'Take this seriously': NJ reports 4,679 new COVID cases, 2,552 hospitalizations

TRENTON (WCBS 880) -- New Jersey reported more than 4,600 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as Gov. Phil Murphy urged residents to “take this seriously” as Thanksgiving approaches.

The state recorded 4,679 more cases, an increase from Friday’s 3,635 and Thursday’s 4,320. The state has now confirmed 302,039 cases since the pandemic began.

The largest number of new cases, 536, were reported in Essex County. Camden County had 435 cases and Bergen County had 427.

There were also 34 more deaths in the state, bringing the death toll to 14,934, not including 1,812 probable deaths.

Hospitalizations were at 2,552 patients, up from 2,505 on Friday. There were 486 patients in intensive care and 232 on ventilators.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Murphy tweeted. “Please take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance. Avoid large gatherings.”

Earlier this week, the governor implored people to avoid Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings outside their immediate family “bubble.”

“We have to get into a different mindset for the next six weeks, and put our health and the health of our loved ones before our want to party,” Murphy said.

Two weeks ago, Murphy halted indoor dining between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and last week he lowered the limit on indoor gatherings from 25 people to 10.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said Thursday that he’ll ask residents of the state's largest city to stay home for 10 days starting next week, right before Thanksgiving, in response to a rising number of cases.

Mayor Ras Baraka said in a radio interview that beginning next Wednesday, city residents should shelter in place and only go outside if absolutely necessary.

“We are going to lock the city down. We want people to shelter in place for 10 days. Don’t go outside if you don’t have to. Don’t mingle with other people if you don’t have to,” Baraka said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.