Despite new testing options from Rutgers, Gov. Murphy says New Jersey reopening is "weeks away"

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- As New Jersey's total number of COVID-19 cases hovers just below the 100,000 mark, an epidemiologist from Rutgers University spoke about two new FDA-approved testing methods during Thursday's state briefing in Trenton.

Dr. Brian Strom, Chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, joined state officials to detail the two new methods: a nasal swab test that can produce results in 40 minutes that's currently being used in some N.J. hospitals, and a saliva test that can yield results in 1-2 days.

EMBED More News Videos

Gov. Phil Murphy announces NJ COVID-19 cases approaches 100,000


Strom says the saliva-based system can process about 10,000 tests a day, and he hopes to double that number soon.

"This approach, collecting samples by saliva decreases exposure to healthcare professionals, increases collection throughput- how quickly you can collect the specimens - quadrupling it. Decreases the use of PPE's, a lot of people have heard about the shortages," said Strom.

Small businesses struggling to survive as they wait for COVID-19 funding

Gov. Phil Murphy said they are starting to use it at state-run facilities.

"Next week we will begin testing all residents and staff at each of our five-state developmental centers. This is a total of more than 5,500 tests," Murphy said.

Governor Murphy has said widespread testing is needed before the state's economy can re-open, and he says despite these developments it's not time yet.

"We're not in a position yet to reopen our state and jump-starting our economy. I still think that's weeks away," said Murphy.

As other states begin to layout reopening plans, Action News asked people what they would like to see in New Jersey.

Share your coronavirus story with Action News
"I mean business is important but I think we should be aware of the safety of the people first," said John Adams, who says his cousin died after contracting COVID-19.

"It's going to have to happen over time I mean everything can't stay closed forever and it's just gradually phasing everything in I guess," said Michael Hollander of Hamilton Township, N.J.

Sylvia Garry of Allentown, N.J. is more anxious to see things open back up, with precautions.

"Maybe they have some restrictions where you have to wear a mask in a park or to go to the ocean you have to be six feet away from each other. But we got to get things going," she said.

Murphy said he plans to outline reopening benchmarks for the state as soon as Monday.

MORE COVID-19 COVERAGE

Mixed reaction over COVID-19 mask mandate in Pennsylvania
5-year-old daughter of first responders dies from COVID-19 complications
Small businesses struggling to survive as they wait for COVID-19 funding

Pet owners note behavioral changes in their cats and dogs during the coronavirus pandemic

Small businesses sound off after Governor Wolf extends stay at home order to May 8

Grocery store workers push to close supermarkets to customers claiming 'atrocious' behavior by shoppers

MORE RESOURCES

Keeping Reusable Shopping Bags Sanitized and Germ-Free during COVID-19 Outbreak

How to get groceries, supplies, takeout, online workouts and home projects while quarantine
Things for everyone to do to pass the time at home

Great homeschooling and educational resources for parents and students

Free 6abc printable activities for kids to do at home

Work from home: Here are some companies hiring remote workers

CONNECT WITH US

Share your coronavirus story with Action News

Complete coronavirus coverage from Action News
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.