “take yourself off the field” and self-quarantine. He said government officials need to continue to stay on the “bullhorn” to encourage people to stay vigilant.