North-JerseyNews.com

State Officials Considering Mandating Face Masks in New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed state officials are considering mandating face coverings in New Jersey.

“We’re looking at outside masking as we speak,” said Murphy during his press briefing July 6. “We’re constantly assessing and reassessing the variety of the advisories and recommendations we have out there.”

“There’s more mask wearing anecdotally than there was two weeks ago. But there’s still not remotely enough outdoors, and that’s something that we are looking at.”

Outdoor Masks

The governor has been a strong advocate for masking as the state has dealt with the COVID-19 crisis. The state was the first in the U.S. to mandate masks being worn indoors. 

“We have a strong recommendation to wear them out of doors,” said Murphy. “We’ve said from day one when we started talking about masking, we want to be able to enforce things that we mandate.”

Masking for indoor venues has been a key component in the opening of indoor venues such as retail stores and museums. This has been done as the coronavirus has proven to be spread and be more lethal in indoor settings than outdoor ones. 

Reduce Spread

But Murphy pointed out that wearing a mask outdoors is still an effective way to combat the spread of the virus. 

“A face covering is what protects you from unknowingly spreading corona virus for others,” said the governor. “Face coverings are how we slow the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings are how we protect the public’s health and save lives.”

The first-term Democratic governor stressed that wearing a mask was foremost a health policy issue.

“It isn’t about politics. It isn’t about how you think you look in the face covering,” said Murphy. “It’s about us being able to continue down our road back as one New Jersey family.“

Nationwide Policy?

Murphy said face covering should be part of a nationwide policy as well. He expressed his concern with developments in states like Arizona, South Carolina and Florida who are visiting New Jersey as well as residents coming back to New Jersey from hot spots in the nation. 

“We really need some national parameters that everybody sticks to,” said Murphy. “I don’t know that you need Congress for that….But boy, we could really use that right now. In every state, no matter where you are in the nation, we expect the following parameters to be adhered to.”

Daily Data

As of July 7, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 173,878 with 310 new cases and 52 new deaths, bringing that total to 13,425. The state is reporting an additional 1,856 deaths, up two, as probable, bringing the overall total to 15,281.

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,801, followed by Bergen at 1,748, Hudson with 1,293, Passaic at 1,053, 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%. The rate of transmission was 1.03 as of July 6.

Officials reported 903 patients are hospitalized with or are under investigation for having coronavirus while 43 patients were discharged. The north tier had 398 patients hospitalized, the central 254 and the south 251. 

Of those hospitalized, 169 are in intensive care units and 142 on ventilators. 

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 19,676, followed by Hudson at 19,016, Essex at 18,918, Passaic at 16,974, Middlesex at 16,966, Union at 16,450, Ocean at 9,738, Monmouth at 9,346, Mercer at 7,756, Camden at 7,536, Morris at 6,830, Burlington at 5,295, Somerset at 4,945, Cumberland at 3,029, Atlantic at 2,961, Gloucester at 2,671, Warren at 1,258, Sussex at 1,214, Hunterdon at 1,090, Salem at 807 and Cape May at 720.

Another 682 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. Health Commissioner Judith 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 as of July 6, leaving the total at 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 36,706 of the cases, broken down between 24,308 residents and 12,398 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 6,584 on July 7. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,576 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 
  • 928  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 
  • 1061 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 
  • 731 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 
  • 568 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
  • 409 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

One comment

  1. My family and I are deeply grateful and appreciative of the amazing job Governor Murphy is doing. If only you were running the country! Many, many thanks to you and your staff. You are literally saving our lives.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.