HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There’s concern in New Jersey as the coronavirus surge across the country continues to slow reopenings with the U.S. setting another record with more than 59,000 new cases Wednesday.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, most but not all residents and visitors are adhering to the new mask mandate implemented as coronavirus cases increase, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports.

“In particular in our younger community, we’re seeing the average age of our positive tests are dropping as more younger people seem to be getting ill,” Dr. Edward Lifshitz, the New Jersey Department of Health medical director, said.

Lifshitz attributes the rise, especially among those under 40 years old, to what he calls COVID fatigue.

“I just want everything to get back to normal,” one woman said.

“People want to get out, move around,” one man said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Across the country, there’s a more dire situation as nearly three dozen states see an alarming surge in cases.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that states need to pause their reopening processes.

“Looking at what did not work well and try to mitigate that. I don’t think we need to go back to an extreme of shutting down,” he said.

In Florida, cases have more than doubled in just two weeks, and in Arizona, fewer than 150 ICU beds are available.

In Michigan, the governor issued a stern reminder to wear a mask as cases there have increased there for the past three weeks.

“And we are reviewing that requirement and considering whether or not we need to take this a step further to strengthen compliance because we cannot let our guard down,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

Because the pandemic is far from over, health officials stress social distancing and wearing masks are the best defense.

“If they want to take risks, risk their own lives. If they want to go out rock climbing or skydiving or any of these sorts of things, I’m all for that personal freedom. But really, to me, this isn’t like that. This is more akin to going drunken driving,” Lifshitz said.

Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it’s about saving lives.

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