Slowly. Carefully. Step-by-step.
That's how New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he plans on reopening the state.
With Memorial Day on the horizon, the governor said he plans on announcing those steps along with "hard dates" later this week.
"We can make a strong case that no state is as impacted as ours," Murphy said.
"There are still thousands in our hospitals. For new cases per 100,000, we lead the nation.
New Jersey will take a statewide approach to reopening -- as opposed to a regional one alongside New York, Connecticut or Pennsylvania.
"For patients in hospitals per 100,000, we lead the nation. For new deaths, we lead the nation."
However, the numbers are trending in the right direction.
The number of new hospitalizations has decreased by 70 percent since New Jersey's coronavirus peak. On April 4, there were 6,750 hospital patients reported compared to 4,195 May 11.
New COVID-19 cases in New Jersey dropped 60 percent and deaths decreased by more than 25 percent since the peak, graphs show.
Coronavirus testing capacity will be increased to 20,000 a day -- a number New Jersey is on track to reach by the end of the month. At least 1,000 contact tracers will also be hired before the state can begin lifting restrictions.
Opening too quickly, however, could cost New Jersey even more lives, the governor said.
"We are obsessed with the order of events,” Murphy said Tuesday. “There’s an enormous health benefit to staying the course."
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