A new statewide lockdown in New Jersey remains “on the table” amid a resurgence of the coronavirus — with Gov. Phil Murphy warning that the Garden State is “in the fight for our lives.”
While the measure is likely a last resort, Murphy told Fox News that the spiking number of cases could force his hand, nj.com reported.
“I’m not sure I’d say possible Bret but I think it has to stay on the table,” the governor told anchor Bret Baier. “You hate like heck to even have to consider that, and God willing we won’t have to.
“The great news is, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, vaccines in particular,” Murphy continued. “But for the next two or three months, we’re in the fight of our lives.”
Murphy spoke as cases continue to spike in New Jersey, with the state’s seven-day average of new daily cases at 4,091 — up 4 percent from a week earlier and up 213 percent from a month earlier, the outlet reported.
There have been more than 330,000 coronavirus cases in New Jersey alone since the pandemic began, with nearly 17,000 there dead from the virus.
Murphy ordered statewide lockdown measures in place at the height of the epidemic in March and April — then lifted the statewide restrictions on June 9.
But the state has now taken some preliminary precautions with the bug resurging, including shutting down restaurants at 10 p.m., limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people, and begging people to have small Thanksgiving gatherings.
“But there’s a lot of fatigue out there,” Murphy said. “There’s a lot of private transmissions. The weather is cold so folks are doing what they were doing three months ago outside, they’re doing it inside. And that cocktail, when you add to that the holiday season, we’re in for a rough ride here.”
He said he’s urging Democrats in Congress to push for a new federal stimulus package to ease the local burden.
“I’ll tell you what would really make a difference here, a big federal stimulus sooner than later with a lifeline to small businesses, restaurants, folks who are unemployed,” he said. “That would be a game-changer.
“It’s on the table in terms of a shutdown,” he added. “I don’t’ anticipate it and I sure as heck don’t want to go that route. But boy federal stimulus would give us a lot more ammunition to do a lot more things right now.”