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Concerns rise along with positivity rate in NJ

Posted at 6:53 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 18:53:41-04

HOBOKEN, N.J. — COVID-19 cases in New Jersey continue to rise, and as the temperature dips and people move indoors, the state is worried things will only get worse.

"As the weather turns colder, I am not sure the heating lamps will be enough for people to want to continue to be outside," Hoboken resident Devina Shah said.

She said she tries to socialize outdoors, but has seen more people start to gather inside. And eventually, the masks come off.

It's those indoor gatherings, small or large, that have New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy worried.

"At this point it's up to all of us, right? Personal responsibility, battle through that fatigue. The cold weather is not our ally here, unfortunately. It's driving more activity indoors," he said.

According to Murphy, the overnight COVID-19 numbers in the Garden State are an additional 1,192 cases. Over the summer, there were just a few hundred cases a day. The latest daily positivity rate is 3.36%.

"It is understandable that residents want life to go back to normal. But as we approach a holiday season, now is the time to double down on social distancing, wearing face coverings and good hand hygiene," New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.

Devina Shah said her large annual Thanksgiving gathering may not happen this year.

"We don't want anything happening to the elders, the parents, grandparents," she said.

As coronavirus cases rise, both New Jersey and New York's governors said stopping interstate travel is impossible. It's disruptive to the economy and hard to enforce.

"For all practical matters, you can't do border control with New Jersey and Connecticut, " New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Murphy said, aside from commuting to work, "My advice is not to travel, frankly."