New Jersey has reported its youngest fatality to date of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
According to State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, officials “don’t know the primary cause of death at this time” for the 7-month-old baby and will continue looking into it.
“We have no further information on this tragic loss,” Perischilli said during Gov. Phil Murphy’s Aug. 5 media briefing and offered her condolences to the infant’s family.
No Further Details
“God bless the 7-month-old and any other loss of life – particularly young children,” said Murphy, adding that “for privacy purposes” further details would not be disclosed.
Murphy called the state’s death toll – which includes 13,989 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities and 1,853 as probable – “unfathomable,” and urged New Jerseyans to “do your part.”
“We all need to be in the fight against COVID-19 together. This is no time for complacency, for selfishness or for thinking that someone else can wear a mask but not you,” he said.
‘Virus Continues To Spread’
As of Aug. 5, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 183,327 with 378 new cases and eight new deaths.
After reaching a four-month-high of 1.48% on Aug. 3, New Jersey’s transmission rate – which measures the rate each new cases leads to additional cases – fell to 1.32%. The rate has nearly doubled in the six weeks since the state moved to Stage 2 of its reopening.
On Wednesday, Murphy said, “It’s coming down, but it’s still too high. This virus continues to spread too quickly and too widely.”
In order to “get down below 1%,” residents need to practice social distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene, Murphy said.
Paying Attention To Data
New Jersey’s positivity rate for tests is 2.57% and daily infection rate is 2%, two other data sets officials say they are using to track whether the outbreak is being contained and to guide if restrictions should be tightened or eased.
Besides spot positivity and rate of transmission, Murphy said they review “a basket of data” that includes new hospitalizations and intensive care unit patient numbers, region by region.
“It’s all important,” he said.
Dr. Edward Lifshitz, medical director of the state Department of Health, said “nothing concerning” has emerged in recent trends, but they are “certainly paying attention.”
Re-openings Remain Paused
When questioned about reopening gyms and allowing indoor dining at restaurants, Murphy offered no details on how far off the state is from that.
According to the governor, the state would need to see “a sustained series of numbers in a good place” and for “the rest of the nation under control” before it could consider moving ahead with additional re-openings.
“We want to get there,” he said, adding that he has “nothing but sympathy” for business owners.
Earlier this week, Murphy also announced the state is tightening the cap on indoor gatherings and extended the New Jersey’s State of Emergency declaration for another month.
In North Jersey, Essex County has the most total confirmed deaths (1,866), followed by Bergen at 1,787, Hudson with 1,337, Passaic at 1,091, Morris at 679, Sussex at 160 and Warren with 157.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 251, Essex has 239, Hudson has 167, both Passaic and Morris at 148, Sussex has 37 and Warren has 14.
Bergen Tops Case Count List
Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 20,609, followed by Essex at 19,588, Hudson at 19,544, Middlesex at 17,765, Passaic at 17,532, Union at 16,590, Ocean at 10,501, Monmouth at 10,170, Camden at 8,400, Mercer at 8,063, Morris at 7,179, Burlington at 5,880, Somerset at 5,199, Atlantic at 3,420, Cumberland at 3,275, Gloucester at 3,130, Warren at 1,331, Sussex at 1,314, Hunterdon at 1,139, Salem at 880 and Cape May at 817.
Another 644 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
Officials reported 784 patients are hospitalized, as of Aug. 5. The north tier had 172 patients hospitalized, the central 269 and the south 151.
Of those hospitalized, 117 are in intensive care units and 47 on ventilators, while 52 patients were discharged.
The racial breakdown of COVID-19 deaths was 53.30% White, 19.40% Hispanic, 18.50% Black, 5.40% Asian and 3.40% another race, according to state data.
Underlying conditions of those who died includes cardiovascular disease (57.3%), diabetes (44.4%) and other chronic diseases (32.4%).
A census of ages for confirmed deaths shows 47% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 32.50% in the range of 65-80, 15.90% between 50-65, 4.30% under the age of 49 and .40% for the 18 to 29 range.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted currently 276 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19, broken down between 12,268 residents and 6,655 staff.
Cumulatively, 610 long-term care facilities reported cases infecting 24,579 residents and 12,915 staff, for a total of 37,494.
Of the total death count tied to long-term care facilities, 6,676 were residents and 119 were staff members.