North Jersey counties had some of highest counts in the state as over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend.
Test results announced on Oct. 17 and 18 by state officials reported 2,240 new cases total—958 on Saturday and 1,282 on Sunday. On Sunday, five counties separately had over 100 news cases for the day.
For North Jersey counties, Essex had a total of 254 new cases combined for the two days (115 on Saturday, 139 on Sunday), Hudson’s total was 208 new cases (77 on Saturday, 131 on Sunday), Bergen’s total was 172 new cases (78 on Saturday, 94 on Sunday), Morris’s total was 125 new cases (31 on Saturday, 94 on Sunday), Passaic’s total was 120 new cases (57 on Saturday, 63 on Sunday), Sussex’s total was 20 new cases (5 on Saturday, 15 on Sunday), and Warren’s total was five new cases (three on Saturday, two on Sunday).
Gov. Phil Murphy has linked the rise in cases to indoor gathering that the state is unable to regulate, specifically private indoor gatherings.
“While we’re seeing more people being vigilant in public…it is when you let your guard down in your own home that things could go awry,” said Murphy at a press briefing Oct. 15. “The way I think about it is where we can regulate, where we can enforce compliance, we’re largely—not entirely but largely—in good shape as a state. It’s where we can’t (is the issue).”
“Where we can’t get inside your house, where we can’t get inside a packed in, congregate, multi-generational family living especially. That’s where we’re seeing not all of the challenges, but that’s where we’re seeing the bulk of them.”
Red Zone Issues
New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli recently said that for the state to avoid “the red zone” seen at the height of the pandemic rests on the actions of New Jersey residents.
“That depends on all of you,” said Persichilli. “On personal accountability to take proper precautions to limit the spread, social distancing, wearing a face covering, washing hands frequently, and staying home when you’re sick.”
“Being cautious when you interact with others is particularly important, as New Jersey is seeing increasing signs of community spread in the state.”
Officials said the new cases are mostly found in those 50 years and young, compared to the first month’s of the pandemic where the majority of cases were of those 65 and older.
As of Oct. 18, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 220,013 with 2,240 new cases and nine new deaths were reported over the weekend, bringing that total to 14,422. The state probable death is 1,789, bringing the overall total to 16,211.
State officials noted 24 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 1,904, followed by Bergen at 1,808, Hudson with 1,364, Passaic at 1,118, Morris at 688, Sussex at 161 and Warren with 158.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 242, Essex has 230, Hudson has 159, Morris at 144, Passaic at 141, Sussex has 36 and Warren has 13.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Oct. 11 was 4.4%. By region, the North has a rate of 4.5%, Central at 4.3% and the South at 4.3%. 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, it decreased to 1.15 from 1.17 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 732 patients are hospitalized; by region, there were 351 in the North, 191 in the Central and 190 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 169 are in intensive care units and 67 on ventilators, while 77 patients were discharged.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 23,738, followed by Essex at 22,731, Hudson at 21,731, Middlesex at 20,930, Passaic at 19,976, Union at 18,709, Ocean at 15,925, Monmouth at 13,311, Camden at 10,835, Mercer at 8,956, Morris at 8,430, Burlington at 7,825, Somerset at 6,142, Gloucester at 5,179, Atlantic at 4,705, Cumberland at 3,898, Sussex at 1,616, Warren at 1,507, Hunterdon at 1,487, Salem at 1,138 and Cape May at 1,075.
Another 28 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 22 outbreaks involving 83 cases have been reported in nine of the 21 counties in the Garden State, up from 16 outbreaks involving 58 cases a week previous. For North Jersey, Bergen County has three confirmed outbreaks with nine 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 151 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 4,822 of the cases, broken down between 2,802 residents and 2,020 staff.
Cumulatively, 765 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 25,408 residents and 13,867 staff, for a total of 39,275 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,186 on Oct. 18. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,809 residents deaths and 121 staff deaths.