The New Jersey Department of Health and the Office of Innovation created the predictive models to help officials visualize how the coronavirus pandemic may play out over the coming months.
"It is the numbers in our hospitals which are of the greatest concern and the hardest numbers, if you will, when it comes to determining the steps we need to take as a state," Murphy said.
The two models show the potential for around 8,700 patients requiring hospital care by mid-January or early February.
That would be hundreds of patients more than the state saw on April 14, when 8,270 people were being treated for COVID-19 in New Jersey hospitals.
Murphy showed the models at his briefing to encourage residents to continue to take precautions.
While moderate models also developed by the two agencies show hospitalizations falling short of the mid-April peak, if the state starts trending towards the worst-case models, Murphy said he could impose more restrictions.
"As we've said, protecting the ability of our health care system to treat the ill is our paramount concern. And if the numbers begin to roll in where that ability is put into question, as is the case in these models, we will have no choice but to act," Murphy said.
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