NEW JERSEY -- Gov. Phil Murphy says that he has not ruled out a statewide shutdown because of the continuously increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases.

"It has to stay on the table... and you'd hate like heck to have to consider that," Murphy said during an interview on Fox News Sunday.

He also continued to make the case for more federal money for New Jersey.

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"What would really make a difference here: a big federal stimulus, sooner rather than later, with a lifeline to small businesses, restaurants, folks who are on unemployment," Murphy said. "That would be a game-changer."

The governor said that he frequently speaks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer about getting additional federal stimulus money for the state.

"History won't penalize us for overshooting here," he said. "Let's make a big statement right now."

Meanwhile, the state's latest COVID-19 numbers are sobering. On Sunday, Murphy reported 3,851 new positive cases, bringing the state's cumulative total to 334,114. He also reported 13 new confirmed deaths, which raises the state's total to 15,149 lives lost.

So why are numbers going up in a state where mask-wearing has been promoted since the earliest days of the pandemic?

"Folks let their hair down," Murphy told Fox News Sunday. "We did the unthinkable. We crushed a curve that was overwhelming. Keep your guard up."

Murphy said he is particularly concerned about "intergenerational spread from an asymptomatic young person to grandma and grandpa. That's our biggest concern."

 

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