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N.J. reports 663 new COVID-19 cases and 5 more deaths. Transmission rate increases again. – NJ.com

October 1, 2020

New Jersey reported another 663 coronavirus cases and five additional deaths Thursday as the statewide rate of transmission increased again, to 1.16 — the highest it has been in nearly two months and above the key benchmark of 1 that indicates the outbreak here is growing.

Hospitalizations also surpassed 500 patients for the first time since early September.

The Garden State’s transmission rate has been above 1 since Sept. 4 and hit 1.15 on Wednesday after hovering at that mark for three days last week. The rate reported Thursday is the highest it has been since Aug. 6.

Any number above 1 means each newly infected person, on average, is spreading the virus to at least one other person. Any number below 1 means the virus is decreasing.

“COVID is still with us,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a virtual town hall Wednesday. “We’re a lot better than we used to be. But we’ve got some hotspots. … We’re still out there trying to save every life we can.”

New Jersey has reported a total of 205,889 COVID-19 cases out of more than 3.6 million tests administered in the seven months since the outbreak here started in early March.

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The state of 9 million people has reported 16,127 deaths related to the virus in that time — 14,340 lab-confirmed and 1,787 considered probable. New Jersey’s death toll is second highest in the U.S. after New York. The state has the nation’s highest COVID-19 death rate per 100,000 residents.

Ocean County had led the state for the newest cases for the 15 consecutive days as of Wednesday. But on Thursday, the county had the fourth-highest number of new cases behind Middlesex, Monmouth, and Bergen counties.

The statewide daily positivity rate — the percentage of tests that come back positive in one day — as of Sunday was 5.28%.

But in Ocean County, the positivity rate was 16.03% as of Sunday — with Lakewood is reporting a positivity rate of 28.63%, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Of the state’s 663 additional cases reported Thursday, 26 are from Lakewood, the department said.

New Cases

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY CASES (sorted by new cases)

  • Middlesex County: 19,679 positive tests (85 new), 1,227 confirmed deaths (202 probable)
  • Monmouth County: 12,025 positive tests (82 new), 776 confirmed deaths (92 probable)
  • 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 probable)
  • Camden County: 9,996 positive tests (40 new), 558 confirmed deaths (53 probable)
  • 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 probable)
  • Atlantic County: 4,152 positive tests (25 new), 245 confirmed deaths (11 probable)
  • Passaic County: 19,135 positive tests (25 new), 1,113 confirmed deaths (141 probable)
  • 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 probable)
  • Hunterdon County: 1,349 positive tests (18 new), 71 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
  • Morris County: 7,920 positive tests (18 new), 686 confirmed deaths (144 probable)
  • Mercer County: 8,675 positive tests (15 new), 601 confirmed deaths (35 probable)
  • Cape May County: 1,026 positive tests (6 new), 88 confirmed deaths (9 probable)
  • Salem County: 1,076 positive tests (6 new), 83 confirmed deaths (5 probable)
  • 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 probable)
  • Cumberland County: 3,802 positive tests (0 new), 152 confirmed deaths (8 probable)

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

Murphy has been cautiously easing months-long coronavirus restrictions in recent months as New Jersey’s numbers have improved drastically since peaking in April, when officials routinely announced hundreds of new deaths and thousands of new cases a day.

Despite a recent uptick in daily cases and the threat of a second wave in the fall and winter, the governor said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to have to shut down the state again in the widespread way he did in March.

“I sure as heck hope we don’t and I do not anticipate it,” Murphy said during his town hall. “I will be profoundly saddened and I will say shocked if we have to shut the whole place down again. I just don’t see that.”

HOSPITALIZATIONS

There were 523 patients in New Jersey’s 71 hospitals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case as of Wednesday night. That’s 44 more than the night before.

The hospitalizations include 96 patients in critical or intensive care (12 less than the day before), including 39 on ventilators (the same number the day before).

There were 35 coronavirus patients discharged Monday, according to the state’s coronavirus tracking website.

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli warned Wednesday the state has seen “a slight uptick“ in hospitalizations over the past 14 days.

AGE BREAKDOWN

Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents that have caught the virus (31%), followed by those 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 has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been of residents 80 and older (47.8%), followed by those 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 state’s COVID-19 deaths have been of residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

GLOBAL NUMBERS

As of early Thursday morning, there have been more than 34 million positive COVID-19 tests across the globe, according to a running tally by 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, at more than 7.2 million, and the most deaths, at more than 206,900.

NJ Advance Media staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.

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Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com.

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