With a transmission rate of 1.35, New Jersey is now reporting one of the highest COVID-19 rates of transmission in the country, and as a result, Governor Murphy says "alarms" are going off. 

This means that for every one positive diagnosis, there 1.35 new cases are reported. Simply put: the virus is spreading quickly. The goal is to keep that number below 1.

In fact, this is the highest that number has been in more than three months, and it has officials (including Governor Murphy) very concerned.

Murphy says that the uptick in new cases and the state's high rate of transmission are "setting off alarms," and he has a warning for the state's residents who aren't taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously:

"The only way to silence these alarms is by taking this seriously," Murphy said on Friday. "Wear a mask. Stop hosting house parties. Now."

The state announced a concerning 699 new cases of the coronavirus today, but Murphy notes, however, that New Jersey is still ahead of other states as they battle the virus.

"Even with the increases we’ve seen in the latest case numbers, New Jersey remains among the 10 states nationwide with the lowest number of active cases per capita," he said.

The uptick is being blamed on house parties and a loose attitude about following the guidelines from local officials amongst residents.

"Some of these house parties in New Jersey, where people were breaking the rules of having so many people indoors, you're gonna end up with another wave," Dr. Stavros Christoudias of the New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance told CBS New York. "That's the match waiting to hit the powder keg."

As the state has not entered the third phase of its reopening plan from coronavirus closures, there's no end in sight. And Governor Murphy is putting the Garden State on notice.

"I am not announcing any specific action today, but consider this as being put on-notice. We will not tolerate these devil-may-care, nonchalant attitudes any more," Murphy said on Friday.

READ MORE: How NJ colleges are adapting to COVID-19

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