- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2020

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced that he was closing state and county parks and extending a public health emergency he had declared on March 9 for another 30 days in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We must not just flatten this curve — we must crush this curve,” Mr. Murphy said.

He said that the 232 new deaths in the state, which bring New Jersey’s total to 1,232, was the “highest toll to date.”

Mr. Murphy also announced 3,361 new positive cases, bringing the state’s total to 44,416 among about 9 million residents.

The cumulative coronavirus cases and coronavirus-related deaths in New Jersey are the second-most of any state in the country behind New York.

“Yesterday, we noted that we’re beginning to see — and I don’t want to overstate this in any way — the very first potential signs that the curve may be finally flattening,” he said. “But we cannot be happy with only reaching a plateau.”

On Monday, Mr. Murphy said the growth rate of new cases was roughly 12%, down from 24% on March 30.

On Tuesday, Mr. Murphy said he has connected with or tried to reach out to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to talk about a regional approach to testing, tracking, and the eventual re-opening of businesses and schools.

But the governor said later that he almost doesn’t like talking publicly about lifting current restrictions because they’re still not close to that point.

“We’re not even close,” Mr. Murphy said. “Until further notice, we’re not close to changing things.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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