Gov. Phil Murphy said we’ll need to double the number of COVID-19 tests we’re doing every day in New Jersey in order to begin to re-open the economy.

Murphy said the experts tell him that would be the bare minimum we would need to get a sense of coronavirus trends and hotspots that may develop. If he had his way, all Garden State residents, whether they felt sick or perfectly normal, would find out if they had or have had COVID-19.

“With a strong federal partnership, I’d like to test everybody on a regular basis in the entire state," he said Tuesday.

He said to start the re-opening process, we will need a minimum of 20,000 tests a day in order to identify and isolate sick people.

“We are reassessing the entirety of the testing regime right now. You’re going to have to test not just symptomatic — you’re going to have to have some statistically significant broader testing of the population.”

State epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan said when talking about how many tests we’ll need to start to re-open the economy, “it’s kind of hard to say that there’s a magic number for the number of tests. We have to look at testing in terms of what tests are available.”

“This is continually a work in progress we are discussing and examining.”

Murphy noted that New Jersey is the fourth most-tested state but "it’s not remotely where we think it needs to be for folks to feel comfortable and confidant to get back to some semblance of normalcy.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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