Murphy: Promising Trends Mean Reopen Dates Could Come Soon

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -
Governor Phil Murphy holds his coronavirus briefing in the George Washington Ballroom in the Trenton War Memorial on Monday, May 8, 2020. (Pool photo by Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

New Jersey’s coronavirus data is promising, and Gov. Phil Murphy might give specific dates soon on when the state could begin reopening, he said Monday.

The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 is about 26% of those being tested, down from a high near 50% last month, Murphy said. Hospitalizations from the virus are also down, as are the number of people in intensive care and on ventilators, Murphy said.

“We are getting data that is making us more comfortable and confident that we will soon have some hard dates as to when we can truly begin our road back to restart and recovery,” Murphy said.

A timeline could come this week, the governor said.

He also reported Monday the number of positive cases climbed by about 1,500, since Sunday with 140,000 total statewide. The state reported 59 deaths since Sunday, with the death toll climbing to 9,310.

A look at other developments:

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‘WAVE PARTY’ CLARIFICATION

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said he was clarifying guidance that may have suggested residents were barred from wave parties, which aren’t actual gatherings, but rather people driving by in a car to wave at whoever is being celebrated.

Such drive-by events are OK, he said. What’s not allowed under the governor’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order are gatherings at a particular location, like a school.