Testing Capacity Reaches Milestone Cited by Gov. Phil Murphy in Road Back Plan

The state’s COVID-19 testing capacity has reached a key milestone in reopening New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy stated at his daily briefing May 27.

When Murphy unveiled the Road Back plan, he set the floor of daily testing capacity at 20,000 by the end of May. The state has reached that benchmark, as New Jersey was able to process 30,000 tests on May 23.

The six point Road Back plan offered April 27 featured four health benchmarks the governor believed critical to achieve to give residents confidence to restart the economy. 

Key Metrics

To secure the public health component, Murphy stated key metrics that need to be attained were a sustained drop in the infection curve, expanded testing, contact tracing, and safe places for people to isolate.

“We are now well past the peak. We’ve made an enormous amount of progress,” said Murphy in addressing the infection curve.

The first-term Democratic governor told residents that if they wanted to get tested, the state was more than capable of handling the requests, with those having symptoms or in close contact with someone tested positive for COVID-19 getting preference. There are currently 164 public and private testing sites in New Jersey.

Get Tested

“We want more New Jerseyans to get tested,” Murphy said. “Anyone who wants to be tested, can get tested.”

The push for broader testing plays to the two key phrases the governor has used time and again during the COVID-19 crisis: “Data Determines Dates” and “Public Health Creates Economic Health.”

“New Jerseyans must know, first and foremost, that their health will be safeguarded from COVID-19. Without this trust, there can be no restart and recovery,” said Murphy. “We need as much data as possible. By getting tested, you’re playing a role in our restart and recovery.”

Next Wave
Officials noted more data gives the state a better sense of where COVID-19 still exists and where hotspots could become flare-ups. Health officials can then take corrective measures quickly to stamp out any flare ups, now or when a second wave hits.

“The more people who do get tested, the stronger our data becomes,” he added. “And the stronger our data becomes, the stronger our confidence will become that we can take the next steps in responsibly restarting our economy and getting our recovery underway.”

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the other two health metrics—contract testing and isolation capacity—were available now and expected to be fully expanded by mid-June.

Daily Data

As of May 27, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 156,628 with 970 new cases and 148 new deaths, bringing that total to 11,339. 

Murphy noted the jump in deaths from 54 on May 26 was due to the lower number being distorted by the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,624, followed by Hudson at 1,158, Bergen with 1,547, Passaic at 899, Morris at 600, Sussex at 146 and Warren with 129. The Hudson total surpassed Bergen for the first time in at least a month.

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 23 rests at 7%. 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 5%, the central at 6% and the south 13%, which state officials believe was due to a limited number of tests taken int he southern tier over the holiday weekend.

Officials reported 2,761 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 241 new hospitalizations—while 164 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,314 patients hospitalized, the central 801 and the south 646.

The daily discharge and new hospitalizations by tier for May 27 was the north having the same  amount of hospitalizations and discharges at 66, the central 110 hospitalizations and 49 discharges, and the south 65 hospitalizations and 49 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized, 768 are in intensive care units and 583 on ventilators. There are currently 16 patients in field hospitals, with 467 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,132 followed by Bergen at 18,023, Essex at 17,338, Passaic at 15,873, Middlesex at 15,547, Union at 15,324, Ocean at 8,514, Monmouth at 7,961, Mercer at 6,592, Morris at 6,289, Camden at 6,227, Somerset at 4,505, Burlington at 4,432, Gloucester at 2,130, Cumberland at 2,098, Atlantic at 2,087, Warren at 1,145, Sussex at 1,095, Hunterdon at 973, Cape May at 592 and Salem at 579.

Another 1,172 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.

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children, leading to  patients testing positive for COVID-19. As of May 27, three news cases were reported bringing the total to 26 cases for children ranging in age from 1-18. Of the 26,18 tested positive for COVID-19. No deaths have been reported from the disease.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 53% White, 19% Black, 19% Hispanic, 5% 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 536 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 31,099 of the cases, broken down between 21,0817 residents and 10,018 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, which was 4,871 on May 27. The facilities are reporting to the state of 5,721 residents deaths and 104 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County 

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3,033 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1,480 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 897  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 10  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County 

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2,025 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 870 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 533  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County 

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1,307 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 600 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 445  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County 

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1,096 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 639 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 327  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 13  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 713 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 409 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 187  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 7  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 401 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 114 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 106  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County 

  • 5  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 247 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 117 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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