By CBS3 Staff


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday that President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration for the state. There was also a drastic spike in the number of positive coronavirus cases Thursday — almost 2,500 new cases in the Garden State.

Murphy joined Eyewitness News to talk about the pandemic in the state.

Q: Explain how New Jersey benefits from the major disaster declaration.

A: “It’s a big deal for us … When you get the declaration, you get a lot more resources, frankly, putting it simply, and we need them. We’re one of the hot spot states in the country right now — we’re number two only behind New York. We need all the help we can get.”

Q: How is the state handling testing for coronavirus? What do you like about it and what needs to improve?

A: “We’ve opened up the testing regime all around the state, as aggressive as any state and folks are getting to it. But to say there’s pent up demand would be an understatement. We want folks only with symptoms to be going to those testing sites.

“The key for us will be, at a certain point, there’s a limited amount of raw material to do those tests, limited amount of personal protective equipment for our health care workers and frankly, a limited amount of health care workers. We’re gonna have to balance pretty quickly between how much resources we throw at testing vs. care for those who are sick. And that fork in the road, I’m sure, is upon us in the next couple of weeks.”

Q: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has asked any residents who have traveled from New York City to self-quarantine for 14 days because of the cluster there. What are you recommending, given there is so much crossover in North Jersey to New York?

A: “We’re screaming at people ‘stay home,’ and that’s what we’re gonna continue to do up and down the state.”

Watch the full video for more.