New Jersey providers that struggled with COVID-19 regulations could be facing harsh penalties, according to Gov. Phil Murphy (D). 

New Jersey was one of several states that ordered long-term care facilities to accept COVID-positive patients — a move that was protested by the industry, which feared it could lead to more deaths. New Jersey had 18,645 confirmed resident cases as of late February, according to the latest federal data.

“Our health department, our commissioner, was explicit — black and white — if you readmit a previously COVID-positive resident, they need to be separated into either their own floor, their own wing, their own building, and staff, as well,” Murphy said while speaking on CBS “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

He added that the state implored providers to “come to us and we’ll find another alternative” if they could do that. 

“Did some operators not take our advice? It’s possible, and if they did not, they deserve to pay a price for that,” he added. 

The state also has been transparent with its nursing home data, Murphy assured. 

“We got clobbered in long-term care. America got clobbered. The world got clobbered. But, we have been transparent and explicit from day one,” he said.