TRENTON, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy says he is "nervous" that spikes in COVID-19 hotspots such as Florida could trigger an uptick, if not a surge, of cases in New Jersey.

For now, Murphy said he is relying on people arriving from the Sunshine State or any of the other 18 states on the travel advisory list to self-quarantine upon arrival, although he hinted that state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli could be leading the development of some technology that would help track travelers entering the state.

“We are the United States of America,” Murphy said during his July 13 press briefing. “We can’t stop people at our borders. We can plead to personal responsibility. Judy and team are developing on some technology, which is not easy to do, but they’re working on that. Getting information, pleading to personal responsibility to self-quarantine, but there is only so much we can do. So, it does make us nervous.”

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Murphy declined to comment on the news that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he plans to issue an executive order requiring that travelers from hotspot states give authorities information about where they came from or face fines and a court summons. Travelers arriving in New York from Florida, Texas, Arizona and other states where COVID-19 cases continue to rise will have to fill out a form detailing their contact information, where they came from and where they’re going.

Although Murphy remains reluctant to step up efforts to track travelers, New Jersey’s rate of transmission — a key factor in tracking the virus — remained under the crucial 1.0 level.

Murphy reported there were 231 new cases of COVID-19statewide. Persichilli said there were 20 total coronavirus-related deaths in hospitals statewide Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Murphy and his staff said the state is remaining vigilant against an outbreak that could be sparked by July 4 and graduation parties, protests and people heading down the shore.

Over the weekend, some Long Branch beachgoers were turned away by police because of overcrowding on the town’s beaches.

“We certainly have evidence that indoor parties associated with beach towns and other places have occurred,” Disease Service Medical Director Edward Lifshitz, M.D., said. “We have anecdotal information of the occasional person who says they were at a protest, but that is in no ways an outbreak or suggests anything is going on or even telling us that’s where they’re getting it from.”

While COVID-19 cases in New Jersey continue to run at a fraction of what they were at the virus’ peak, the increased testing has caused a lag in getting back test results. Persichilli said it now takes more than five days to get a test result back in New Jersey, up from the previous three-day average.

Murphy also announced that he is lifting the 50 percent capacity limit on NJ Transit and private carrier buses, trains, light rail and Access Link effective at 8 p.m. on July 15.

As of July 13, there were 22 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Monmouth County, bringing the total to 9,693. There were four new deaths, bringing the total number in the county to 740.

The breakdown of positive COVID-19 cases by municipality is as follows:

  • Aberdeen: 249
  • Allenhurst: 11
  • Allentown: 9
  • Asbury Park: 331
  • Atlantic Highlands: 38
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 15
  • Belmar: 50 (Belmar officials reported on there are seven current cases after recoveries and individuals who live in other municipalities but share the Belmar 07719 zip code were removed from the borough’s total.)
  • Bradley Beach: 64
  • Brielle: 48
  • Colts Neck: 96
  • Deal: 38
  • Eatontown: 326
  • Englishtown: 51
  • Fair Haven: 35
  • Farmingdale: 14
  • Freehold Borough: 436
  • Freehold Township: 725
  • Hazlet: 345
  • Highlands: 38
  • Holmdel: 317
  • Howell: 724
  • Interlaken: 4
  • Keansburg: 209
  • Keyport: 110
  • Lake Como: 18
  • Little Silver: 40
  • Loch Arbour: 1
  • Long Branch: 640
  • Manalapan: 519
  • Manasquan: 38
  • Marlboro: 519
  • Matawan: 219
  • Middletown: 770
  • Millstone Township: 91
  • Monmouth Beach: 24
  • Neptune City: 68
  • Neptune Township: 636
  • Ocean: 379
  • Oceanport: 69
  • Red Bank: 268
  • Roosevelt: 8
  • Rumson: 55
  • Sea Bright: 12
  • Sea Girt: 23
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 63
  • Shrewsbury Township: 12
  • Spring Lake: 26
  • Spring Lake Heights: 34
  • Tinton Falls: 239
  • Union Beach: 46
  • Upper Freehold: 65
  • Wall: 439
  • West Long Branch: 77
  • Unknown: 12

Below is the video from Gov. Murphy's July 13 briefing: 

 

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