North-JerseyNews.com

Gov. Phil Murphy Concerned About Increasing COVID-19 Spread in New Jersey

State officials sounded the alarm the COVID-19 spread rate is beginning to grow again in New Jersey.

Gov. Phil Murphy revealed that the rate of transmission (Rt) was 1.03, compared with the 0.70 rate when the state began to reopen in June. A key health metric used by state health officials in deciding policy relating to the coronavirus, Rt measures the number of people one infected resident passes the virus to. If it is larger than 1, that means each infected resident is infecting more than one other person.

Keeping the number under 1.0 has been a key marker for Murphy as the state has reopened since mid-June.  

Early Warning Sign

“This means an increasing rate of spread statewide,” Murphy said during a daily briefing July 6. “This is an early warning sign that, quite frankly, we need to do more.”

The governor said the two biggest factors contributing to the rise were a combination of in-state and out-of-state issues.

“We knew the Rt would go up (when we reopened) and we thought we could manage that risk,” said Murphy. “What we didn’t factor is the explosion of cases in other states, such as Florida and Texas.”

Out-of-state Travelers

To that end, two spots reporting flare ups tied to travel to COVID-19 hotspot in the U.S. were cited in North Jersey. Hoboken reported 12 out of 13 new cases over two days were directly related to travel to known hotspots. The 13 cases broke a two-day high in new cases since May.

In Morris and Sussex counties, new cases were tied to families who attended a wedding in Myrtle Beach, SC. South Carolina is among the 16 states New Jersey has listed in which travelers are advised to get tested and self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in New Jersey. Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said there are agreements in place throughout the state to allow for residents and travelers to quarantine in hotels if housing is an issue.

“One selfish person can undo the hard work of everyone else,” said Murphy. “I do not want to have to hit another pause on our restart because a small number of New Jerseyans are being irresponsible and spreading COVID-19 while the rest of us continue to work hard to stop it.”

Openings Delayed

Murphy later opined that any planned openings are now put on hold until the Rt number and other key health metrics state officials use are driven down.

“We are not jumping the gun on any other openings soon,” he said. “We are going to sit on that for a little bit.”

“We have so many metrics falling in our favor but an increasing Rt, all of that work becomes jeopardized,” Murphy stated. The governor added the rise were not related to beach opening or protests in New Jersey.

Daily Data

As of July 6, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 173,611 with 216 new cases and 20 new deaths, bringing that total to 13,373. The state is reporting an additional 1,856 deaths, up two, as probable, bringing the overall total to 15,229.

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,800, followed by Bergen at 1,745, Hudson with 1,289, Passaic at 1,049, Morris at 659, Sussex at 156 and Warren with 151.

In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 261, Essex has 241, Hudson has 167, Passaic has 147, Morris has 147, Sussex has 37 and Warren has 11.

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of July 2 was reported at 2.1%. 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 1.8%, the central at 1.7% and the south 5.4%. 

Officials reported 861 patients are hospitalized with or are under investigation for having coronavirus while 65 patients were discharged. The north tier had 369 patients hospitalized, the central 265 and the south 227.

Of those hospitalized, 187 are in intensive care units and 152 on ventilators. 

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 19,655, followed by Hudson at 18,990, Essex at 18,895, Passaic at 16,963, Middlesex at 16,957, Union at 16,432, Ocean at 9,716, Monmouth at 9,320, Mercer at 7,745, Camden at 7,496, Morris at 6,820, Burlington at 5,277, Somerset at 4,943, Cumberland at 3,021, Atlantic at 2,949, Gloucester at 2,656, Warren at 1,255, Sussex at 1,211, Hunterdon at 1,090, Salem at 805 and Cape May at 720.

Another 695 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 54% White, 20% Hispanic, 18% Black, 6% Asian and 2% 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, 56% had cardiovascular disease, 45% diabetes, 31% other chronic diseases, 18% neurological conditions, 17% lung diseases, 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 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 5% under the age of 49. 

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children who in turn  test positive for COVID-19. No new cases were reported July 6, leaving the the total to 51 for children ranging in age from 1-18. All have tested positive for COVID-19 or have antibodies in their blood. Nine are currently hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from the disease. 

Persichilli stated “Black and Hispanic children account for a disproportionately high number” on a national scale. While only a small sample, Persichilli reported the racial breakdown in New Jersey was 39% Hispanic, 34% Black, 16% White, 7% Asian and 5% other.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 557 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 36,550 of the cases, broken down between 24,295 residents and 12,365 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 6,570 on July 6. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,569 residents deaths and 119 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 62  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3308 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1743 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 927  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 11  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2204 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1059 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 568  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 20  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1439 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 726 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 488  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1298 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 755 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 390  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 15  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1008 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 563 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 253  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 8  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 260 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 151 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 109  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 408 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 135 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 122  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

3 comments

  1. maybe if they didnt allow all the protests to take place we wouldn’t be dealing with a spike of covid cases!

    1. Ms. James, Left on the cutting room floor was the assertion by Murphy and state health official was that protests did not cause the spike. From the transcript, Gov. Murphy states “Someone asked this earlier and I realized we never address this. Judy, I don’t think we’ve got, or Tina, we have no evidence, to repeat again, that people going to the beach, going to a park, protesting peacefully, that that’s led to the increase in the rates of transmission.” James Hickey

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