By CBS3 Staff

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — The July 4th weekend is amplifying concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. On Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy took to the national stage, pleading for people and leaders to take the virus seriously.

“Listen, this thing is lethal. New Jersey has paid an enormous price. We’ve lost over 13,000 confirmed fatalities from COVID-19,” Murphy said on NBC’s “Meet the Press. “We’re starting to see slow spikes of reinfection from folks coming back from places like Myrtle Beach as well as in Florida, other hotspots. To me, it says that we need a national strategy. We’re only as strong as our weakest link.”

Gov. Phil Murphy said that the “most recent and most prevalent” example was a wedding in Myrtle Beach from which New Jersey residents returned with the virus, but “we’ve got other cases that we’re running down.”

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The governor said he believes a national strategy is needed to handle the virus, and mask wearing has to be at the core of it. He said “if you’re leaving your house, put on a mask. I think it ought to be … a national requirement.”

New Jersey reported another 23 deaths associated with the coronavirus Sunday, bringing the statewide total of confirmed and probable deaths to 15,211 — 13,355 confirmed by lab tests and 1,856 considered probable.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)