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Gov. Murphy: Targeted Shutdowns 'On The Table' In Some Troubling New Jersey COVID-19 Hot Spots

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- There is talk of possible new coronavirus shutdowns in parts of New Jersey.

As CBS2's Nick Caloway reported, there are growing concerns about COVID-19 clusters.

After flattening the curve for months, the Garden State is seeing the highest number of cases since the spring.

On Saturday, the state reported 957 new positive cases. That was the most since the end of May. It was driven, in part, by two hot-spot counties.

"We continue to keep our eye on key counties and localities where there are current outbreaks and elevated numbers. We remain concerned with Ocean and Monmouth counties, in particular," Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.


In Ocean, the town of Lakewood is especially concerning. The positivity rate sits at 19.51%. That's compared to 2.62% statewide.

Murphy said targeted shutdowns could be necessary in some communities, similar to the actions planned for New York City.

"We reserve the right to take similar steps as Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio are taking," Murphy said.

Murphy compared any potential restrictions to using a scalpel, instead of a blunt instrument. He is leaning toward local shutdowns, instead of state-wide.

"If you look at the reports by county, a blunt, state-wide instrument looks less required at the moment, as opposed to a scalpel, whatever it is: a school district, a set of nonessential businesses, etc. So those options remain on the table," Murphy said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

While cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, it's still not clear if this is the beginning of a second wave.

The state has been stockpiling personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, preparing for if and when that expected second wave does come.

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