BERKELEY TOWNSHIP,  NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy called upon the federal government to mandate face coverings at the spread of COVID-19 surge across the United States' Sunbelt.

Murphy said New Jersey is seeing a small spike in cases due to travelers coming into the Garden State from Florida and South Carolina during a Sunday morning interview on "Meet the Press."

“This thing is lethal. New Jersey’s paid an enormous price,” Murphy said. “We went through hell. We cannot go through hell again. We need a national strategy right now and masking has to be at the core of that.”

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Murphy is spending the holiday weekend at the Shore. He reported 303 new COVID-19 cases and 25 new deaths in New Jersey via Twitter on Saturday. 

New Jersey is in Phase 2 of its road to reopening. In recent weeks,  Murphy has removed social distancing measures to allow for limited outdoor dining and in-store shopping.  His cabinet laid the groundwork for schools to reopen in September. 

However, the Governor did backtrack on a plan to resume limited indoor dining.

Florida, South Carolina and Arkansas are among the 16 states on a quarantine-on-arrival order for travelers that Murphy set up last week.