More Reopening Plans Promised Despite Some COVID-19 Data Upticks

Gov. Phil Murphy plans to give more specifics on the reopening of the New Jersey May 29 even as state officials expressed concerns about some recent COVID-19 spikes in significant data points.

Murphy at his daily press conference on May 28 did not give specifics on what businesses, dates and time frames would be given for the continued reopening of the New Jersey.

“In some cases we’ll be very specific, in other cases we’re going to point you directionally where we’re headed with some of the details to be filled in at a later point,” Murphy said.

Camps, Childcare?

Phase 2 openings Murphy has mentioned in recent days include outdoor dining, childcare and summer camps, all three opening with capacity limits and social distancing enforcement. 

But the first-term Democratic governor did add a warning that some of the key data metrics need to be further scrutinized due to recent upticks.

Among those Murphy noted of concern were new hospitalizations as well as a rise of COVID-19 positive tests in long-term care facilities. 

Hospitalizations Rise

“For everybody who says open the thing up tomorrow…you’ve got 365 folks going to the hospital yesterday,” Murphy proclaimed. “We’ve got to make sure we are watching this like a hawk.”

While raising the concern, the governor still believes that New Jersey is on the right path in its battle with the coronavirus. But he cautioned the state is moving cautiously so as not to have to go backwards in shutting things down that opened.

“We are going to watch these numbers closely over the coming days to see if there may be a deeper meaning to them,” Murphy said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re watching this like a hawk.”

Expanded Testing

Murphy did offer one explanation in the increases: new positive tests could be linked to expanded daily testing—now available at 208 locations. Officials reported 24,000 tests were taken on May 27 alone.

“Our testing has now exploded,” he said. 

Daily Data

As of May 28, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 157,815 with 1,261 new cases and 66 new deaths, bringing that total to 11,401. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,628, followed by Hudson at 1,161, Bergen with 1,553, Passaic at 903, Morris at 605, Sussex at 147 and Warren with 129. The Hudson total surpassed Bergen for the second day in a row.

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested May 24 rests at 6% on a total of approximately 24,000 tests. 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 4%, the central at 6% and the south 8%.

Officials reported 2,797 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 368 new hospitalizations—while 287 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,358 patients hospitalized, the central 962 and the south 637.

The daily discharge and new hospitalizations by tier for May 28 was the north having 185 hospitalizations and 129 discharges, the central 112 hospitalizations and 95 discharges, and the south 65 hospitalizations and 67 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized, 2,797 are in intensive care units and 564 on ventilators. There are currently 24 patients in field hospitals, with 467 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,226 followed by Bergen at 18,158, Essex at 17,450, Passaic at 15,959, Middlesex at 15,633, Union at 15,475, Ocean at 8,577, Monmouth at 8,012, Mercer at 6,670, Morris at 6,354, Camden at 6,292, Somerset at 4,522, Burlington at 4,476, Gloucester at 2,165, Cumberland at 2,146, Atlantic at 2,120, Warren at 1,146, Sussex at 1,104, Hunterdon at 974, Cape May at 602 and Salem at 592.

Another 1,162 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children, leading to  patients testing positive for COVID-19. As of May 28, 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 and 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.

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 537 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 31,312 of the cases, broken down between 21,058 residents and 10,524 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, which was 4,949 on May 28. The facilities are reporting to the state of 5,751 residents deaths and 104 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County 

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3020 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1503 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 900  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 10  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County 

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2029 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 907 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 535  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County 

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1342 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 615 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 446  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County 

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1099 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 653 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
  • 705 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 466 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 194  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 
  • 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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