By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania has reported its highest single-day number of COVID-19 cases and New Jersey is also reporting spiking numbers, and Gov. Phil Murphy says new restrictions will be coming.

Pennsylvania officials say there are no current plans to reimpose restrictions, but that will be happening in New Jersey, where for the first time in six months, the state had back-to-back days with more than 2,000 new cases.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in New Jersey is now at 7.74% and for nine days in a row, there have been more than 1,000 new cases.

“How close are we to doing something? Close, so bear with us,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday. “We will clearly be taking action, and I hope it will be action that balances all the various challenges and interests that we have.”

Murphy wouldn’t give specifics on potential restrictions or when they’d be imposed, but he said the state’s hot spot teams have been effective in focusing mitigation efforts in neighborhoods where there are outbreaks.

“While we are seeing cases related to activities such as sports or school or daycare or more places,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said, “the majority of our cases are not easily traced back to a single exposure and are likely related to routine gatherings in places such as your homes.”

Coronavirus hospitalizations in New Jersey are also spiking.

In Pennsylvania, there were 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase to date.

The health secretary’s briefing focused on a vaccine, which probably will not be available until next year. Early supplies will be limited so the vaccine will be given in phases.

Based on the framework developed by the CDC, the first doses will go to high-risk essential workers, people with preexisting conditions and long-term care facilities.

“Phase 2 is more of those and more vulnerable populations,” Dr. Rachel Levine said, “and then as we go into Phase 3, the general public will be able to get the vaccine.”

In Philadelphia, the health department reported 400 new cases. The numbers in the city are increasing substantially and it’s also happening in adjacent Montgomery County, where there have been several outbreaks on sports teams.


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Stephanie Stahl