At a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy said, "If you do not need to be out, then we need you to stay at home. Please, God, stay at home. And even when you are at home, keep your distance between yourself and other family members."
It has been common practice to tell people to stay six feet away from people in public but no previous recommendation has been made to avoid close contact with other family members at home.
Murphy made the statement after reporting the state had 3,489 new positive cases bringing the statewide total to 25,590 cases. The reported number of deaths doubled to 537 with 182 newly reported deaths.
"I know these numbers are stark," Murphy said. "They are indeed sad."
Hudson County Sheriff's Office 28-year veteran Bernard Waddell Sr. was among the dead reported on Thursday.