By Cleve Bryan

TRENTON (CBS) — Gov. Phil Murphy says he is willing to give restart dates by the end of the week due to the downward trend of COVID-19 cases. The decision comes after an additional 1,453 coronavirus cases were announced Monday, bringing the statewide total to 139,945.

“If we start on the road back too quickly, we know we’ll have to remember many more than we need to,” Murphy said.

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Steadfast as always in his message that a health recovery comes before an economic recovery, Gov. Murphy gave the first indication he’s ready to announce dates for reopening businesses and activities in the state.

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Test results and decreasing hospital counts show a steady, several week decline of the spread of COVID-19.

“We are getting data that is making us more comfortable and confident that we will soon have some hard dates as to when we can truly begin our road back through restart and recovery,” Murphy said.

Murphy says he’ll have more on the reopening dates toward the end of the week. He also promised to provide details Tuesday about expanding testing and contact tracing for COVID-19.

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Wildwood Mayor Pete Bryon says things went well this past weekend as the town reopened its beach and boardwalk. The weather wasn’t great so the crowds were not large, but as Memorial Day approaches, he believes his town and others down the shore can handle visits from those who miss the beach.

“I think every town has its own personality and has its own size. We have a huge boardwalk, a huge beach, which is kind of unique. I think everybody just has to do a personal reflection on what’s best for their town,” Byron said.

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Byron says, in addition to announcements over the public address system, Wildwood plans to have boardwalk ambassadors to remind people to practice social distancing.