New Jersey’s governor is calling on his fellow lawmakers to step up efforts to combat the Zika infection.
Chris Christie’s office said Tuesday that he has directed the Office of the Attorney General to look into the possibility of an outside agency purchasing and testing equipment needed to fight Zika in New Jersey.
Christie has called for the state to hire at least 30 state and local officials to help test people infected with Zika in their homes.
Christie’s comments come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 2,000 people have tested positive for the Zika-linked virus in New York.
Christie on Tuesday also ordered the State Police to hire a new detective to help track down the infected, and the agency to increase surveillance of the state’s largest hospital.
He said the agency’s current team of six is not sufficient to track and protect New Jerseyans.
“We need a strong and reliable team of police officers and detectives who will do this job of protecting our citizens,” Christie said Tuesday.
“They must have the resources and the experience to do this.”
New Jersey has seen its Zika cases increase rapidly in recent weeks.
On Monday, the state recorded the highest number of new Zika cases recorded since the outbreak began in late March.
Officials have reported over 100 deaths from the virus.
New Jersey is among many states that have reported an increase in the number of infections linked to the virus, as states with populations over 100,000 report a surge in cases.
But officials in some states have said the trend is likely to continue and it is possible for New Jersey to have its Zika-infected residents return to their communities.
On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is asking lawmakers to work together to increase testing and surveillance in the state.
Governor Christie said his office has been working with the Office for Justice and Victims of Crime to ensure that New Jerseyers are tested for Zika, and that the state has been able to increase the number and quality of testing in New Brunswick and Camden.
Christie said he was concerned about an outside organization buying and testing testing equipment to fight an outbreak of Zika.
“In addition to testing and providing the state with the tools to help protect our people, we need to ensure the resources that are necessary are there to help the state be prepared to combat this epidemic,” Christie told lawmakers.
Christie says state is ready to use outside organization to fight epidemic https://www.cbsn.com/news/local/nj-governor-christie-says-state-is-ready-to-use-outside-organization-to.html Governor Christie says he’s urging state to use private firm to help fight Zika https://t.co/fYxhQl7wgZ — FOX News (@FoxNews) March 6, 2019