New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that a second wave of COVID-19 is coming to the state. The announcement is made amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases.
“The Second Wave of coronavirus is no longer something off in the future,” the first term Democrat said at his Thursday coronavirus news briefing. “It’s coming in now.”
On Thursday alone, Murphy reported 1,477 new cases of COVID-19. The positivity rate of people tested was at 6.54% and the rate of transmission was holding above 1 at 1.25. The positivity rate is “pretty tight” across the state, Murphy said.
Murphy called Essex County’s 241 cases, “our biggest concern.” He also said that other northern counties like Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Passaic and Union counties were each reporting more than 100 daily cases each. Community spread is throughout the state.
The Governor does not consider this second wave of cases as a surprise because the state had already foreseen it. However, he holds the meetings responsible as the element that has triggered the cases.
The Second Wave of coronavirus is no longer something off in the future.
It’s coming in now.
Double-down on the practices that helped us flatten the curve last spring – social distance, wash your hands, wear a mask.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) October 29, 2020
Murphy on Thursday laid out the millions of pieces of PPE from hospital gloves to gowns to masks to ventilators that the state has stockpiled in preparation for the second wave. He also reported on the 33,000 daily tests and the contact tracing corps. He assured that there will be about 2,000 working throughout the state in the next two weeks.
He offered advice to battle back against “pandemic fatigue:” “Double-down on the practices that helped us flatten the curve last spring: social distance, wash your hands, wear a mask.”
Second wave in progress
As of Thursday, nearly 235,000 COVID-19 cases had been reported in New Jersey since the start of the pandemic. Multiple days recently have had more than 1,000 cases reported. Even with the recent spike in cases, New Jersey is still reporting fewer cases then at its peak in the spring.
More than 1,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 or suspected of having the virus, officials said. That number is up significantly from six weeks ago.
With eight new deaths reported Thursday, at least 14,539 people have died from coronavirus-related complications since the start of the pandemic. Another nearly 1,800 people are suspected to have died from COVID-19 complications.