By Alecia Reid

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — As coronavirus cases rise locally, leaders are sounding the alarms, especially when it comes to social distancing and wearing face masks. There has been an increase in cases in New Jersey, and Gov. Phil Murphy says there may have to be stronger enforcement if people don’t follow mandates.

A big one is face masks. A lot of people are doing the right thing and wearing facial coverings, but there are people that are not social distancing and refusing to cover their faces — particularly those gatherings in poorly ventilated areas, which can be a breeding ground for COVID-19 transmission.

Burlington County Director of Health Dr. Herb Conaway says the county is an emerging hotspot for COVID-19 infections.

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Conaway’s urging people to be vigilant about wearing masks and social distancing, especially with schools reopening in a few short weeks.

Murphy has signed an executive order extending the public health emergency in the state. He says New Jersey still needs access to all available resources as it pushes to stop a COVID-19 resurgence.

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Some residents who spoke with Eyewitness News on Saturday say they also have to worry about people traveling to high-risk states.

“People traveling out of the state and the coming back and potentially picking something up because other people aren’t being as careful,” Darlene Blevins, of Collingswood, said. “I mean, as a whole when I take a look around, I really see New Jersey residents being mindful of it. Most people wearing masks as opposed to other places. I actually just came from Florida, a lot of people were not wearing masks all around.”

Murphy says without COVID-19 compliance he may be forced to implement additional restrictions, but for now, he’s watching the numbers, especially from this weekend.

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