New Jersey reported an additional 663 coronavirus cases and five additional deaths on Thursday as the statewide transmission rate rose again, to 1.16, the highest in nearly two months and above the key benchmark of 1. indicating that the epidemic here is growing.
Admissions also exceeded 500 patients for the first time since the beginning of September.
The Garden State̵
Any number above 1 means that every newly infected person, on average, is spreading the virus to at least one other person. Any number less than 1 indicates that the virus is decreasing.
“COVID is still with us,” Governor Phil Murphy said during a virtual town hall on Wednesday. “We’re much better off than before. But we’ve got some hot spots. … We’re still trying to save every life we can.”
New Jersey has reported a total of 205,889 cases of COVID-19 out of more than 3.6 million tests administered in the seven months since the outbreak began in early March.
The state of 9 million people reported 16,127 deaths related to the virus during that period – 14,340 laboratory confirmed and 1,787 considered likely. New Jersey’s death toll is the second highest in the United States after New York. The state has the nation’s highest COVID-19 death rate for every 100,000 residents.
Ocean County had headed the state for the most recent cases for 15 consecutive days starting Wednesday. But on Thursday, the county recorded the fourth number of new cases after Middlesex, Monmouth and Bergen counties.
The statewide daily positivity rate – the percentage of tests that came back positive in one day – on Sunday was 5.28 percent. The last time the figure was this high was at the end of May.
In Ocean County, the positivity rate was 16.03% on Sunday – with Lakewood reporting a positivity rate of 28.63%, according to the state’s Department of Health.
Of the 663 additional cases reported on Thursday, 26 are from Lakewood, the department said.
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY CASES (sorted by new cases)
- Middlesex County: 19,679 positive tests (85 new), 1,227 confirmed deaths (202 likely)
- Monmouth County: 12,025 positive tests (82 new), 776 confirmed deaths (92 likely)
- Bergen County: 22,579 positive tests (71 new), 1,804 confirmed deaths (241 probable)
- Ocean County: 13,718 positive tests (66 new), 985 confirmed deaths (65 likely)
- Camden County: 9,996 positive tests (40 new), 558 confirmed deaths (53 likely)
- Essex County: 21,157 positive tests (38 new), 1,899 confirmed deaths (229 probable)
- Union County: 17,761 positive tests (37 new), 1,189 confirmed deaths (167 probable)
- Hudson County: 20,767 positive tests (34 new), 1,358 confirmed deaths (160 probable)
- Burlington County: 7,208 positive tests (26 new), 461 confirmed deaths (41 likely)
- Atlantic County: 4,152 positive tests (25 new), 245 confirmed deaths (11 likely)
- Passaic County: 19,135 positive tests (25 new), 1,113 confirmed deaths (141 likely)
- Somerset County: 5,850 positive tests (24 new), 503 confirmed deaths (74 probable)
- Gloucester County: 4,710 positive tests (22 new), 222 confirmed deaths (7 likely)
- Hunterdon County: 1,349 positive tests (18 new), 71 confirmed deaths (54 likely)
- Morris County: 7,920 positive tests (18 new), 686 confirmed deaths (144 likely)
- Mercer County: 8,675 positive tests (15 new), 601 confirmed deaths (35 likely)
- Cape May County: 1,026 positive tests (6 new), 88 confirmed deaths (9 likely)
- Salem County: 1,076 positive tests (6 new), 83 confirmed deaths (5 likely)
- Sussex County: 1,517 positive tests (6 new), 161 confirmed deaths (36 probable)
- Warren County: 1,449 positive tests (6 new), 158 confirmed deaths (13 likely)
- Cumberland County: 3,802 positive tests (0 new), 152 confirmed deaths (8 likely)
CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map plotter | Newsletter | Home page
Murphy has been cautiously easing restrictions on coronavirus for months in recent months as New Jersey numbers have improved dramatically since the peak in April, when officials regularly announced hundreds of new deaths and thousands of new cases a day.
Despite a recent surge in daily cases and the threat of a second wave in the fall and winter, the governor said on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect to have to shut down the state again in the widespread way he did in March.
“I’m sure I hope not and I don’t foresee it,” Murphy said during his town hall. “I will be deeply saddened and say shocked if we have to close the whole place again. I just don’t see it. “
Wednesday night there were 523 patients in 71 New Jersey hospitals with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. That’s 44 more than the night before.
Admissions include 96 patients in intensive or critical care (12 fewer than the day before), including 39 on ventilation (the same number the day before).
There were 35 coronavirus patients discharged on Monday, according to the state’s coronavirus monitoring website.
State health commissioner Judith Persichilli warned Wednesday that the state has seen “a slight increase” in hospitalizations over the past 14 days.
BREAKDOWN BY AGE
Broken down by age, those between the ages of 30 and 49 make up the highest percentage of New Jersey residents who contracted the virus (31%), followed by those aged 50-64 (26.3%), 18 -29 (16.5%), 65 -79 (13.1%), 80 and older (9%), 5-17 (3.2%) and 0-4 (0.7%).
On average, the virus was more deadly for older residents, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Nearly half of COVID-19 deaths in the state were of residents aged 80 and over (47.8%), followed by those aged 65-79 (31.5%), 50-64 (15, 8%), 30-49 (4.3%), 18-25 (0.4%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
At least 7,160 of the COVID-19 deaths in the state were of residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
As of early Thursday morning, there have been more than 34 million positive COVID-19 tests worldwide, according to a current tally from Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.01 million people have died, while 23.6 million people have recovered.
The United States has the most positive tests in the world, with over 7.2 million, and the largest number of deaths, with more than 206,900.
Personal writer of NJ Advance Media Brent Johnson contributed to this report.
Our journalism needs your support. Please sign up today at NJ.com
Matt Arco can be reached at email@example.com.