Murphy warns that restarting NJ too quickly could backfire

The Easter Bunny waves to residents of Glen Rock as they drive through an Easter Bunny drive-by event at Glen Rock Boro-Hall on the April 11, 2020 in Glen Rock, New Jersey. (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s governor said Sunday there are models that suggest the state’s coronavirus crisis is reaching its peak, but others indicate the worst impact may still be weeks away.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy told CNN that health care recovery must occur before economic recovery takes place, and he's concerned that reopening and relaxing social distancing too early could backfire.

“And I fear, if we open up too early, and we have not sufficiently made that health recovery and cracked the back of this virus, that we could be pouring gasoline on the fire, even inadvertently,” Murphy said.

The governor said his administration devoted significant attention this weekend to planning about how to keep people safe once restrictions begin to be lifted.

Murphy told CBS that he supports a regional approach to reopening and that he has been having “discussions with our neighboring states on the whole question of testing, contact tracing, what are the rules of the road going to be for things like bars and restaurants."

Murphy said New Jersey is “fighting to stay ahead” regarding bed capacity, ventilator supply, personal protective equipment and health care workers.

Murphy announced Sunday that the coronavirus death toll in the state had reahced 2,350, and more than 61,000 had tested positive. 


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