photo of man fishing

Charter Boats, Watercraft Rentals Allowed to Resume in New Jersey

The economy of New Jersey continues to reopen as Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order allowing the resumption of water-related commerce shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting May 17, fishing charters and other chartered-boat services are permitted to resume operations but must maintain a log for contact tracing purposes.

Additionally, watercraft rentals are permitted the same day. Both businesses will be required to adopt social distancing and sanitation measures as well as accept online or telephone payment to lessen human contact.

Safe Summer

“Even with social distancing, we’re confident everyone can have a safe and memorable summer,” Murphy said.

The governor disclosed he will discuss the current state of the stay-at-home order in the following days after being questioned about confusion of opening beaches while the order remains in place. 

“We are taking gradual steps, slowly,” said Murphy. ”The decisions we are making are data driven.” 

Daily Data

“Every metric has shown us we can move forward,” the first term Democratic governor noted.

As for those metrics, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 145,089 with 1,239 new cases and 115 new deaths, bringing that total to 10,249 as of May 16. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,522, followed by Bergen with 1,450, Hudson at 1,045, Passaic at 831, Morris at 561, Sussex at 137 and Warren with 118.

State Testing

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 12 has been in steady decline and currently rests at 22%. By region, the north and central tier are recording a 21% spot rate, while the south coming in at 27%

Officials reported 3,564 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 182 new hospitalizations—while 380 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,789 patients hospitalized, the central 1,095 and the south 690.

Officials broke down by tier the daily discharge and new hospitalizations. For May 16, the north reported 102 new hospitalizations and 183 discharges, the central 51 hospitalizations and 102 hospitalizations, and the south 29 hospitalizations and 95 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized,1,061 are in intensive care units and 846 on ventilators. There are currently 45 patients in field hospitals, with 449 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 17,326, followed by Bergen at 17,246, Essex at 16,032, Passaic at 15,031, Union at 14,569, Middlesex at 14,514, Ocean at 7,878, Monmouth at 7,297, Morris at 6,012, Mercer at 5,719, Camden at 5,381, Somerset at 4,212, Burlington at 3,875, Gloucester at 1,811, Atlantic at 1,716, Cumberland at 1,592, Warren at 1,077, Sussex at 1,053, Hunterdon at 795, Cape May at 500 and Salem at 457.

Another 996 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

The amount of days it takes for a county to double its cases in all 21 counties continue to trend up, although cases in the south are doubling at a faster pace than the rest of the state, according to Murphy. In North Jersey, it has taken more than 30 days to double in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Esex, Sussex, Passaic, Warren and Morris counties.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 54% White, 19% Black, 19% Hispanic, 6% Asian and 3% another race. For 40,309 hospitalizations that were tracked, the breakdown was 36% White, 20% Black, 18% Hispanic, 5% Asian and 11% another race. 

Murphy has noted the rates in the black and Hispanic communities are running about 50% more than their population in the state and vowed that any plan to reopen the state will work to reduce racial inequities in healthcare. The governor recently signed legislation mandating hospitals report age, gender, ethnicity and race of people who have tested COVID-19 positive or died from the virus.

In regards to the underlying disease of those who have passed, 59% had cardiovascular disease, 43% diabetes, 32% other chronic diseases, 17% neurological conditions, 15% chronic renal disease, 10% cancer and 14% other. Persichilli has stated most cases have multiple underlying conditions which would push the percentage of 100%.

A census of ages for 7,223 confirmed deaths shows 43% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 35% in the range of 65-80, 15% between 50-65 and 5% under the age of 49. 

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 528 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 27,825 of the cases and 5,322 of the total deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown, Bergen’s 63 facilities had 4,122 residents test positive with 865 total deaths, Essex’s 46 facilities had 2,622 residents test positive with 531 total deaths, Morris’s 41 facilities had 1,671 residents test positive with 422 total deaths, Passaic’s 25 facilities had 1,533 residents test positive with 314 total deaths, Hudson’s 15 facilities had 1,062 residents test positive with 165 total deaths, Warren’s seven facilities had 393 residents test positive with 98 total deaths and Sussex’s five facilities had 356 residents test positive with 103 total deaths.

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