The state’s continued its expansion of reopening private outdoor facilities closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Businesses allowed to open include batting cages, golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs and community gardens. The order will go into effect May 22.
Additionally, the state will allow golfers to tee-off in foursomes, as opposed to in pairs.
Stage 1 Openings
“We took all of these steps because the data we have been seeing over the past weeks has signaled that it is becoming safer for us to dip our toes back into the water,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
The openings all fit into the Stage 1 phase Murphy outlined at his daily briefing May 18. Stage 1 allows for relaxed restrictions on low-risk outdoor activities. In this phase, the governor has opened state parks and beaches, allowing non-essential retail shops to offer curbside pickup and construction sites to resume work.
The five-stage plan begins with maximum restrictions of near-lockdown orders through a final stage Murphy referred to as a “New Normal.”
As of May 18, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 148,039 with 1,735 new cases and 83 new deaths, bringing that total to 10,435.
Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,546, followed by Bergen with 1,460, Hudson at 1,068, Passaic at 839, Morris at 569, Sussex at 138 and Warren with 121.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 14 has been in steady decline and currently rests at 12%. The state has now stripped out antibody tests that have been unreliable.
Officials reported 3,509 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 334 new hospitalizations—while 190 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,752 patients hospitalized, the central 1,061 and the south 696.
Officials broke down by tier the daily discharge and new hospitalizations. For May 18, the north reported 158 new hospitalizations and 86 discharges, the central 95 hospitalizations and 51 discharges, and the south 81 hospitalizations and 53 discharges.
Of those hospitalized,1,053 are in intensive care units and 819 on ventilators. There are currently 40 patients in field hospitals, with 450 treated overall.
Hudson Tops County Count
Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 17,574 followed by Bergen at 17,459, Essex at 16,600, Passaic at 15,278, Union at 14,903, Middlesex at 14,752, Ocean at 7,994, Monmouth at 7,408, Morris at 6,092, Mercer at 5,950, Camden at 5,573, Somerset at 4,278, Burlington at 3,986, Gloucester at 1,907, Atlantic at 1,807, Cumberland at 1,679, Warren at 1,086, Sussex at 1,061, Hunterdon at 846, Cape May at 506 and Salem at 465.
Another 835 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
The amount of days it takes for a county to double its cases is past a month for all but one of the 21 counties in the state.
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.
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 527 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 28,136 of the cases and 5,408 of the total deaths.
In a by-county breakdown, Bergen’s 63 facilities had 4,180 residents test positive with 872 total deaths, Essex’s 46 facilities had 2,647 residents test positive with 538 total deaths, Morris’s 41 facilities had 1,699 residents test positive with 429 total deaths, Passaic’s 25 facilities had 1,563 residents test positive with 316 total deaths, Hudson’s 15 facilities had 1,062 residents test positive with 169 total deaths, Warren’s seven facilities had 496 residents test positive with 103 total deaths and Sussex’s five facilities had 358 residents test positive with 104 total deaths.