Murphy said Friday that New Jersey is “many weeks away from the peak” of the outbreak. The goal, he said, is to cut down on cases as much as possible through social distancing and make sure the state’s health care system isn’t overloaded.
On Thursday night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order requiring people in the state to remain in their homes, except for walks and exercise and for essential needs, like food and medical care. They can still order delivery from restaurants.
On Friday morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was putting his state “on pause,” with only essential businesses staying open and essential workers allowed to commute to their jobs.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered the closure of all but “life-sustaining” businesses.
Dr. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, told NJ Advance Media on Friday that New Jersey has reached the point where a similar stay-at-home order is needed.
“The bottom line is: We’re in a situation where we live in an epicenter,” Halkitis said. “New York, New Jersey, Connecticut are so concentrated, we have to do everything in our power to ameliorate contact as much as possible.
“For the most part, people are heeding advice,” he added. “We may have to be more direct.”
Murphy held his press briefing from Bergen Community College in Paramus, where the state’s first government-run testing site opened Friday morning. Thousands of people lined up in cars, and officials started turning away people just after noon.
A similar testing site, at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, is set to open Monday.