New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday he is less likely to use ”blunt instruments” to address rising numbers of infections of the novel coronavirus in the state and opt for a ”scalpel” approach in the municipalities where outbreaks are occurring.
The Garden State has seen a steady rise of its seven-day average of confirmed infections from 259 on Aug. 7 to 918 on Thursday, according to Worldometers.info.
”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 said on CNBC.
The first-term Democratic governor claimed the most recent increase in infections are localized, referring to them as ”hot spots,” and not widespread.
”But there’s a fair amount of community spread,” said Murphy, who acknowledged that most people are adhering to measures aimed at reducing spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, such as wearing masks and keeping their distance when in public.
However, he accused people of being too lackadaisical at homes and in ”frat houses.”
New Jersey averaged more than 3,600 new daily infections in early April, which showed significant improvement starting later in the month.
Beginning in early March, Murphy declared a state of emergency and issued executive orders that closed restaurants, parks and ”non-essential businesses,” and prohibited any significant gatherings of people, such as church services.
The state has experienced the 10th-most cases in the United States, nearly 221,000, and the fourth-most deaths, more than 16,000. It has the most deaths per million, 1,838, according to Worldometers.info.
”We’ve come a long way, but our numbers are up, there’s no question about it, over the past several weeks,” Murphy said. ”For instance, higher education has been a challenge.”
Murphy said he has allocated more resources for contact tracing and testing at state colleges and universities.