HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says that a second wave of the coronavirus is not off in the future, it's happening.
The second wave "is coming and it is coming in now," Gov Murphy said. "The second wave of the coronavirus is no longer something off in the future"
1,477 new cases is the 12th straight day of more than 1,000 new positive tests. 1,072 patients in state hospitals is the first time in nearly four months that hospitalizations surpassed 1,000 patients.
Because of that, Murphy said "we are in a holding pattern" on expanding indoor dining past 25%
"It gives me no joy on behalf or restaurants business, but it also means we havent seen Joe's Bar and Grill with an outbreak of 23 cases, which you are seeing in other states."
But Murphy reiterated there is no evidence of increased transmissions inside restaurants.
The governor said many cases are linked to small gatherings in private homes.
"Get back to the level of vigilance you showed six months ago so we can beat back this second wave," he said.
Essex County, with 241 cases, remains the biggest concern. Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Passaic, and Union counties also each recorded more than 100 additional cases.
The state reported eight additional coronavirus deaths, bringing the statewide total of confirmed deaths to 14,539.
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Meantime, Governor Murphy said that 350 contact tracers are undergoing advanced training and coaching and 100 new contact tracers will be deployed by November 4.
An additional class of contact tracers is to begin training on November 2, and within two weeks, a total of 2,100 contact tracers will be working throughout New Jersey.
The state is recording 33,000 tests per day and has conducted more than 4.5 million tests to date.
An additional 2.6 million of Abbott Labs BinaxNOW antigen rapid tests are also available.
Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order providing mandatory health and safety standards to help protect all New Jersey workers during the pandemic. The governor said, "We took this step because the federal government hasn't." Details on the order are available at: http://covid19.nj.gov/safe
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