By CBS3 Staff

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — Gov. Phil Murphy has once again signed an executive order to extend New Jersey’s public health emergency, citing a steep increase in coronavirus cases in recent days. The extension was announced Saturday as the state reported 1,994 new positive cases, bringing the overall total to 227,339.

“Today’s new COVID-19 case count marks our highest daily figure since May,” Murphy said. “As we face a steep increase in cases, it could not be more important to ensure we have access to all available resources. Keeping New Jerseyans safe is our highest priority, today and every day. We are again extending the Public Health Emergency in order to do exactly that.”

On Friday, 874 people were hospitalized, the highest daily number since mid-July.

Overall, more than 16,000 people have died of the virus in New Jersey.

Public health emergencies expire every 30 days unless renewed. The first executive order declaring an emergency in the state was signed on March 9.

The latest extension will not reverse any of the gradual reopening steps the state has taken.

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

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