New Jersey reported over 1,300 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 8, the first time it has reached that number since May according to worried state officials.
“Certainly it is a concern that we’re seeing what we’re seeing…that number is so high,” stated Department of Health Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Edward Lifshitz at a press briefing.
“When we get 1,301 cases in one day, we know that we are still in the fight,” added Gov. Phil Murphy.
Murphy noted that in his travels across the state, an overwhelming majority of residents are wearing masks in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. But he is bewildered by those that “still don’t get it.”
Wake Up Call
“For those of you who haven’t (taken this seriously), wake up,” said Murphy. “To say that it can not take your life is completely false.”
State officials noted that without therapeutics or a vaccine, New Jersey residents are left with very few but easy ways to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“What we have is not advanced calculus,” said Murophy. “What we have is basic stuff—social distancing, wearing (masks), its washing your hands with soap and water, its taken yourself off the field whether you have traveled to a hotspot, known that you have been exposed to somebody with COVID or if you got symptoms….And lastly get tested but get tested at the right point.”
“It’s very basic stuff, it’s what we have to do.”
The first-term Democratic governor was aghast at the actions and comments of President Donald Trump after leaving Water Reed Medical Center earlier in the week.
“I was extremely disappointed to hear the President’s words when he got out of the hospital. But when you see the mask coming off and when you hear the words like ‘don’t let the virus dominate your life,’ ‘be strong,’ said Murphy, shaking his head in bewilderment.
The governor said in his experience when speaking with with survivors who have lost loved ones, they have two things in common
North Jersey Worries
“No. 1, they fought this virus tooth and nail, in some cases for weeks, in other cases for months,” commented Murphy. “They fought it, they didn’t give an inch. They fought it as hard as they could in every way they could and that is a common trait among all those lives we lost.”
“The other common trait: every one of them is dead. Every single one of them is dead.”
The hotspot in the state continues to be Lakewood in Ocean County. Of the 285 cases in the county, 206 were residents of Lakewood. The next closest county was Monmouth with 128 new cases.
Flu Season Comparison
Murphy noted the two Shore countries were not the only areas of concern, mentioning Bergen County with 97 new infections, Passaic with 89, and Essex with 96.
Murphy directed his ire as well at those he believed COVID-19 is being overblown in comparison to the seasonal flu.
“For those of you you who are under the misguide thinking that this is just like the flu, it’s well past time for a wakeup call,” said Murphy, noting that in seven months the number of New Jersey that have died from COVID-19 is 11 times the amount who passed during the 2018-19 flue season.
As of Oct. 8, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 211,148 with 1,302 new cases and 11 new deaths were reported over the weekend, bringing that total to 14,373. The state probable death is 1,788, bringing the overall total to 16,161.
State officials noted 13 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,899, followed by Bergen at 1,808, Hudson with 1,359, Passaic at 1,115, Morris at 687, Sussex at 161 and Warren with 158.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 241, Essex has 229, Hudson has 160, Morris at 144, Passaic at 141, Sussex has 36 and Warren has 13.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Oct. 4 was 3.7%. By region, the North has a rate of 3.0%, Central at 4.3% and the South at 4.1%. 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.
As for the rate of transmission, rising to 1.22 from 1.24 the day before. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Officials reported 652 patients are hospitalized, with 422 confirmed and 230 under investigation. by region, there were 287 in the North, 192 in the Central and 173 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 148 are in intensive care units and 52 on ventilators, while 50 patients were discharged.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 22,959, followed by Essex at 21,539, Hudson at 21,042, Middlesex at 20,134, Passaic at 19,418, Union at 178,601, Ocean at 14,814, Monmouth at 12,588, Camden at 10,286, Mercer at 8,773, Morris at 8,061, Burlington at 7,442, Somerset at 5,967, Gloucester at 4,877, Atlantic at 4,357, Cumberland at 3,838, Sussex at 1,559, Warren at 1,471, Hunterdon at 1,431, Salem at 1,110 and Cape May at 1,063.
Another 358 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 16 outbreaks involving 58 cases have been reported in nine of the 21 counties in the Garden State. For North Jersey, Bergen County has two confirmed outbreaks with five cases, Passaic County has one confirmed outbreak with nine cases, and Sussex County has one confirmed outbreak with two cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 149 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 5,776 of the cases, broken down between 3,462 residents and 2,314 staff.
Cumulatively, 741 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 25,227 residents and 13,723 staff, for a total of 38,950 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,172 on Oct. 8. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,793 residents deaths and 121 staff deaths.