New Jersey 'close' to new pandemic restrictions

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy sounded the alarm about his state's rising COVID-19 cases. Calling the 7.74% statewide positivity rate on Nov. 1 "unacceptable," the governor warned that his administration is considering implementing another round of restrictions to get the outbreak under control.

Murphy didn't elaborate on the exact steps New Jersey would take amid new restrictions but said something needs to be done.

"How close are we to taking action? Close. So bear with us — we will clearly be taking action," he said. "I hope it will be action that balances all the various challenges and interests that we have."

The governor held his first in-person briefing on Thursday since coming out of quarantine. He took himself "off the field" when a senior staff member tested positive.

Murphy said the state's confirmed coronavirus-related death toll has risen to 14,603 and the number of probable coronavirus-related deaths has been adjusted to 1,800.

"A short seven weeks ago the rolling average was 420," Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said at the governor's briefing. "Today it's 1,224."

The state's cumulative COVID-19 positive cases are now 247,219. 

"Over the past three days, since Monday, we've recorded 6,408 additional cases," Murphy said.

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