New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday extended the public health emergency declaration stemming from the coronavirus outbreak for another month.
He first signed the declaration in March and renewed it in April. The declaration allows the Democrat to invoke emergency powers, like ordering businesses to close.
Murphy said he decided to extend the declaration because it automatically expires after 30 days and the underlying conditions making it necessary haven’t changed.
He also announced about 1,500 new positive cases putting the total at about 132,000 along with 308 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 8,549.
Despite the climbing death toll and increase in positive cases, Murphy said the number of people in hospitals with the virus continued to decline, as did the number of patients on ventilators.