COVID-19 Update: Larger Religious Services to Resume June 12

Gov. Phil Murphy expects to raise the limits to indoor gatherings starting the second weekend of June.

During his daily press briefing on May 29, Murphy stated “As long as our health metrics continue to trend in the right direction, I anticipate being able to raise the limits on indoor gatherings in a way that will allow for greater indoor religious services for the weekend of June 12.”

Indoor gatherings are currently limited to 10 people at a time with social distancing. Churches have recently begun to reopen their doors for private prayer. Media reports over the Memorial Day weekend noted some church services were held in New Jersey in excess of that amount, including one that allegedly had an attendance of over 100 people.

Faith Communities 

It was a subject Murphy said he raised in a conversation President Donald Trump the day before in a phone call. Trump had previously stated houses of worship should be allowed to more fully reopen.

The governor pledged to work with faith communities so proper safeguards are in place before the doors of houses of worship open. 

“Our houses of worship are cornerstones of our communities, often rooted in historical and cultural tradition,” said Murphy. “We want them to be strong and safe. This is especially meaningful in our communities of color, which have been hit particularly hard.”

Safe Openings

The first-term Democratic governor said state officials have been working with faith leaders to prepare them to reopen their doors to welcome attendees in a safe way. 

“We don’t want any opening to have an adverse impact on our communities, and we know some faith institutions are not ready to open, and we will work with you and respect when you feel it is safe to do so,” stated Murphy.

Daily Data

As of May 30, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 159,608 with 910 new cases and 113 new deaths, bringing that total to 11,634. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,657, followed by Bergen with 1,573, Hudson at 1,173, Passaic at 925, Morris at 613, Sussex at 149 and Warren with 131. 

State Testing 

Officials reported 2,626 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus while 231 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,271 patients hospitalized, the central 766 and the south 589.

Of those hospitalized, 672 are in intensive care units and 499 on ventilators. There are currently 21 patients in field hospitals, with 469 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,343 followed by Bergen at 18,211, Essex at 17,594, Passaic at 16,099, Middlesex at 15,824, Union at 15,764, Ocean at 8,700, Monmouth at 8,159, Mercer at 6,850, Camden at 6,425, Morris at 6,383, Burlington at 4,567, Somerset at 4,567,  Cumberland at 2,259, Gloucester at 2,217, Atlantic at 2,183, Warren at 1,162, Sussex at 1,110, Hunterdon at 985, Salem at 621 and Cape May at 615.

Another 970 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 544 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 32,619 of the cases, broken down between 22,037 residents and 10,582 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those lab confirmed, which was 4,911 on May 30. The facilities are reporting to the state 5,857 residents deaths and 106 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County 

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3115 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1547 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 905  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 10  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County 

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2001 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 951 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 544  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County 

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1360 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 624 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 451  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County 

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1146 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 664 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 352  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 13  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 956 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 470 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 210  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 
  • 120 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 109  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County 

  • 6  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 248 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 120 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 106  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

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