New Jersey Shows New Health Metric Allowing for the Opening of Economy

State officials showed a new metric showcasing the progress New Jersey has made in battling the spread of the coronavirus to a level it is low enough to safely reopen the state. 

The virus reproduction rate currently sits at 0.88 as of May 30. In comparison, when the state announced the stay-at-home order on March 21, the rate registered at 5.31.

“We’ve cut the rate of spread by six times,” said Gov. Phil Murphy at his daily press briefing June 2. “Ten weeks ago, one infected person was infecting more than five others. Today, it’s less than a one-to-one ratio.”

Steady Decline

The rate has steadily been reduced since the stay-at-home order was enacted, registering 1.02 when hospitals reached their peak April 14 and 0.81 on May 15 when the state’s Phase 1 openings began.  

“Once you get below one, the virus is no longer increasing,” Dr. Edward Lifshitz, director of the state Department of Health’s communicable disease services.

“Without these measures in place, it is certain that our healthcare system would have been overwhelmed,” Murphy said. “A five-times reproduction rate would be simply unsustainable for public health.”

Good Habits

The first-term democratic governor implored residents of the state to keep the same habits that reduce the rate as the state continues to reopen.

“Social distancing works. Wearing a face covering works. Washing your hands works,” said Murphy. “We cannot lose sight of what’s important…keep it up, and we’ll get through Stage 2 of our restart and recovery.”

At the end of his briefing, Murphy noted residents in New Jersey have lived in a bubble for the last 10 weeks and will now start “cross hatching” with friends and family that have not interacted with. 

Be Responsible

“That’s gotta be done responsible, there is no real guidance other than ‘common sense for the common good’ like we said yesterday,” said Murphy. “Tammy and I are having these conversations with our kids—what does that look like. It won’t be easy for any of us.”

“Closing was black and white. When you open up you are in a reality that is much more difficult to execute.” 

Daily Data

As of June 2, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 161,545 with 708 new cases and 51 new deaths, bringing that total to 11,770. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,672, followed by Bergen at 1,584, Hudson with 1,188, Passaic at 931, Morris at 617, Sussex at 148 and Warren with 132. 

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 29 rests at 3.6%. 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 2.9%, the central at 3.5% and the south 5.8%.

Officials reported 2,372 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 151 new hospitalizations—while 102 patients were discharged. The north tier had 1,158 patients hospitalized, the central 661 and the south 553.

The daily discharge and new hospitalizations by tier for June 2 was the north charting 11 hospitalizations and 42 discharges, the central having 84 hospitalizations and 72 discharges, and the south reporting 47 hospitalizations and 33 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized, 639 are in intensive care units and 459 on ventilators, the fourth consecutive day ventilators in use was below 500. There are currently 20 patients in field hospitals, with 471 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,455, followed by Bergen at 18,333, Essex at 17,752, Passaic at 16,234, Middlesex at 16,021, Union at 15,868, Ocean at 8,817, Monmouth at 8,289, Mercer at 7,004, Camden at 6,603, Morris at 6,512, Burlington at 4,680, Somerset at 4,605, Cumberland at 2,345, Gloucester at 2,262, Atlantic at 2,251, Warren at 1,173, Sussex at 1,123, Hunterdon at 999, Salem at 645 and Cape May at 628.

Another 946 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children who in turn  test positive for COVID-19. As of June 2, the total cases increased by one to 32 for children ranging in age from 1-18. Of the 32, 21 tested positive for COVID-19 and seven are currently hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from the disease. 

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli stated “black children account for a disproportionately high number” on a national scale. While only a small sample, Persichilli reported the racial breakdown as 26% White, 26% Black, 37% Hispanic, 7% Asian and 4% other.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 53% White, 19% Black, 20% 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 545 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 33,318 of the cases, broken down between 22,423 residents and 10,895 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, which was 5,004 on June 2. The facilities are reporting to the state 5,965 residents deaths and 107 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3139 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1604 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 913  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 10  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2104 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 968 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 554  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County  

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1364 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 642 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 452  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 5  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County 

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1152 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 678 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 358  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 13  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 966 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 509 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 212  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 7  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 250 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 132 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

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 404 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 121 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 110  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

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