New Jersey unveils 6-step reopening plan, stay home order remains in effect

The governor of New Jersey says he believes the state is “several weeks away” from taking the first steps to reopen following the coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced a six-step plan that must will be implemented before government officials consider reopening the state during Monday's press conference.

“The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health” outlines six key principles and benchmarks to guide the process for restoring New Jersey’s economic health by ensuring public health.

Most notably, New Jersey's stay-at-home order remains in place indefinitely while officials implement the plan and study its efficacy. 

New Jersey's six-step plan is as follows: 

1. Following trends of sustained reductions in new COVID-19 cases over at least a 14-day time period.
2. Expanding diagnostic testing capacity for COVID-19 and speeding up the return of test results.
3. Implement robust contact tracing measures in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
4. Ensuring safe spaces for those diagnosed with COVID-19 can isolate safely without risking sickening others. 
5. Restore our economy but with preventative measures in place as COVID-19 cases are likely no matter how structured a reopening.
6. Ensuring our resiliency, which involves creating a task force that will protect all community members in the state. 

"COVID-19 showed no favorites in ravaging our state and neither will we in preparing for the next wave," Gov. Murphy stated.  

In light of the continued pandemic, Gov. Murphy expressed confidence that the state's plan will be effective in reopening the economy in an effective and efficient manner. 

Previously, Gov. Phil Murphy stated that fatalities associated with the virus “continue to be significant each and every day" during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

He said the positive test curve has flattened and hospitalizations, intensive care and ventilator use have started to come down, but “we’re not out of the woods yet.”

The plan is different from reopening plans for other states, like Pennsylvania, where Governor Tom Wolf says they will be opening region-by-region.

Murphy says the reopening process will account for areas that have more cases and more people in general, like Northern New Jersey. There’s still no word on what exactly the plan will look like or when it will start to take shape.

The state total now sits at 111,188 cases and 6,044 deaths.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.