Gov. Phil Murphy's birth state is restricting travelers and visitors from New Jersey as the Garden State's coronavirus cases inch upward.

Massachusetts on Saturday removed New Jersey, Colorado and New Mexico from their list of what they consider low-risk states. Only five other New England states except Rhode Island now make the cut for Massachusetts, which wants states to maintain a seven-day average of less than six new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 as well as a positive test rate better than 5%.

New Jersey failed by having an average of seven cases per 100,000.

Massachusetts fares better on New Jersey's metrics, which as of this week places travel restrictions on 34 states and U.S. territories. New Jersey wants states to have no more than 10 cases per 100,000 or a better positivity rate than 10% over a seven-day period.

In both states, travelers from restricted areas have to quarantine for 14 days or until they get back a negative COVID-19 test result.

New Jersey's travel quarantine is voluntary but state officials urge compliance.

There are several loopholes in New Jersey's travel advisories, exempting essential workers, truckers, people traveling for business, people stopped on a layover and people who spent less than 24 hours traveling through one of the restricted states.

Gov. Phil Murphy has said that that exemption applies to President Donald Trump, who on Friday had to be hospitalized after he and a slew of people connected to the White House came down with the coronavirus.

Former Gov. Chris Christie, who was in the White House during a mask-less debate preparation session said he got a negative test result Tuesday but then a second test result came back positive on Saturday.

"I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition," Christie said on Twitter.

On Friday, the state reported the following statistics:

— 796 new cases, for a total of 206,629 since the start of the pandemic.

— 4 more deaths, for a total of 14,344 lost lives.

— A positivity rate of 2.47% among people who received test results on Sept. 28.

— A transmission rate of 1.19. Health officials want that number to track closer to 1.0, which would mean that the virus is not spreading so quickly.

— Hospitals reported 528 COVID-19 patients, with 94 in intensive care and 36 on ventilators — a massive drop from the 8,000 patients who were in hospitals in the state on one day in mid April.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-775-9793 or email

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