Outdoor Gathering Limits Increased, Campsites Open in New Jersey

New Jersey loosened restrictions on the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings and activities May 22.

Additionally, public and private recreational campgrounds in the state reopened effectively immediately as Gov. Phil Murphy continues to gradual ease restrictions to reopen New Jersey.

Gatherings of up to 25 people will now be allowed outdoors, as well as for outdoor recreational businesses like charter boats, driving ranges, and outdoor batting cages.

Social Distancing Cookouts

Up to this point, outdoor gatherings had been capped at 10 people as part of the state’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Indoor gatherings will continue to be capped at 10 people.

“If you were looking forward to gathering with your neighbors for a Memorial Day cookout, you may do so, so long as social distancing and personal responsibility remain the order of the day,” said Murphy.

Decisions on outdoor dining and how high schools graduations can be held will be made next week, said Murphy. 

Graduation Hopes

“We continue to say that the hope for those who want some sort of properly socially distant graduation ceremony… your hope is well placed,” said Murphy. “We hope to have some guidance early mid week. We want to get this right as this is a big gathering.”  

But State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli continued to urge residents to avoid large gatherings as much as possible, and to make sure that masks are being properly worn. Persichilli advised it is best to keep gatherings to immediate family members and roommates.

“Even if you are outside, don’t attend large mass gatherings,” Persichilli said.

Daily Data

As of May 22, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 152,719 with 1,394 new cases and 146 new deaths, bringing that total to 10,985. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,585, followed by Bergen with 1,515, Hudson at 1,134, Passaic at 881, Morris at 587, Sussex at 141 and Warren with 123.

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 18 rests at 14%, down 4% from the day before. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one. By region, the north tested at 12%, the central at 13 and the south 24%.

Officials reported 3,049 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 151 new hospitalizations—while 259 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,506 patients hospitalized, the central 893 and the south 662.

Officials broke down by tier the daily discharge and new hospitalizations. For May 22, the north reported 30 new hospitalizations and 123 discharges, the central 57 hospitalizations and 66 discharges, and the south 64 hospitalizations and 70 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized, 846 are in intensive care units and 674 on ventilators. There are currently 43 patients in field hospitals, with 461 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 17,897 followed by Bergen at 17,653, Essex at 17,014, Passaic at 15,604, Union at 15,191, Middlesex at 15,165, Ocean at 8,285, Monmouth at 7,695, Mercer at 6,295, Morris at 6,171, Camden at 5,923, Somerset at 4,416, Burlington at 4,217, Gloucester at 2,031, Cumberland at 1,921, Atlantic at 1,919, Warren at 1,118, Sussex at 1,075, Hunterdon at 938, Cape May at 545 and Salem at 523.

Another 1,123 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 two of the 21 counties in the state.

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children, many patients of which have COVID-19. As of May 22, 19 cases were reported for children ranging in age from 1-18. Of the 19, 14 tested positive for COVID-19. Six are currently hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from the disease.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 53% White, 19% Black, 19% Hispanic, 6% Asian and 3% another race. Murphy has noted the rates in the black and Hispanic communities are running about 50% more than their population in the state. 

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 9,941 confirmed deaths shows 47% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 33% in the range of 65-80, 16% between 50-65 and 4% under the age of 49. 

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 524 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 29,262 of the cases, broken down between 19,934 residents and 9,025 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, which was 4,665 on May 22. The facilities are reporting to the state of 5,485 residents deaths and 98 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County 

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2,920 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1,366 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 885  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 10  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County 

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1,959 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 817 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 527  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County 

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1,201 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 560 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 437  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County 

  • 25 Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1,024 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 585 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 312  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 13  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 698 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 380 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 166  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 6  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 400 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 104 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 103  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County 

  • 5  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 242 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 118 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 101  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

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