New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday he will soon unveil a plan that will lay out what he called a "broad blueprint" for reopening the state's economy.
On Tuesday, he told a briefing that while hospitalizations had largely leveled off, it would be at least several more weeks before the state could relax social-distancing measures and open up businesses and schools.
Murphy said at the briefing New Jersey also needed to roughly double the number of people it was testing on a daily basis, and that it needed to boost its ability to trace contacts of people who test positive and to isolate them to prevent further spread.
“I’m not marrying myself to 15,000 or 20,000 either. That’s a bare minimum,” Murphy said of the target number of tests per day, adding that he expected a 24-hour turnaround on results. Currently, a COVID-19 test takes between 5 to 7 days.
However, testing in the country has been held back in part by a lack of trained professionals to perform the tests and a shortage of personal protective gear to ensure the safety of the employees collecting samples.
Vice President Mike Pence told "Fox News Sunday" that the current rate of 150,000 tests per day nationwide can be increased to 300,000 per day by "working with governors to activate all of the laboratories in their states around the country that can do coronavirus testing."
"We’re punching above our weight and working with all partners–including our state’s flagship university @RutgersU [Rutgers University]. But the federal government must step up in a big way here," Murphy wrote.