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Gov. Murphy Issues Stern Warning After New Jersey Reports 7-Month-Old Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Death

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) -- A warning in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy says the coronavirus continues to spread too quickly and too widely across the Garden State.

New Jersey is reporting a total of nearly 14,000 COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. More were added to the total today on Wednesday, including an infant.

The state reported eight new COVID-19 deaths over the past five days, including its youngest case.

"Sadly, today, we are reporting the death of a 7-month-old baby who after death tested positive for COVID-19," New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Judy Persichilli said. "However, we do not know the primary cause of this death at this point in time."

No more details were given about the infant's death.

While state officials announced 378 new coronavirus cases and strides being made to lower the daily totals, there are still concerns about the transmission rate throughout the Garden State.

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"The statewide rate of transmission continues to come down, a little bit slightly but down nonetheless," Murphy said. "Today is 1.32. This is still way too high as it's over one and it means that this virus continues to spread too quickly and too widely across our state."

Murphy touts robust testing throughout New Jersey and now the addition of a statewide media campaign to promote testing and to get the word out about contact tracing in some of the most vulnerable areas.

"This week we launched a COVID-19 testing and contact tracing public awareness campaign," Persichilli said. "The campaign focuses on driving people to get tested as well as emphasizes the importance of contact tracing."

Ads will be multi-lingual and also shared on social media throughout the summer and they will target younger people under the age of 30 who health officials say have been fueling recent spikes in cases due to indoor house parties and gatherings.

"We're OK if you want to gather but do it outside and do it with one of these [face masks], do it at a safe distance but please cut the inside stuff out," Murphy said.

Murphy says they are starting to get more advanced notice on house parties and unauthorized gatherings throughout the state, but he admits it's still hard to enforce his new ban on gatherings when they're happening at private homes.

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