New Jersey health officials reported 4,661 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday and another 90 deaths, the most confirmed COVID-19 fatalities reported in a single day since June.
The state’s 71 hospitals reported 3,129 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases as of Monday night, the highest number in more than six months. Hospitalizations had been steadily climbing through November, though dipped slightly over Thanksgiving.
The updates come a day after Gov. Phil Murphy announced new restrictions on outdoor gatherings and indoor sports to try and slow the spread of the outbreak.
“We need all hands on deck to beat back the second wave,” Murphy said in a tweet. “Mask up. Social distance. Wash your hands. Be smart.”
The seven-day average for new cases is now 4,053, down 1% from a week ago, but an increase of 152% from a month ago.
New Jersey has now reported 341,910 cases out of 6.1 million tests since the outbreak started March 4.
The state of 9 million residents has also reported 17,083 deaths from complications related to the virus in that time — 15,254 confirmed fatalities and 1,829 considered probable.
The 4,661 new positive tests is the second highest reported daily cases during the outbreak and the 90 deaths is the most in confirmed in one day since June 13. The deaths all occurred between Nov. 12 and Monday, health department officials said.
The daily numbers are expected to fluctuate this week due to a drop in testing and delays in results due to the Thanksgiving holiday that could produce higher and lower individual days for positive tests and deaths. On Monday, the state reported 3,199 positive tests and 15 deaths.
In addition, positive test totals during the second wave are also difficult to compare to the first months of the outbreak when testing was scare and the extent of the infections was likely undercounted. New Jersey is also not publicly reporting results from rapid tests, which have been deployed to hot spots.
Murphy on Monday order a reduction in the size limit on outdoor gatherings to 25 people beginning next week. He previously lowered the limit from 500 to 150 in mid-November. There are exemptions for political and religious gatherings, weddings, funerals and memorial services. Outdoor dining is also not included.
Additionally, all indoor youth, high school, and adult recreation sports will be suspended for at least four weeks beginning Saturday. It does not affect indoor collegiate or professional sports. The governor said he took the steps to prevent strain within the state’s hospitals.
“Stability in our healthcare system starts with carefully chosen steps to hamper the spread of the virus,” he said. “And because of the data, we know how and where we can best meet this challenge.”
At the same time, Murphy promised to give “a deeper dive” into the second wave modeling health officials have been reviewing. He suggested the next few months could be bleak “should we give in to pandemic fatigue.”
The statewide rate of transmission dropped slightly to 1.1 from 1.11 on Monday, though any number over 1 indicates the outbreak is expanding. Health officials said that a decline in the transmission rate means that the outbreak is expanding less rapidly.
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY CASES (sorted by most new)
- Middlesex County: 31,107 positive tests (549 new), 1,291 confirmed deaths (205 probable)
- Bergen County: 35,327 positive tests (454 new), 1,889 confirmed deaths (250 probable)
- Essex County: 35,788 positive tests (436 new), 2,005 confirmed deaths (233 probable)
- Passaic County: 30,576 positive tests (389 new), 1,176 confirmed deaths (144 probable)
- Hudson County: 32,033 positive tests (358 new), 1,423 confirmed deaths (159 probable)
- Union County: 28,756 positive tests (329 new), 1,267 confirmed deaths (170 probable)
- Monmouth County: 20,961 positive tests (309 new), 816 confirmed deaths (92 probable)
- Morris County: 13,928 positive tests (289 new), 716 confirmed deaths (147 probable)
- Ocean County: 22,277 positive tests (280 new), 1,062 confirmed deaths (68 probable)
- Camden County: 19,501 positive tests (252 new), 627 confirmed deaths (57 probable)
- Burlington County: 14,017 positive tests (215 new), 501 confirmed deaths (44 probable)
- Mercer County: 13,992 positive tests (182 new), 626 confirmed deaths (37 probable)
- Gloucester County: 9,190 positive tests (143 new), 278 confirmed deaths (7 probable)
- Atlantic County: 8,122 positive tests (138 new), 282 confirmed deaths (14 probable)
- Somerset County: 9,231 positive tests (122 new), 535 confirmed deaths (75 probable)
- Cumberland County: 5,168 positive tests (67 new), 170 confirmed deaths (8 probable)
- Sussex County: 2,655 positive tests (59 new), 162 confirmed deaths (37 probable)
- Hunterdon County: 2,535 positive tests (26 new), 77 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
- Salem County: 1,663 positive tests (19 new), 89 confirmed deaths (5 probable)
- Cape May County: 1,684 positive tests (18 new), 102 confirmed deaths (10 probable)
- Warren County: 2,526 positive tests (13 new), 160 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
There were 3,129 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Monday night.
The state’s Department of Health revised its hospital data for Sunday night. On Monday, the state’s dashboard showed there were 2,961 people being hospitalized for Sunday night. Currently, it shows there were 3,057 patients on that evening — marking the first time since May 20 the number of people hospitalized exceeded 3,000.
Hospitalizations have climbed steadily for three weeks before a slight dip around Thanksgiving. The totals are still far short of the more than 8,000 patients during the initial peak of the outbreak in mid-April.
Of those hospitalized as of Monday night, 601 were in critical or intensive care, including 359 on ventilators.
There were 225 coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals Sunday, according to the dashboard.
Although hundreds of school districts have announced coronavirus cases and dozens of New Jersey schools have temporarily switched to all remote classes since the start of the school year, state health officials have said 66 schools have had confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks.
There have now been 269 total cases of in-school transmission in those 66 schools since the start of the school year.
Those numbers do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside school, or cases that can’t be confirmed as in-school outbreaks.
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (31.6%), followed by those 50-64 (24.3%), 18-29 (18.8%), 65-79 (11.4%), 80 and older (6.5%), 5-17 (5.9%), and 0-4 (1.2%).
On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (47.78%), followed by those 65-79 (31.58%), 50-64 (15.89%), 30-49 (4.35%), 18-29 (0.38%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
At least 7,291 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. That number has been rising again at a steeper rate in recent weeks.
As of Tuesday, there have been more than 63.4 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.47 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases with 13.5 million and the most deaths at more than 268,600.