The overarching principle that Gov Murphy said will drive this reopening plan is a mantra he's been reciting for days: public health creates economic health.
While Murphy laid out some specific benchmarks for New Jersey's reopening, he said it will be weeks before restrictions will be lifted.
"If we let up even one bit with our aggressive social distancing measures too soon, even one day too soon - we could easily see ourselves skidding off this road," said Murphy.
That "road" Murphy is referring to is "The Road Back" - consisting of six principles that will guide New Jersey's reopening:
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Principal 1: Sustained reductions in new cases and hospitalizations, looking for a 14 day trend in the downward direction.
Principal 2: expanded testing capacity, with at least double the amount of testing New Jersey has currently, with priority given to health care workers, essential personnel and vulnerable populations.
Principal 3: robust contact tracing, calling for an army of personnel to find and follow up with contacts of positive patients, and a coordinated approach with local health departments.
Principal 4: safe, secure and free places for isolation and quarantine for those who test positive. State health officials have said one possibility for this is the field medical station at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Murphy says once those first four principals are met, principals 5 and 6 can begin:
Prinicple 5: executing a robust economic restart, creating the Governors Restart and Recovery Commission, with social distancing measures still in place.
And finally, Principle 6: ensuring New Jersey's resiliency, preparing for a possible resurgence of COVID-19 and building up a stockpile of supplies.
Reporters pressing @GovMurphy on a possible reopening date - he says its “a number of weeks,” rather than a number of months. A decision on schools will be made by May 15, as previously stated. “I don’t want to over promise and under deliver.”— Trish Hartman (@TrishHartman) April 27, 2020
The people we spoke with are in favor of a slow approach to reopening the state.
"Yeah I am actually. I have kids, grandkids. So alive is better," said Colleen Case, a grocery store worker from Lambertville, N.J.
"As bad as everything is, there's no reason to really rush it. Try to take every precaution. You can this way you do it once, you do it right. See how things go," said Mike Naticchia of Ewing, N.J.
Murphy said it's too early to say whether he would take a regional approach to reopening New Jersey, but he did say he's leaning towards taking a state-wide approach.
When things do start to reopen, he says social distancing and mask wearing will likely still be in effect.
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