It’s not clear yet when the region would begin to reopen, and Murphy stressed that the public health crisis first has to be under control before the states begin relaxing stay-at-home and other orders.
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“The house is still on fire. We still have to put the fire out, but we do have to begin putting in the pieces of the puzzle that we know we’re going to need ... to make sure this doesn’t reignite,” Murphy said.
Murphy, a Democrat, announced the regional cooperation effort on a conference call with fellow Democratic Govs. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, John Carney of Delaware, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island.
New Jersey has begun to see signs that social distancing is having a positive effect, but he stressed it’s too early to relax the stay-at-home order he signed on March 21.
New Jersey is a hotspot for the virus. The state has nearly 62,000 cases and 2,350 deaths.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.